Gwaii Haanas staff and Haida Gwaii Watchmen clipping vegetation on poles at SGang Gwaay © Parks Canada / Debbie Gardiner
The monumental poles of SGang Gwaay Llnagaay are Gwaii Haanas’ most iconic attractions.
To the public, these poles represent the essence of coastal First Nations culture. Fewer and fewer sites, coast wide, have historic standing poles, making this site precious and unique. However, because of the age of these poles, they require special attention.
The poles will return to the earth and the Haida consider this to be a part of the natural process. With this in mind, conservation work has included two large pole straightening projects and yearly maintenance.
In 1995 and 1997, with the agreement of the Haida hereditary leaders, some badly leaning poles were straightened. Yearly pole conservation work is carried out by Parks Canada staff and the Haida Gwaii Watchmen and it includes clipping vegetation from the fronts and tops of the poles and house remains and trimming the surrounding grass.
Some conservation work is done in the villages of T’aanuu and K’uuna each year by the Watchmen Program staff.