Haida people

Haida (English: /ˈhaɪdə/, Haida: X̱aayda, X̱aadas, X̱aad, X̱aat) are a nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Haida Gwaii (a Canadian archipelago) and the Haida language. Haida language, which is an isolate language, has historically been spoken across Haida Gwaii and certain islands on the Alaska Panhandle, where it has been spoken for at least 14,000 years. Prior to the 19th century, Haida would speak a number of coastal First Nations languages such as Lingít, Nisg̱a'a and Sm'álgyax. After settlers' arrival and colonisation of the Haida through residential schools, few Haida speak X̱aayda/X̱aad kíl, though there are many efforts to revive the language.

The Haida national government, the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN), is based in the archipelago of Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) in northern British Columbia, Canada. A group known as the Kaigani Haida live across the international border of the Dixon Entrance on Prince of Wales Island (Tlingit: Taan) in Southeast Alaska, United States; Taan was traditionally and still is in Lingít territory. The Kaigani Haida migrated there in the late 18th century. Haida have occupied Haida Gwaii since at least 14,000 BP. Pollen fossils and oral histories both confirm that Haida ancestors were present when the first tree, a Lodgepole pine, arrived at SG̱uuluu Jaads Saahlawaay, the westernmost of the Swan Islands located in Gwaii Haanas.[2]

In British Columbia, the term "Haida Nation" can refer both to Haida people as a whole and their government, the Council of the Haida Nation. While all people of Haida ancestry are entitled to Haida citizenship, the Kaigani are also part of the Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska government.[3][4] The Haida language has sometimes been classified as one of the Na-Dene group, but is usually considered to be an isolate.[5]

Haida society continues to produce a robust and highly stylized art form, a leading component of Northwest Coast art. While artists frequently have expressed this in large wooden carvings (totem poles), Chilkat weaving, or ornate jewellery, in the 21st century, younger people are also making art in popular expression such as Haida manga.

In June 2017, the first feature-length Haida-language film, The Edge of the Knife, was in production with an all-Haida cast. The actors learned some Haida for their performances in the film. Gwaii Edenshaw is the director and co-screenwriter.[6]

Haida wait for their Heiltsuk hosts to welcome them to sing and dance at a peace potlatch in Waglisla.
X̱aayda, X̱aadas, X̱aad, X̱aat
Flag of Haida
Carver and Dancer
A Haida dances in full regalia.
Total population
c. 2,500+[1]
United Statesunknown
Haida, English
Haida, possibly Christianity and others


A Haida hereditary leader of the eagle moiety awaits guests with his nephew on the shores of his territory.

Traditional Haida territory spans the current international boundary between British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, United States. Their heartland is the two large and many smaller islands known as Haida Gwaii, which means "island of the people" in Haida. This archipelago was surveyed in 1787 by Captain George Dixon of the British Navy, who named them after one of his ships, the Queen Charlotte, which was in turn named after Charlotte, queen consort of George III of the United Kingdom. The name "Queen Charlotte Islands" was subsequently "given back" to the Crown in a ceremony between the British Columbia government and the Council of the Haida Nation.

Haida also live in Southeast Alaska, particularly on the southern half of Prince of Wales Island in communities such as Hydaburg, and in large cities elsewhere in the region such as Ketchikan. Haida also live in various cities in mainland British Columbia and the western United States.


Haida Houses
Houses and totem poles, 1878

The Haida are known for their craftsmanship, trading skills, and seamanship. They are thought to have been warlike and to practise slavery. Canadian Museum of Civilization anthropologist Diamond Jenness has compared the tribe to Vikings.[7]

Oral histories and archaeological evidence indicate that the Haida have occupied Haida Gwaii for more than 17,000 years. In that time they have established an intimate connection with the islands' lands and oceans, established highly structured societies, and constructed many villages.[8][9] The Haida have also occupied present-day southern Alaska for more than the last 200 years, the modern group having emigrated from Haida Gwaii in the 18th century.

