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Attend a Gwaii Haanas Orientation in Vancouver or Sidney, BC in March 2017

Explore the interconnections between the land, sea and people in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site.

Prepare for an experience in this wild place, without roads, stores or cell phone access. The Islands of Beauty, home to the ancient and fascinating Haida culture, are yours to discover.

An orientation is required before you can visit Gwaii Haanas. Normally presented in Skidegate on central Haida Gwaii, this opportunity will allow you to enter the area by boat directly from the mainland coast after you have made your reservation.

If you would like more information, please contact Anna Maria Husband at 250-559-6322 or annamaria.husband@pc.gc.ca

New Haida Gwaii Watchmen Cabin at SGang Gwaay!

Haida Gwaii Watchmen Cabin at SGang Gwaay

On a sunny day, in late June, a cedar rope was cut at the entrance to celebrate the grand opening of a new cabin for the Haida Gwaii Watchmen at SGang Gwaay Ilnagaay. The new, 1000 square foot, traditional Haida style cabin made of red cedar replaced the memory-laden original built in 1980.

The opening was witnessed by a small group of people representing: Hereditary Chiefs Council, elected members of the Council of the Haida Nation, elected members of Skidegate Band Council, Haida Gwaii Watchmen, Parks Canada-Gwaii Haanas team members, local contractors who built the cabin and others.

SGang Gwaay was rediscovered by Richard Wilson, known as Captain Gold, in the 1970’s. Captain Gold spoke about the work of volunteers to protect the southern old village sites and the beginnings of the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program.

The ceremonial blessing of the cabin by Elder Gladys Vandal and Haida singing ensured that the shelter will begin absorbing memories of its own. Please come and visit the Haida Gwaii Watchmen at SGang Gwaay between May to September each year and enjoy the new cabin’s cedar smell.

Another SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa Success!

Seabird populations in Gwaii Haanas continue to recover thanks to the SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa: Night Birds Returning project – a collaboration between the Council of the Haida Nation, and Parks Canada as well as key partners, including Island Conservation, Coastal Conservation, the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, Lukenbach Trustee Council and Laskeek Bay Conservation Society. In May Murchison and Faraday Islands were declared rat-free, while Arichika was declared rat-free in 2013.

“We’re excited for our next ecosystem restoration project on these islands and what the future holds for humans, song birds and cedar alike,” says Gwaii Haanas Archipelago Management Board Member Robert Bennett.

In efforts to keep the SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa islands rat free, Gwaii Haanas team members continue to work with boaters to distribute rat kits and researchers from the University of British Columbia Okanagan to study the genetics of rat populations throughout Haida Gwaii. By understanding the family trees and patterns of rat movement, Gwaii Haanas team members can continue to keep Murchison, Faraday and Arichika rat free and decide conservation next steps. For more information on this exciting project please visit our SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa page.

Hot pools and boardwalk improvements Announced for Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay and SGang Gwaay

Hot pools and boardwalk

Good news for future visitors of Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay and SGang Gwaay – in July Minister of Environment and Climate Change as well as Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna with the Council of the Haida Nation’s President Peter Lantin, announced infrastructure investments in Gwaii Haanas of over $650,000.

These investments will support projects that directly benefit Haida use of the area along with new visitor experiences. For example, two pools will be built to capture new locations of thermal water flow and offer visitors the opportunity to experience the popular hot springs that were lost when the 2012 earthquake struck Haida Gwaii. Additionally, upgrades to the boardwalk at SGang Gwaay Llnagaay will allow the Haida Gwaii Watchmen and visitors to safely access the site while protecting culturally and ecologically sensitive areas. These upgrades will also make the site more accessible to those with mobility challenges.

A Banner Year – Gwaii Haanas visitation up 30%

Each year thousands of visitors choose to sail, kayak, fly or power boat into Gwaii Haanas – Islands of Beauty. This year Gwaii Haanas hosted 30% more visitors than last year, with more than 2,800 people choosing to cruise the waters and visit the Haida Gwaii Watchmen of our national treasure. Are you planning a trip next year? Whether you want to be self-propelled in a kayak or zoom island to island by zodiac, there are many different ways to visit Gwaii Haanas. Be sure to consult our Tour Operators page for more information.

A New Forest Restoration project in Juan Perez Sound

If you have visited Gwaii Haanas, chances are you’ve seen a Sitka black-tailed deer. These seemingly harmless deer are introduced and invasive, chomping their way through not only intertidal zones and forests but also culturally important plant, tree and bush species. Simply put, the introduced, invasive deer are one of the largest threats ecosystem health in Gwaii Haanas.

Starting March 2017, Parks Canada and the Haida Nation plus other partners will embark on another large-scale ecosystem restoration project in Gwaii Haanas called Llgaay gwii sdiihlda - Restoring Balance. The project aims to restore the natural and cultural plant species decimated by years of deer browsing. Sitka Black-tailed deer will be eradicated from six islands: Ramsay, Faraday, Murchison, Hotspring, House and the Bischofs in order to encourage the regeneration of plants, animals and Haida cultural uses.

“Introduced, invasive species are the number one threat to the cultural and ecological integrity of Gwaii Haanas,” notes AMB member and Gwaii Haanas Field Unit Superintendent Ernie Gladstone, “Eradicating deer during Llgaay gwii sdiihlda or Restoring Balance next spring will help us achieve our long term conservation goals of strengthening Haida cultural activities and restoring ecosystems.”

Restoring Balance will take place between March and July 2017 and will build on the previous good work of SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa (Night Birds Returning) and Yahguudang dlljuu (A Respectful Act) to restore the flora and fauna of some of the islands in Juan Perez Sound. Find out more about Llgaay gwii sdiihlda - Restoring Balance.