April 08, 2020
HAIDA HERITAGE CENTRE IS THE IDEAL ATTRACTION FOR FAMILIES VACATIONING IN HAIDA GWAII
Situated on an ancient village site in HlGaagilda Skidegate, the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay is the perfect place for visitors of all ages to learn about the fascinating culture of the Haida. These Indigenous people have been known for producing exceptional art and architecture for millennia; from intricately carved cedar totem poles to and to beautiful and incredibly well-engineered canoes.
Designed as an homage to the original oceanside Haida village - Kay Llnagaay Sealion Town that once stood in its place, the sprawling 50,000-square-foot Haida Heritage Centre houses several attractions for families to explore. Children will be intrigued by the Gyaa K’id Naay Carving House, an open-walled building that houses monumental poles, majestic canoes and any artwork underway which is too large to fit indoors. The Skaajang Naay Canoe House will teach the entire family about the Haida’s preferred mode of travel, transportation, food gathering and trade. Fierce warriors and seasoned coastal travellers, the Haida people prized their masterfully designed canoes, each crafted from a single cedar log.
Anchoring the Haida Heritage Centre is the Xaayda Sahlinda Naay Saving Things House Haida Gwaii Museum, which has earned international acclaim for its outstanding collection of Haida historical objects and contemporary art. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the archaeological artifacts, visual art, and archive of rare documents and photographs that helped establish Haida Gwaii as a cultural hub of the Pacific Northwest. The Museum also works with the local Haida community to repatriate culturally significant objects held in museums around the world, as well as reconstruct the genealogies of the Haida clan system.
Shoppers won’t want to miss the Gina DaahlGahl Naay Trading House, a carefully curated gift shop that features a constantly refreshed display of local Haida artwork. The shop’s shelves are filled with authentic Haida gifts, including exquisitely carved jewellery and masks, weavings, and culturally-inspired clothing – all showcasing the designs of talented Haida artists. Your whole clan is sure to enjoy browsing the shop’s extensive selection of books; with topics ranging from illustrated historic Haida legends to captivating special interest subjects from the Haida perspective, such as textile arts and local botany.
The Haida Heritage Centre is just a half-hour drive from Haida House at Tllaal, along a scenic coastal highway.
Image Credits:Top - Destination BC/Grant Harder, Bottom - Kent Bernadet.