The Haida conducted regular trade with Russian, Spanish, British, and American fur traders and whalers. According to sailing records, they diligently maintained strong trade relationships with Westerners, coastal people, and among themselves.[10]

Like other groups on the Northwest Coast, the Haida defended themselves with fortifications, including palisades, trapdoors and platforms. They took to water in large ocean-going canoes, each created from a single Western red cedar tree, and big enough to accommodate as many as 60 paddlers. The aggressive tribe were particularly feared in sea battles, although they did respect rules of engagement in their conflicts.[7] The Haida developed effective weapons for boat-based battle, including a special system of stone rings weighing 18 to 23 kg (40 to 51 lb) which could destroy an enemy's dugout canoe and be reused after the attacker pulled it back with the attached cedar bark rope. The Haida took captives from defeated enemies. Between 1780 and 1830, the Haida turned their aggression towards European and American traders. Among the half-dozen ships the tribe captured were the Eleanor and the Susan Sturgis. The tribe made use of the weapons they so acquired, using cannons and canoe-mounted swivel guns.[7]

Welcoming Party
Haida drummers and singers greet guests on the shores of Ḵay Linagaay, a thousands-of-years-old village in Haida Gwaii.

In 1856, an expedition in search of a route across Vancouver Island was at the mouth of the Qualicum River when they observed a large fleet of Haida canoes approaching and hid in the forest. They observed these attackers holding human heads. When the explorers reached the mouth of the river, they came upon the charred remains of the village of the Qualicum people and the mutilated bodies of its inhabitants, with only one survivor, an elderly woman, hiding terrified inside a tree stump.[11]

Also in 1857, the USS Massachusetts was sent from Seattle to nearby Port Gamble, where indigenous raiding parties made up of Haida (from territory claimed by the British) and Tongass (from territory claimed by the Russians) had been attacking and enslaving the Coast Salish people there. When the Haida and Tongass (sea lion tribe Tlingit) warriors refused to acknowledge American jurisdiction and to hand over those among them who had attacked the Puget Sound communities, a battle ensued in which 26 natives and one government soldier were killed. In the aftermath of this, Colonel Isaac Ebey, a US military officer and the first settler on Whidbey Island, was shot and beheaded on 11 August 1857 by a small Tlingit group from Kake, Alaska, in retaliation for the killing of a respected Kake chief in the raid the year before. Ebey's scalp was purchased from the Kake by an American trader in 1860.[12][13][14][15] The introduction of smallpox among the Haida at Victoria in March 1862 significantly reduced their sovereignty over their traditional territories, and opened the doorway to colonial power.[16] As many as nine in ten Haidas died of smallpox and many villages were completely depopulated.

Model of House of Contentment, late 19th century, 05.589.7791
Model of House of Contentment, late 19th century, Brooklyn Museum

In 1885 the Haida potlatch (Haida: waahlgahl) was outlawed under the Potlatch Ban. The elimination of the potlatch system destroyed financial relationships and seriously interrupted the cultural heritage of coastal people.

The Haida also created "notions of wealth", and Jenness credits them with the introduction of the totem pole (Haida: ǥyaagang) and the bentwood box.[7] Missionaries regarded the carved poles as graven images rather than representations of the family histories that wove Haida society together. Chiefly families showed their histories by erecting totems outside their homes, or on house posts forming the building. Their social organization was matrilineal.[17] As the islands were Christianized, many cultural works such as totem posts were destroyed or taken to museums around the world. This significantly undermined Haida self-knowledge and further diminished morale.

The government began forcibly sending some Haida children to residential schools as early as 1911. Haida children were sent as far away as Alberta to live among English-speaking families where they were to be assimilated into the dominant culture.


Prior to contact with Europeans, other Indigenous communities regarded the Haida as aggressive warriors and made attempts to avoid sea battles with them. Archeological evidence shows that Northwest coast tribes, to which the Haida belong, engaged in warfare as early as 10 000 BC.[18] Though the Haida were more likely to participate in sea battles, it was not uncommon for them to engage in hand-to-hand combat or long-range attacks.

Archeological and written evidence of warfare

Analyses of skeletal injuries dating from the Archaic period show that Northwest coast nations, particularly in the North where most Haida communities were situated, engaged in battles of some sort, though the number of battles is unknown.[18] The presence of defensive fortifications dating from the Middle Pacific period show that the incidence of battles rose somewhere between 1800 BC and AD 500.[18] These fortifications continued to be in use during the 18th century as evidenced by Captain James Cook’s discovery of one such hilltop fortification in a Haida village. Numerous other sightings of such fortifications were recorded by other European explorers during this century.[19]

