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Transcript for Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole 2013

Animated Title Sequence: Haida Nation and Canada flag.

Gwaai Edenshaw carving

Monumental poles are more than just art; they hold histories, they mark events, and they tell stories.

Jaalan speaking and carving

Animated Title Sequence: "The Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole Honouring the Past and Shaping the Future"

Haida singing and drumming throughout

This pole that we’re working on here is 42 feet, and it tells many different stories from the Gwaii Haanas area.

Aerial map of Haida Gwaii

It also represents the 20th anniversary of the agreement between the Haida Nation and Canada

Aerial shot of Gwaii Haanas, and a parks employee sitting on top of a mountain wearing a cedar hat

to protect Gwaii Haanas from mountaintop to sea floor.

Images of a kelp forest, dolphins jumping, and black bear on the beach flipping over rocks

When I was a little kid, my dad was always carving he was working on canoes, working on a totem pole right in our house

Pictures of Jaalen as a little kid sitting in a canoe that's being hollowed out

Jaalen, Gwaii Haanas, Legacy Pole Carver

and as I grew up I started to realize how fortunate I was to be able to grow up around that and learn from that.

In the Old days the poles used to line the villages, there’d be dozens in front of every village.

Images of old vilage sites

In the early 1900’s the missionaries were coming and encouraging the people

Image of people cutting a pole

to cut down the poles and collectors were coming in and taking them.

So it’s really nice to be part of the bringing back of the poles to Gwaii Haanas.

Jaalen talking to parks staff and visitors about the pole

When we’re walking through the forest looking for a cedar to be used for a totem pole or a canoe

Jaalen walking through the forest looking at old cedar trees

it’s a pretty neat feeling because the same features that we’re looking for in a forest

are the same things that my ancestors were looking for 5,000 years ago

And they were walking through the same forests.

Hluugitgaa, Gwaai Edenshaw, Assistant carver

The pole that we’re working on is the first pole to go up in 130 years in Gwaii Haanas

Gwaai drawing the face on a protestor

and this feature right here shows the Athlii Gwaii blockade.

Pictures of people at the Athlii Gwaii blockade

What happened was there was a blockade in the early 1980’s and that stopped the logging

and protected Gwaii Haanas for future generations.

Images of Lyell Island bockade when the elders came to help and were being arrested

It was important for me to put the story of Athlii Gwaii on the pole

and a lot of people put in a lot of work to create Gwaii Haanas.

This is the old story of how earthquakes happened on Haida Gwaii, the figure is sacred one standing and moving

Jaalen carving sacred- one-standing-and-moving

And as he moves that’s when Haida Gwaii shakes and causes the earthquakes.

I put this on because after I started carving the pole we had a major earthquake on Haida Gwaii

and the water in our hotsprings down in Gwaii Haanas actually stopped flowing to the pools.

Tyler York, assistant carver

This figure here is a watchman, a lot of Haida Poles have watchmen on the top

Tyler carving the pole, Watchmen helping guests at Skedans Village Site in Gwaii Haanas

but I wanted to include this because we have the Gwaii Haanas watchmen and they look after the old village sites.

And they educate the people who come to visit.

A visitor and Watchman walking past the poles at Sgang Gwaay, Kids arriving on a beach in a Zodiac. A kayaker in the ocean.

I put this figure of a visitor peaking out of the ear of the wasco, I wanted to include

those who come down to the islands to explore and appreciate it and have them represented in there

Jaalen's hand resting on the carving of the visitor while it changes from plain to painted

Legacy Pole Raising in Hlk'yah Gawga (Windy Bay)

Laurel Currie, Visitor to Gwaii Haanas

We just arrived here at Windy Bay and we're just about to start raising the pole,

At Windy Bay, there's lot of people walking around the pole as it lays on the ground

There’s lots of people as you can see and we’re getting really excited and so honoured to be here for it

Drumming starts in the background

The carvers dance around the pole yelling, Jaalen and Gwaai are thrusting with carving tools while Tyler is waving the Haida nation flag

Ok, we’re going to get people on the lines

Ok guys ready? Easy on the rope

Visitors holding the ropes in preparation to pull up the Legacy Pole

One! Two! Three! Heave!



People cheering loudly in the bakcground while Parks Canada staff and people from the Haida Nation work together to raise the pole

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hey!

Roley motions for people to stop pulling as the pole is twisting sideways

This way, this side more

Slack up on that side

Ok we’re good, keep going easy, easy!

Pole clunks back into the right place, and the raising continues

Everyone cheers as the Legacy Pole is standing

Its such a powerful moment watching the pole go up, it shows that our way of life is continuing

The world around us is always changing, but the meaning behind what we do, stays the same

Jaalen standing with Gwaii and Tyler smiling while they look up at their pole

[Text] Gwaii Haanas is protected by a cooperative management board made up of equal representatives from the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada.

[Text] The Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole celebrates 20 years of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada working together.

[Text] Video shot and edited by : Nate Jolley ( Additional footage by: Joseph Crawford and Benson Hilgemann

[Text] Haida music with the permision of K'aaju Hla - the Haida Song Project

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