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Gwaii Haanas Orientation

Are you planning a trip to Gwaii Haanas this season?

There are three opportunities to attend the Gwaii Haanas Orientation in the Vancouver and Victoria areas.

  • Saturday April 2, 2 p.m. at the West Vancouver Memorial Library
  • Sunday April 10, 2 p.m. at the Fort Langley National Historic Site
  • Tuesday April 12, 7 p.m. at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney

This orientation is required before you can visit Gwaii Haanas. The orientation is normally presented in Skidegate on central Haida Gwaii.

Attending one of these three orientations will allow you to enter the area by boat directly from the mainland coast after you have made your reservations, making passage to the area far more convenient. Even if you are just thinking about going to Gwaii Haanas, this orientation will be a great way to learn more about this incredible place.

Plan your visit

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site is a wild place without roads or stores or cellphone coverage.

It is a place where people can explore a way of life in which the land and sea are intertwined with humans and the supernatural. It is a place with over 12,000 years of human history.

Start planning a trip to Gwaii Haanas this year!

The Gwaii Haanas Trip Planner 2016 (PDF 2.3 MB) is available for download.

The hot springs are back!

Ernie Gladstone, Superintendent, Gwaii Haanas, standing by the pools on Hotspring Island Ernie Gladstone, Superintendent, Gwaii Haanas, is thrilled with the return of hot water at Hotsprings Island
© Parks Canada

Gwaii Haanas staff have confirmed that hot water is flowing into the pools on Hotspring Island.

Parks Canada scientists will return to the island at the end of this month to collect data related to temperature and flow.

Water flow and thermal activity on Hotspring Island stopped after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck in late October 2012.

Thermal activity has gradually increased since January 2014 with hot water seeping from various locations on the island. 

Parks Canada expects the hot springs to continue to recover over time, but has no way of knowing if they will return to historical levels or temperatures, or even surpass them.

The Haida language name of the island, Gandll K’in, means “hot water”. There were at least 26 hot springs and seeps on the island prior to the earthquake in 2012.

These springs produced water at temperatures ranging from 32 to 77 degrees Celsius. The area of the hot springs is located close to a major fault system with a warm reservoir several kilometers deep.

The site has been culturally important to the Haida people for many generations thanks to its warm waters, unique ecology and abundance of seafood.

Government of Canada and Haida Nation achieve seabird habitat restoration success

Ancient Murrelet chick Ancient Murrelet chick
© Parks Canada

Arichika Island, a once highly productive seabird colony and important cultural resource, which was devastated for years by introduced invasive rats, has been declared rat-free.

The ecosystem is recovering thanks to a restoration project implemented by the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada in collaboration with international partners experienced in island restoration and invasive species removals.

Invasive species are the number one threat to ecological and cultural heritage in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site.

According to traditional knowledge, the Ancient Murrelet (SGin Xaana or night bird in the Haida language) was once abundant on Arichika Island and was an important seasonal food source for the Haida.

"The protection of species at risk is a high priority for Parks Canada. Through initiatives like this, Parks Canada is achieving real conservation results in support of the National Conservation Plan. The rat free status of Arichika Island is a good example of concerted actions undertaken in a cooperative manner by the Haida Nation, the Government of Canada and partners."

Ernie Gladstone, Superintendent, Gwaii Haanas Field Unit.

SGin Xaana Sdiihltl’lxa: Night Birds Returning

News release

Minister Aglukkaq announces search for archaeological sites and shipwrecks at Gwaii Haanas

The Lady Washington is pictured at SGang Gwaay while trading with the Haida for sea otter pelts in 1791
The Lady Washington is pictured at SGang Gwaay while trading with the Haida for sea otter pelts in 1791. The Ino would have been the same rig and tonnage as this vessel and carried a crew of around 22 Image courtesy of Gordon Miller

The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Kil tlaats’gaa, Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation, today announced an exciting new Parks Canada led underwater archaeology project that will search for various underwater archaeological sites and, for the first time, the remains of historic shipwrecks in the Gwaii Haanas region.

This work is a continuation of years of work by Parks Canada and various partners to explore, study, protect and share with the public the rich archaeological heritage of the area.

Underwater Archaeology