Causes of warfare

There were multiple reasons that motivated Haida people to commit warfare. Various accounts explain that the Haida went to battle more for revenge and slaves than for anything else.[20] According to the anthropologist Margaret Blackman, who has done research on the Haida since the 1970s, warfare on Haida Gwaii was primarily motivated by revenge. Many Northwest coast legends tell of Haida communities raiding and fighting with neighbouring communities because of insults.[21] Other causes included disputes over property, territory, resources, trade routes and even women. However, a battle between a Haida community and another often did not have simply one cause. In fact, many battles were the result of decades old disputes.[22] The Haida, like many of the Northwest coast Indigenous communities, engaged in slave-raiding as slaves were highly sought after for their use as labour as well as bodyguards and warriors.[23] During the 19th century, the Haida fought physically with other Indigenous communities to ensure domination of the fur trade with European merchants.[24] Haida groups also had feuds with these European merchants that could last years. In 1789, some Haidas were accused of stealing items from Captain Kendrick, most of which included drying linen. Kendrick seized two Haida chiefs and threatened to kill them via cannon-fire if they did not return the stolen items. Though the Haida community complied at the time, less than two years later 100 to 200 of its people attacked the same ship.[25]

War Parties

The missionary W.H. Collison describes having seen a Haida fleet of around forty canoes.[26] However, he does not provide the number of warriors in these canoes, and there are no other known accounts that describe the number of warriors in a war party. The structure of a Haida war party generally followed that of the community itself, the only difference being that the chief took the lead during battles; otherwise his title was more or less meaningless.[27] Medicine men were often brought along raids or before battles to “destroy the souls of enemies” and ensure victory.[28]

Death in battle

Battles between a group of Haida warriors and another community sometimes resulted in the annihilation of either one or both of the groups involved.[29] Entire villages would be burned down during a battle which was a common practice during Northwest coast battles.[29] The Haida burned their warriors who died in battles, though it is not known if this act was done after each battle or only after battles in which they were victorious.[30] The Haida believed that fallen warriors went to the House of Sun, which was considered a highly honourable death. For this reason, a specially made military suit for chiefs was prepared if they fell in battle. The slaves belonging to the chiefs who died in battle were burned with them.[30]

Weapons used in battles

The Haida used the bow and arrow until it was replaced by firearms acquired from Europeans in the 19th century, but other traditional weapons were still preferred.[31] The weapons that the Haida used were often multi-functional; they were used not only in battle, but during other activities as well. For instance, daggers were very common and almost always the choice of weapon for hand-to-hand combat, and were also used during hunting and to create other tools. One medicine man’s dagger that Alexander Mackenzie came across during his exploration of Haida Gwaii, was used both for fights and to hold the medicine man's hair up.[32] Another dagger that Mackenzie obtained from a Haida village was said to be connected to a Haida legend; many daggers had individual histories which made them unique from one another.[32]

Battle armour

The Haida wore rod-and-slat armour. This meant greaves for the thighs and lower back and slats (a long strip of wood) in the side pieces to allow for more flexibility during movement. They wore elk hide tunics under their armour and wooden helmets. Arrows could not penetrate this armour, and Russian explorers found that bullets could only penetrate the armour if shot from a distance of less than 20 feet. The Haida rarely used shields because of their developed armour.[33]


Haida Heritage Centre
Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay
Saaduuts 02A
Haida carver Saaduuts, 2007

Historical Haida villages were:[34]


Lisa telford haida
Lisa Telford, Haida basket weaver

The Haidas' calendar:

  • April/May- Gansgee 7laa kongaas
  • May/Early June- Wa.aay gwaalgee
  • June/July- Kong koaas
  • July/August- Sgaana gyaas
  • August/September- K'ijaas
  • September/October- K'alayaa Kongaas
  • October/November- K'eed adii
  • November/December- Jid Kongaas
  • December/January- Kong gyaangaas
  • January/February- Hlgiduum kongaas
  • February/March- Taan kongaas
  • March- Xiid gayaas
  • April- Wiid gyaas


They use the berries of Vaccinium vitis-idaea ssp. minus as food.[37]

Notable Haida

Diane douglas-willard haida
Diane Douglas-Willard of Ketchikan, Alaska.
Voyage autour du monde - planche XIII - Jeune Femme des Isles de la Reine Charlotte
Young Haida woman with lip plate, portrayed in Dixon, George (1789): Voyage autour du monde

Anthropologists and scholars

Lawyer and Carver
L–R: Haida lawyer gi7ahl g-udsllaay (Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson) and master carver gud san glans (Robert Davidson)

This is an incomplete list of anthropologists and scholars who have done research on the Haida.

