submitted by Gwaii Haanas--Around 500 people gathered last Tuesday at the Haida Heritage Centre to say farewell to the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole as it began the next stage of its journey. At least 100 people helped carry the pole out of the carving shed to the beach in front of the centre where it was loaded on a truck and later a barge for the trip of approximately 40 nautical miles to Lyell Island.
The pole will be raised at Hlk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay) on August 15 to honour 20 years of cooperative management between the Government of Canada and the Haida Nation. The pole, commissioned by the Archipelago Management Board (with equal Haida/Canada reps and recognized worldwide as a model for natural resource management), will stand as testament to this relationship for years to come.
This pole is also the first to be raised in Gwaii Haanas in over 130 years, helping to build a connection with the historic poles still standing in the villages of SGang Gwaay (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and K'uuna Llnagaay (Skedans).
The carvers will travel to Hlk'yah GawGa in early August to finish the pole there. Jaalen Edenshaw, lead carver on the project, said finishing work at an old village site was an important part of the process and he was looking forward to this extended time in the land of his ancestors.
Everyone is welcome to come to the pole raising. If you are thinking of travelling to Windy Bay with your own boat, come to an information session in one of these locations: ??Tuesday, July 30 - Old Massett Youth Centre - 7:00 pm ?Wednesday, July 31 - Skidegate Haida Heritage Centre - 7:00 pm ?Thursday, August 1 - Sandspit Community Centre - 7:30 pm
??Also, if you would like to enter to win one of 10 seats to Windy Bay offered by the Archipelago Management Board, please fill out an entry form at one of these events. The draw will be made Aug. 4 at the Tlell Fall Fair.
??Don't' forget! For those who are not able to travel to Windy Bay, join us at the Heritage Centre for a live broadcast of the pole raising and other activities on August 15 from 11-3 pm. Also, everyone is welcome at the Community Celebration on August 17 at the Rec. Centre. ???Check out the Legacy pole video at www.haidanation.ca. ?