Skidegate, BC, Canada : Graham Island
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada
Village, Queen Charlottes is located on Skidegate Inlet
on the southern point of Graham Island. The largest island in
the Haida Gwaii Islands archipelago. Skidegate Village,
known for its beautiful Totem Poles and talented First Nation
carvers is 2 km north of the main BC Ferry Terminal connecting
to Moresby Island and Prince Rupert on the mainland.
Haida culture and tradition has always been a big
part of the history of Skidegate Village. Legend
goes that, during the late 1700's and early 1800's - a peak period
of otter fur trading - Skidegate was named after a chief of the
First Nation village. An explorer named Daniel Pender surveyed
the waterway in 1866, changing the name from Skit-ei-get, meaning
'red paint stone', to Skidegate.
Today, the small village lining the coastline is
a story book of Totem Poles, deep in Haida Gwaii arts, culture
and history. The section of the Skidegate area along Hwy 16 leads
to a gas station and the six magnificent totem poles at Qay'llnagaay
Heritage Centre ("Sea-Lion Town").
Once an ancient Haida town, the Qay'llnagaay Heritage
Centre is a cultural gathering place of information including
the Bill Reid Teaching Centre (a well respected Haida Gwaii artist),
a Program Management Centre, a Haida Gwaii Museum, gift store
and an expanded Canoe Carving House.
The waterfront of Skidegate Village is a mix of residential homes, an art gallery, beautiful coastline
views, viewing benches, a restaurant and some picnic tables. It
is also the site of Bill Reid's Totem Pole. A famous Haida artist
who paddled from Vancouver, carrying a group of passengers in
a 1909 Haida canoe called Loo Taas, or "Wave Eater,".
A 3 week trip commissioned by Expo 86.
Logging and commercial fishing once dominated this
small village. But times are changing as eco tourism and the history
of the Haida people is attracting more attention. The art of the
Haida people attracts the most attention and the outdoor adventure
activities is the kicker, bonus.
The Skidegate area provides an
opportunity to enjoy sport fishing, wilderness camping, boating,
off roading, beachcombing, hiking, wildlife viewing, bird watching,
cultural tours and sea kayaking. Sometimes you can even, luck
out, and see a whale while standing on shore as they feed in the
shallow gravel waters of Skidegate Inlet sometimes.
Accommodations and restaurants are few. In
Queen Charlotte City and at some of the other villages on Graham
Island of Haida Gwaii there are accommodations. While
visiting the region check out the Spirit
Lake Trail. It is a treat with beautiful lakes to discover
and it does not take a long time to complete. Lokking for a beach,
while then there is Jungle
Beach with massive pebbled, sandy beaches and a driftwood
look-out tower eh.
Exploring Skidegate, Haida Gwaii in BCeh!