See also


  1. ^ a b History of the Haida Nation, Council of the Haida Nation website. Skidegate and Old Masset combined are 1,471 combined, and 2,000 more Haida live in Vancouver and Prince Rupert and elsewhere.
  2. ^ Fedje, Daryl (2005). Haida Gwaii: Human History and Environment from the Time of Loon to the Time of the Iron People (1 ed.). Vancouver, Toronto: UBC Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780774809221. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Haida Nation" (PDF). haidanation.ca. Haida Nation. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska". CCTHITA. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  5. ^ Schoonmaker, Peter K.; Bettina Von Hagen; Edward C. Wolf (1997). The Rain Forests of Home: Profile Of A North American Bioregion. Island Press. p. 257. ISBN 1-55963-480-4.
  6. ^ Catherine Porter, "A Language Nearly Lost Is Revived in a Script", New York Times, 12 June 2017, p. 1
  7. ^ a b c d "Warfare". Canadian Museum of Civilization. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  8. ^ Hume, Mark (20 July 2012). "When did the first people arrive in the Americas?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Caves reveal thousands of years of history". Queen Charlotte Islands Observer. 14 September 2007. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Canoes and Trade". Canadian Museum of History. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  11. ^ Elms p 20, citing William Wyford Walkem, Stories of Early British Columbia, "Adam Horne's trip across Vancouver Island" (Vancouver, BC: Published by News Advertiser, 1914) p 41.
  12. ^ Puget Sound Herald Nov 19, 1858
  13. ^ Juneau Empire, February 29, 2008
  14. ^ Beth Gibson, Beheaded Pioneer, Laura Arksey, Columbia, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, Spring, 1988.
  15. ^ Bancroft says they were Stikines, a Tlingit subgroup, and makes no mention of the Haida. History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana: 1845–1889, p.137 Hubert Howe Bancroft (1890) This enormous source, photocopied, including p.137, is more easily accessible online at [1], if desired. Retrieved 2012-2-21.
  16. ^ "The Spirit of Pestilence". The University of Victoria. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Social Organization". Canadian Museum of History. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Ames, Kenneth M.; Maschner, Herbert D. G. (1999). Peoples of the northwest coast: their archaeology and prehistory. London: Thames & Hudson, p. 200-201.
  19. ^ Jones, David E. (2004). Native North American armor, shields, and fortifications (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press, p. 101.
  20. ^ Ames, Kenneth M.; Maschner, Herbert D. G. (1999). Peoples of the northwest coast: their archaeology and prehistory. London: Thames & Hudson, p. 196.
  21. ^ Swanton, John Reed (1905). Haida texts and myths, Skidegate dialect;. Harvard University. Washington, Govt. print. Off., p. 371-390.
  22. ^ Collison, W. H.; Lillard, Charles (1981). In the wake of the war canoe: a stirring record of forty years' successful labour, peril, and adventure amongst the savage Indian tribes of the Pacific coast, and the piratical head-hunting Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Victoria, B.C: Sono Nis, p. 138.
  23. ^ Ames, Kenneth M. (2001). "Slaves, Chiefs and Labour on the Northern Northwest Coast". World Archaeology 33 (1): 1–17., p. 3.
  24. ^ Gibson, James (1992). Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: The Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785-1841 (First Edition). Montreal: Mcgill-Queens University Press, p. 174.
  25. ^ Gibson, James (1992). Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: The Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785-1841 (First Edition). Montreal: Mcgill-Queens University Press, p. 165-166.
  26. ^ Collison, W. H.; Lillard, Charles (1981). In the wake of the war canoe: a stirring record of forty years' successful labour, peril, and adventure amongst the savage Indian tribes of the Pacific coast, and the piratical head-hunting Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Victoria, B.C: Sono Nis, p. 89.
  27. ^ Green, Jonathan S. (1915). Journal of a tour on the north west coast of America in the year 1829, containing a description of a part of Oregon, California and the north west coast and the numbers, manners and customs of the native tribes. New York city: Reprinted for C. F. Heartman, p. 45.
  28. ^ Jenness, Diamond (1977). The Indians of Canada (7th ed ed.). Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, p. 333.
  29. ^ a b Harrison, C. (1925). Ancient warriors of the north Pacific: the Haidas, their laws, customs and legends, with some historical account of the Queen Charlotte Islands. London: H. F. & G. Witherby, p. 153.
  30. ^ a b Green, Jonathan S. (1915). Journal of a tour on the north west coast of America in the year 1829, containing a description of a part of Oregon, California and the north west coast and the numbers, manners and customs of the native tribes. New York city: Reprinted for C. F. Heartman, p. 47.
  31. ^ "Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida villages - Warfare". www.historymuseum.ca. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  32. ^ a b Mackenzie, Alexander; Dawson, George Mercer (1891). Descriptive notes on certain implements, weapons, &c., from Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C. CIHM/ICMH Microfiche series. Royal Society of Canada, p. 50-51.
  33. ^ Jones, David E. (2004). Native North American armor, shields, and fortifications (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press, p. 106-107.
  34. ^ Canadian Museum of Civilization webpage on Haida villages
  35. ^ "FirstVoices: Hlg̱aagilda X̱aayda Kil : words". Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  36. ^ Parks Canada website Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Compton, Brian Douglas, 1993, Upper North Wakashan and Southern Tsimshian Ethnobotany: The Knowledge and Usage of Plants..., Ph.D. Dissertation, University of British Columbia, page 101

