Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Standing Guard in SGaang Gwaii

Last summer, we spent a week kayaking in Haida Gwaii. It was an unforgettable trip, filled with images and sounds and experiences that were unlike anything I've encountered before. The scenery was spectacular but the visits to the Haida villages, like SGaang Gwaii (Anthony Island/Ninstints), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were the highlights of the trip. It was powerful and sad at the same time. While there was something elegant about the way that nature is reclaiming these sites, there is a sense of loss as well. All too soon, the evidence of these people will be gone or relegated to recreations and photos. But meanwhile, the watchmen care for the villages, welcoming visitors but keeping the sacred safe. It was a privilege to be invited to participate and I'm grateful we had the chance.

UPDATE - I amended the title of this photo and the location of the village, after reading my notes more carefully.


Heather said...

It's an eerily beautiful picture -- haunting. That's the feel of the heritage areas on Haida Gwaii. I feel grateful to have seen and experienced this. Heather

Dave said...

I'm glad you like the picture. That's the feeling I wanted to convey. And I'm glad you've finally left a's your first in five years, right?