February 17, 2010 | 2010 Olympics >
Vancouver, Historic & Heritage Sites
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Greeted by a Haida Gwaii resident in full Aboriginal dress, I stepped through a wooden entrance built like a traditional longhouse. To my left stood a giant carving of a raven, while a totem pole filled other side and a beautiful mask hung above. Welcome to the mystical, legendary world of Haida Gwaii or 'Islands of the People'.
Located on a series of islands at the most westerly point of Canada, and formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii is a haven for wildlife watchers, adventurers and those interested in Aboriginal culture. I’ve always wanted to go, and got the lowdown on transport, accommodation and touring options from the helpful ambassadors and several videos playing.
I could get there by small charter plane or BC Ferry, plan to stay in a B&B and book onto a cultural tour. One thing I’d love to see is the Loo Tass canoe (built by Haida artist Bill Reid). On view at the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay – it was used to bring the Olympic Torch to Haida Gwaii.