General sources

  • Macnair, Peter L.; Hoover, Alan L.; Neary, Kevin (1981). The Legacy: Continuing Traditions of Canadian Northwest Coast Indian Art

Further reading

  • Blackman, Margaret B. (1982; rev. ed., 1992) During My Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson, a Haida Woman. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Boelscher, Marianne (1988) The Curtain Within: Haida Social and Mythical Discourse. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
  • Bringhurst, Robert (2000) A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World. Douglas & McIntyre.
  • Donald, Leland (1997) Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest Coast of North America. University of California Press.
  • Andersen, Doris (1974) Slave of the Haida. Macmillan Co. of Canada.
  • Kushner, Howard (1975) Conflict on the Northwest Coast: American-Russian Rivalry in the Pacific Northwest. Greenwood Press.
  • Black, Lydia T.; Dauenhauer, Nora; Dauenhauer, Richard (2008), Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká/Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804, University of Washington Press, ISBN 978-0-295-98601-2.
  • Fisher, Robin (1992) Contact and Conflict: Indian-European Relations in British Columbia, 1774-1890. UBC Press.
  • Geduhn, Thomas (1993) "Eigene und fremde Verhaltensmuster in der Territorialgeschichte der Haida." (Mundus Reihe Ethnologie, Band 71.) Bonn: Holos Verlag.
  • Harris, Christie (1966) Raven's Cry. New York: Atheneum.
  • Harrison, Charles (1925) Ancient Warriors of the North Pacific - The Haidas, Their Laws, Customs and Legends. H.F. & G. Witherby.
  • Huteson, Pamela (2007) "Transformation Masks" Surrey, B.C. Canada: Hancock House Publishers LTD. ISBN 978-0-88839-635-8
  • Kan, Sergei (1993) SYMBOLIC IMMORTALITY; The Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century Smithsonian.
  • Snyder, Gary (1979) He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village. San Francisco: Grey Fox Press.
  • Stearns, Mary Lee (1981) Haida Culture in Custody: The Masset Band. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • The Hydah mission, Queen Charlotte's Islands: an account of the mission and people, with a descriptive letter, Rev. Charles Harrison, publ. Church Missionary Society/Seeley, Jackson & Halliday, London, England, 1884.
  • Yahgulanaas, Michael Nicoll (2008) "Flight of the Hummingbird" Vancouver; Greystone Books.

External links

Alaska Native Heritage Center

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is an educational and cultural institution for all Alaskans, located in Anchorage, Alaska. The center opened in 1999. The Alaska Native Heritage Center shares the heritage of Alaska's 11 major cultural groups. These 11 groups are the Athabaskan people, Eyak people, Tlingit people, Haida people, Tsimshian people, Unangax people (Aleut), Alutiiq people, Yup'ik, Cup'ik, Siberian Yupik, and Inupiaq.

The Heritage Center, located ten miles from downtown Anchorage, is situated on 26 wooded acres. Inside – the Hall of Cultures, theatre and Gathering place are home to activities and demonstrations. Outside are six life-sized Native dwellings surrounding Lake Tiulana.

Alexander Archipelago

The Alexander Archipelago is a 300-mile (480 km) long archipelago, or group of islands, of North America off the southeastern coast of Alaska. It contains about 1,100 islands, which are the tops of the submerged coastal mountains that rise steeply from the Pacific Ocean. Deep channels and fjords separate the islands and cut them off from the mainland. The northern part of the Inside Passage is sheltered by the islands as it winds its way among them.

The islands have irregular, steep coasts and dense evergreen and temperate rain forests, and most are accessible only by boat or aeroplane. The vast majority of the islands are part of the Tongass National Forest.

In order of land area, the largest islands are Prince of Wales Island, Chichagof Island, Admiralty Island, Baranof Island, Revillagigedo Island, Kupreanof Island, Kuiu Island, Etolin Island, Dall Island, Wrangell Island, Mitkof Island, Zarembo Island, Kosciusko Island, Kruzof Island, Annette Island, Gravina Island, and Yakobi Island. All the islands are rugged, densely forested, and have an abundance of wildlife.

