National Aboriginal Day

Wood visits Wood.

First Peoples have lived on Haida Gwaii for many thousands of years.  To celebrate National Aboriginal Day (June 21st in Canada) Tansy would like to show pictures from her visit to SGang Gwaay.  Once a thriving community, the Haida moved away sometime around 1885, using the location for short visits after that, because their population was decimated by diseases brought by contact with Europeans. In 1981, it was designated a National Historic Site  and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located within the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, and is protected by the Haida Watchmen programme.

Old House Depression.

There used to be an old house here.  The beams and walls have fallen down, and trees are growing in some of the corner posts.  Everything is covered in moss, but you can still see the shape of the old house.

New Structure.

This is a shelter for visitors to the site. Watchmen live on the island during the summer, and they guide tourists on specific paths around the village so that the damage to the site is minimised. Here Tansy inspects the joinery of the shelter to see how it compares to traditional Haida post and beam construction.


Tansy tries a little Cedar.

Tansy tries out her new language, Cedar – complete with arm-waving and extra clear enunciation, but the poles are silent.  Perhaps they speak Archaic Cedar, but in any case. they are fading away due to the effects of weather and time.


A Watchful Eye.

Tansy takes a little rest under the watchful eye of a fallen pole.


Look at how big this carving is!

Tansy contemplates the size of these carvings and decides they cannot be categorised as a ‘doll’. Besides, they are stuck in the ground which is not at all doll-like.


The structures made by ancient peoples are returning to the forest. After visiting SGang Gwaay, Tansy returns to the cabin at Kilgii Gwaay. She is glad there are Watchmen and that the Haida Nation shares stewardship of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.



You can learn more about Tansy’s trip  through this link which has posts by her human friend Ehpem who kindly took her along in his camera bag and pockets. Today, he too is featuring the trip to SGang Gwaay and that post can be found here.

5 thoughts on “National Aboriginal Day

  1. The history of Haida Gwaii is interesting and Tansy seems to be enjoying herself amidst the old wooden tree trunks. Also love the remnants of the old house.

  2. I can revisit this post time and time again, and each visit I come away with something new. I find myself sitting here surrounded by the spirits of those who came before us all, in utter amazement at how wonderful these artifacts and the remains of the civilization are. I can’t find the words to describe the full emotion of the experience here, but am very thankful that you and Tansy have found the resources, time and expertise to pull together such a wonderful post.

  3. Pingback: Tansy Visits a World Heritage Site | Quimper Hittys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: