Early this morning, National Geographic Sea Lion set her anchor off Anthony Island, in the southwest corner of Haida Gwaii. It is the location of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old Haida village of SGang Gwaay. The village is also called Ninstints by Europeans, a corruption of the name of the chief of the village, Nan stins (“He who is two”). The Haida name for the village is Squa’ngwa-l Inaga’l, or “Red Cod Island Town”. Sgang Gwaay is considered the most secluded and protected of all old Haida villages.

What brings both Indigenous and non-native travelers to this remote location, are the mortuary poles in situ. A world-famous location, these mortuary poles stand exactly where they were raised in the early 1800’s.

Our shipmates were divided into groups of twelve, then ferried ashore with our three Haida hosts, Grace, Getinjud, and Barbara. These ladies walked, talked, sang, sharing their Haida culture for the entire day. From phenomenal and beautiful Haida stories of this sacred site, our group moved from shore to sea for Zodiac rides.

It was an amazing day spent with Haida people in a place of great and important history to the Haida Nation.