The Tlingit and Kaigani Haida people are native to the area. The Tsimshian people found on Annette Island are not originally from the area, having immigrated to the region from British Columbia in the late 19th century.

Ketchikan on Revillagigedo Island and Sitka

on Baranof Island are the largest towns on the islands. The most populous neighborhoods of the largest town in the region, Juneau, are on the mainland, though portions of the city also lie on Douglas Island, which is a part of the archipelago.

Tourism, fishing, and logging are the main industries of the islands.


Cumshewa, also Go'mshewah, Cummashawa, Cummashawaas, Cumchewas, Gumshewa was an important hereditary leader of the Haida people of Haida Gwaii on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. His name is believed to be of either Kwak'wala or Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) origin, meaning "rich at the mouth of the river". He is mentioned by Captain George Dixon who traded with him in 1787. In 1794 Cumshewa and his warriors massacred the crew of the American vessel Resolution.

Cumshewa, British Columbia

Cumshewa is a former village of the Haida people located on the north flank of Cumshewa Inlet in the Haida Gwaii of the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is named for Cumshewa, an important Haida chief during the era of the Maritime Fur Trade (late 17th and early 19th Centuries), as is Cumshewa Head, an important headland and point on the north side of the opening of Cumshewa Inlet, which pierces Moresby Island from the east and was the location of several historical Haida villages.

The name Cumshewa Inlet was coined by captains in the marine fur trade after the most important local chief, Cumshewa. The name was long in use on marine charts but was made official in the British Columbia gazette on April 6, 1926. The last few inhabitants of Cumshewa were encouraged to move to Skidegate in 1926.

Damen Bell-Holter

Damen Bell-Holter (born April 13, 1990) from Hydaburg, Alaska is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for Fortitudo Agrigento of the serie A2. An Alaska Native and member of the state's Haida peoples, he played college basketball at Oral Roberts University.

Gitga'ata people

The Gitga'ata (sometimes also spelled Gitga'at or Gitk'a'ata) are one of the 14 tribes of the Tsimshian nation in British Columbia, Canada, and inhabit the village of Hartley Bay, British Columbia, the name of which in the Tsimshian language is Txałgiu. The name Gitga'ata in the Tsimshian language means "people of the cane" (as in, a ceremonial stick). The Gitga'ata, along with the Kitasoo Tsimshians at Klemtu, B.C., are often classed as "Southern Tsimshian," their traditional language being the southern dialect of the Tsimshian language. Most Tsimshian-speakers in Hartley Bay today, however, speak the form of the language shared by villages to the north. Their band government is the Hartley Bay Indian Band, aka the Gitga'at First Nation.

In 1947, Edmund Patalas ("belonging to the Kitamat tribe at Hartley Bay") described to the Tsimshian ethnologist William Beynon the origins of the Laxsgiik (Eagle clan) people of the "Gitxon" group who migrated from the land of the Haida people on Haida Gwaii first to Kitamaat and then to the Gitga'ata people, where a branch of this group, the House of Sinaxeet, is now considered "the royal Eagle house of Kitkata" (described in Barbeau's Totem Poles).

Graham Island

Graham Island is the largest island in the Haida Gwaii archipelago (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), lying off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is separated only by a narrow channel from the other principal island of the group, Moresby Island (Gwaii Haanas in the language of the Haida people). It has a population of 4,475 (2001 census), an area of 6,361 km2 (2,456 sq mi), and is the 101st largest island in the world and Canada's 22nd largest island.

Graham Island was named in 1853 by James Charles Prevost, commander of HMS Virago, for Sir James Graham, 2nd Baronet, who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area, and Haida Heritage Site, usually referred to simply as Gwaii Haanas, is located in southernmost Haida Gwaii (formerly known as Queen Charlotte Islands), 130 kilometres (81 miles) off the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Gwaii Haanas protects an archipelago of 138 islands, the largest being Moresby Island and the southernmost being Kunghit Island. "Gwaii Haanas" means "Islands of Beauty" in X̱aayda kíl, the language of the Haida people.

The Haida Heritage Site is within the territory of the Haida people, who have lived in Haida Gwaii for at least 14,000 years. Ḵ'aygang.nga (the Haida canon of oral histories) show Haida lived in Gwaii Haanas when the first trees arrived at Xaagyah Gwaay.yaay (Bolkus Islands) as glaciers retreated. Pollen samples indicate trees first arrived 14,500 years ago.Numerous films have covered Gwaii Haanas, including the 2011 short National Parks Project, directed by Scott Smith and scored by Sarah Harmer, Jim Guthrie and Bry Webb.


