SGang Gwaay longhouse opening ceremony
The opening and blessing of the new Haida Gwaii Watchmen cabin on June 20th, 2016, at SGang Gwaay Llnagaay. This cabin was built to replace an older cabin that was built in the 1970’s by one of the first Watchmen; Captain Gold.
The cabin is located in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. This protected site location is favoured by all Watchmen because it is one of the largest of all the abandoned villages located in Moresby Island. The historic village, which had at least 300 Haida, is now uninhabited with the exception of half the year by the Haida. These watchmen meet and greet all visitors to the site, and provide histories and information regarding this exceptional village.
There is a haunting presence from the ancestors spirits, and the feeling is more intense to those who are sensitive.
The site was occupied for at least 2,000 years by the Haida, and the numbers were varied during the hunting and gathering season. The winter season would have been utilized for building projects, ceremonies, and socialization with other villages. The numbers that occupied SGang Gwaay were significantly lowered by the smallpox infestation, and the survivors then moved to Skidegate to build a new home.