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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada

Russell Island Host Program

Maria Mahoi
Maria Mahoi
© Salt Spring Island Archives

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve initiated a new volunteer host program in 2009 at Russell Island in collaboration with the descendents of Maria Mahoi, a pioneering woman of Hawaiian (Kanaka) and First Nations descent whose family owned and lived on the island from 1902 to 1960. Through a volunteer agreement with the park reserve, the Mahoi descendents share with visitors their family stories about life on Russell Island. Their personal connection to the island adds a particular authenticity to the interpretation of the island's history. The descendants welcome visitors in the house's parlour, and provide information about the island's history as well as share stories about their personal family connection to the island and homestead.

The hosts are on site during the summer season in July and August. They are available to the public in the afternoons and early evenings on most days.

Please note: Russell Island is only accessible by boat or kayak and there is no ferry service to the island.

Learn more about the Hawaiian settlement on Russell Island