Haida may refer to:

the Haida people, an indigenous ethnic group of North America

Council of the Haida Nation, their collective government body

Haida language, their language

Haida argillite carvings, an art form that is a Haida specialty

Haida manga, a hybrid art form combining traditional Haida art and Japanese manga

Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii (; Haida kíl: X̱aaydag̱a Gwaay.yaay / X̱aayda gwaay, literally "Islands of the Haida people"), is an archipelago approximately 45–60 km (30–40 mi) off the northern Pacific coast of Canada. They are separated from the mainland to the east by the Hecate Strait. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to the south, with Vancouver Island beyond. To the north, the disputed Dixon Entrance separates Haida Gwaii from the Alexander Archipelago in the U.S. state of Alaska.

Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham or North Island (Haida kíl: Kiis Gwaay) in the north and Moresby Island (T'aawxii X̱aaydaɢ̠a Gwaay.yaay linaɢ̠waay, literally: south people island half, or Gwaay Haanas "Islands of Beauty") in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of 10,180 km2 (3,931 sq mi). Other major islands include Anthony Island (Ḵ'waagaaw / Sɢ̠ang Gwaay), Burnaby Island (Sɢ̠aay Kun Gwaay.yaay), Alder Island (Ḵ'uuna Gwaay / Gwaay.yaay), and Kunghit Island. (For a fuller, but still incomplete, list see List of islands of British Columbia).

Part of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the islands were formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, and colloquially as "the Charlottes". On June 3, 2010, the archipelago was formally renamed by the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act as part of the Kunst'aa guu - Kunst'aayah Reconciliation Protocol between British Columbia and the Haida people.The islands are the heartland of the Haida Nation. Haida people have lived on the islands for 13,000 years, and currently make up approximately half of the population. The Haida exercise their sovereignty over the islands through their acting government, X̱aaydaG̱a Waadlux̱an Naay, the Council of the Haida Nation, and have as recently as 2015 hosted First Nations delegations such as the Potlatch and subsequent treaty signing between the Haida and Heiltsuk. A small number of Kaigani Haida also live on the traditionally Lingít Prince of Wales Island in Alaska.

Some of the islands are protected under federal legislation as Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, which includes the southernmost part of Moresby Island and several adjoining islands and islets. Also protected, but under provincial jurisdiction, are several provincial parks, the largest of which is Naikoon Provincial Park on northeastern Graham Island. The islands are home to an abundance of wildlife, including the largest subspecies of black bear (Ursus americanus carlottae) and also the smallest subspecies of stoat (Mustela erminea haidarum). Black-tailed deer and raccoon are introduced species that have become abundant.

Haida ceremonial dance rattle (Indianapolis Museum of Art)

This ritual dance rattle in the form of a raven is part of the Native American collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. Made by the Haida people of British Columbia in the early- to mid-19th century, it contains a number of spiritually significant totems whose power would be harnessed by shamans to control spirits during rituals.

Haida language

Haida (X̱aat Kíl, X̱aadas Kíl, X̱aayda Kil, Xaad kil,) is the language of the Haida people, spoken in the Haida Gwaii archipelago off the coast of Canada and on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. An endangered language, Haida currently has 14 native speakers, though revitalization efforts are underway. At the time of the European arrival at Haida Gwaii in 1774, it is estimated that Haida speakers numbered about 15,000. Epidemics soon led to a drastic reduction in the Haida population, which became limited to three villages: Masset, Skidegate, and Hydaburg. Positive attitudes towards assimilation combined with the ban on speaking Haida in residential schools led to a sharp decline in the use of the Haida language among the Haida people, and today almost all ethnic Haida use English to communicate.

Classification of the Haida language is a matter of controversy, with some linguists placing it in the Na-Dené language family and others arguing that it is a language isolate. Haida itself is split between Northern and Southern dialects, which differ primarily in phonology. The Northern Haida dialects have developed pharyngeal consonants, typologically uncommon sounds which are also found in some of the nearby Salishan and Wakashan languages.

The Haida sound system includes ejective consonants, glottalized sonorants, contrastive vowel length, and phonemic tone. The nature of tone differs between the dialects, and in Alaskan Haida it is primarily a pitch accent system. Syllabic laterals appear in all dialects of Haida, but are only phonemic in Skidegate Haida. Extra vowels which are not present in Haida words occur in nonsense words in Haida songs. There are a number of systems for writing Haida using the Latin alphabet, each of which represents the sounds of Haida differently.

