X̱aaydaG̱a ‘Waadlux̱an Naay
X̱aadée ‘Wáadluuwaan Née
Council of the Haida Nation
Haida people have occupied Haida Gwaii since time immemorial. Haida territory encompasses parts of southern Alaska, the archipelago of Haida Gwaii and its surrounding waters. Haida pre-contact population was in the tens of thousands in several dozen towns dispersed throughout the islands. During the time of contact, Haida population fell to about 600 due to introduced disease including measles, typhoid and smallpox. Today, Haida people make up over half of the 4200 people living on the islands.
Haida reside throughout the islands but are concentrated in two main centres, G̱aw Tlagée Old Massett at the north end of Graham Island and HlG̱aagilda Skidegate at the south end. Besides these two communities, there are 2000 more Haida scattered throughout the world. Vancouver, 770 km south of Haida Gwaii, has a large population as does Prince Rupert which is 100 km east across Hecate Strait.
The Haida Nation collectively holds Hereditary and Aboriginal Title and Rights to Haida Territories and the cultural and intellectual property rights of the Haida Nation.
National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site is a wild place. With no road access, stores, cell phone coverage and little signage, it is a true wilderness experience.
Gwaii Haanas is not only home to a plethora of unique subspecies and environments, it is also home to Haida. Today the Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada manage Gwaii Haanas through a cooperative agreement. They work together through the Archipelago Management Board (AMB), which protects Gwaii Haanas from sea floor to mountain peak.
Gwaii Haanas balances recreation with protection of the natural and cultural features that attract people. With this in mind, the number of visitors entering Gwaii Haanas each day is limited. Available space is distributed between guided and independent travellers. July to mid-August is the busiest travel period, so if you plan to visit during this time, verify the availability of your Gwaii Haanas dates before finalizing your travel plans. Download the latest editions of the Gwaii Haanas Trip Planning Guide here.
Are you travelling independently or on a guided trip? If you would like to take a guided trip, book your trip directly with a licensed Tour Operator. See http://parkscanada.ca/gwaiihaanas-operators for a list of licensed tour operators.
If you are travelling independently (in your own boat, personal or rented kayak) you will need to make a reservation and attend an orientation. Visit the Gwaii Haanas website for more details.