Haida Gwaii North: Canada Over the Edge (Season 2)This title is a part of the series Canada Over the Edge (Season 2)
Catalogue Number: AR083E
Producer: Arcadia Entertainment Inc.
Subject: Canadian Social Studies
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2013
Running Time: 52:00
Closed Captions: Yes
The offshore archipelago of Haida Gwaii has over 1800 islands and its coastlines are one of the world's most remote and incredible landscapes. Graham Island stretches from Langara light station to Rose Point, and Masset Sound to the east is a narrow waterway leading inland.
Haida tradition continues to thrive today through the work of artists such as Christopher White. He explains the long process of carving of the totem pole. Because the Haida did not have a written language, totem poles were important as reminders for the Haida oral tradition stories, family history and mythology. He also designs and builds traditional Haida canoes, using western red cedar. They are dug out of a single log and steamed open to widen them. Tradition symbols decorate the outside of the canoe and the paddles. Art is important to the preservation of the Haida culture.
European settlers began arriving in Haida Gwaii in the late 1700's. When the British established a colony here, they changed the name to the Queen Charlotte Islands, but in 2010 the name was changed back to Haida Gwaii, in recognition of the people how have lived here for centuries. While smallpox killed 90% of the Haida population in the 19th century, it has stabilized today. Captain Gold of the Naikoon clan is documenting the history of his villages and their oral tradition. At the Haida Heritage Centre he tells the Haida creation story, where Raven takes mankind out of a clamshell. Today, Naikoon Provincial Park, the heart of Haida territory, is a scenic wonder.
The culinary traditions of the Haida People are demonstrated when we join chef Roberta Olsen for one of her iconic dinners from "Keenawii's Kitchen" named for her Haida name "Keenawii". Roberta cooks with ingredients locally collected from the ocean, forests and farmers markets on the island.