While Haida has nouns and verbs, it has few true adpositions. English prepositional phrases are usually expressed with Haida "relational nouns", for instance Alaskan Haida dítkw 'side facing away from the beach, towards the woods'. Haida verbs are marked for tense, aspect, mood, and evidentiality, and person is marked by pronouns that are cliticized to the verb. Haida also has hundreds of classifiers. Haida has the rare direct-inverse word order type, where both SOV and OSV words orders occur depending on the "potency" of the subject and object of the verb. Haida also has obligatory possession, where certain types of nouns cannot stand alone and require a possessor.

Kayung totem pole

The Kayung totem pole is a 12-metre (39 ft) totem pole made by the Haida people. Carved and originally located in the village of Kayung on Graham Island in British Columbia, Canada, it dates from around 1850. In 1903 it was sold by Charles Frederick Newcombe to the British Museum, where since 2007 it has been a prominent exhibit in the Great Court.


Koyah, also Coya, Coyour, Kower, Kouyer (Haida: Xhuuyaa - "Raven" (b.?-d. c.1795), was the chief of Ninstints or Skungwai, the main village of the Kunghit-Haida during the era of the Maritime Fur Trade in the Haida Gwaii of the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Koyah was involved in more conflicts with ship captains than any other chief of his period and so figures prominently in histories of the fur trade and coastal exploration.


SG̱ang Gwaay Llanagaay ("Red Cod Island"), commonly known by its English name Ninstints, is a village site of the Haida people and part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site on Haida Gwaii on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada.

The village site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a National Historic Site of Canada, and a National Marine Conservation site.

Old Massett Village Council

Old Massett Village Council is a band government of the Haida people, located at Old Massett, British Columbia, Canada, in the Queen Charlotte Islands, also known as Haida Gwaii ("Islands of the Haida"). Old Massett Village Council is one of two band governments forming the Haida Tribal Society (a tribal council), the other is the Skidegate Band Council. The main governing body of the Haida people is the Council of the Haida Nation.

Pamela Rae Huteson

Pamela Rae Huteson (born 1957) is an Alaska Native author and illustrator, from Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. She is both Tlingit and Haida, of the Shungkweidi Eagle moiety, from the Wolf House.

Part Owner & DJ of the on-line ThunderCloud Radio, Home of the Hu-Haa Hitz. Featuring Native Hip Hop, Native R&B, & Native Reggae from Hawaii to Greenland.

She has collaborated with her son to produce a Tlingit culture app, Totem Stories, based on her book.


Skaay was a blind, crippled storyteller of the Haida village of Ttanuu born c. 1827 at Qquuna. Skaay could neither read nor write, but his stories of Haida mythology have survived in the form of written transcriptions taken down by John Swanton with the aide of Henry Moody over the winter of 1900. These transcriptions of myths are unique in the literature, both for their fidelity (due to Swanton) to the precise wordings of the mythteller, and for the survival of the pre-translation originals.

The stories Skaay chose to dictate are the Qquuna Cycle, the longest poem recorded in Haida, Qquuna Qiighawaay, the oral history of Skaay's family, and Raven Travelling, Skaay's original take on the well-worn tale (see Raven Tales).

Skaay appears three times in church records: first, in 1884 when he was baptized "Robert McKay"; second, on 13 March 1892, again a baptism, where his name is entered simply as "Sky"; third, in January 1894 when he registers a marriage to "Esther" and was baptized once more, this time as "John Sky". In Haida, 'Skaay' refers to a type of mollusk. The Haida were divided into two social groups, or moieties, called Raven and Eagle. Skaay belonged to the Eagle side or moiety.

Todd Gloria

Todd Rex Gloria (born May 10, 1978) is an American politician serving in the California State Assembly. A Democrat, he represents the 78th Assembly District, which encompasses much of San Diego and is the current Majority Whip.

Prior to his election to the Assembly in 2016, Gloria served as the member of the San Diego City Council representing District 3. He was president of the nine-member council from 2012 through 2014. In his role as council president, Gloria served as interim Mayor of San Diego from the August 2013 resignation of Mayor Bob Filner until the March 2014 inauguration of Mayor Kevin Faulconer.On January 9, 2019, Gloria announced that he would run for Mayor of San Diego in the 2020 election. In announcing his campaign, he focused on housing affordability, homelessness, and climate change, and promised to build a "world class public transportation system."


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