Thursday, 4 August 2011

Skidegate Days

Saturday, July 16th is Skidegate Days. The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast to feed the hungry runners/walkers and everyone is invited to join. The main street is shut down to local traffic for the food booths lined with traditional fried bread, pies & cookies, corn on the cob, and hamburgers. Other booth include games for the kids, tourism information, free stuff and a popular item this year was the touch aquarium that housed local marine life.

The totem to totem race (3rd year) sponsored by the Skidegate Band Council begins at the Haida Heritage Centre; Norman Price's pole representing Skidegate Haida Village. The Amazing Race is loosely based on the TV Reality show of the same name. Also popular is the canoe races throughout the day, teams get together to see who can paddle the fastest. It gives everyone a chance to experience paddling in a traditionally constructed canoe based on the Haida culture. Another popular event this year was the fish splitting, everyone gathered around to watch the competition. The cleaned salmon was available for dinner as well as other dishes. A good turn-out and the weather cooperated, nice for the afternoon! There is a dance that follows the daily festivities. Come and visit to experience Skidegate Days in July, watch for local postings for the dates.

Photo Credit: S. Pryce

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Gwaii Haanas

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is one of the world's top-rated national parks. The new Gwaii Haanas Marine
Protected Area and Haida Heritage Site created in 2010, makes this the first area in the world to be protected from mountain top to sea floor.
Gwaii Haanas has an extensive media kit which you are encouraged to access for detailed information.


  • The terrestrial portion of Gwaii Haanas covers the southern portion of Moresby Island. The marine portion extends 10 kilometres offshore from the coastline. The area is only accessible by boat or floatplane.
  • Gwaii Haanas was first protected after the well-publicized logging protest on Lyell Island in 1985. The Gwaii Haanas Agreement, signed in 1993, is an agreement between the government of Canada and the Haida Nation to cooperatively manage the area. This unique management allows both groups to cooperate in protecting Gwaii Haanas despite the fact that land claims in the area are not yet resolved.
  • Visitors are drawn to Gwaii Haanas for the wilderness experiences, Haida cultural sites, wildlife, natural hot springs and many other attractions. This area is underdeveloped and the emphasis is on wilderness rather than visitor services.
  • One of the best known Haida sites in Gwaii Haanas is the UNESCO World Heritage Site at SGang Gwaay (sometimes known as Ninstints or Anthony Island).
  • To visit Gwaii Haanas, you can travel with a guided tour, or plan your own trip. If travelling on your own, you must register in advance and take an orientation session to learn about rules and etiquette. For media, there is a special permit and orientation, so it is wise to arrange everything well in advance.
  • There are approximately two dozen tour operators who are licensed to provide tours in Gwaii Haanas, and they offer trips from one day to several weeks in length. 

Suggested Itinerary
Information about tours and accessing Gwaii Haanas can be found through the Gwaii Haanas web page or media kit. Gwaii Haanas also provides an outreach program in the summer months which includes community presentations, slideshows, interpretive walks and more.
It is interesting to talk to tour operators and local people about their opinions of Gwaii Haanas management and the histroy of the area.

More Information
Contact the Gwaii Haanas office in Skidegate to inquire about media kits, permits, or other organizational details. They also offer a free fact checking service. 1-877-559-8818.