Back to Daajing Giids! After an incredible day in SGang Gwaay visiting an ancestral village with still-standing historic totem poles, our Haida hosts thought it appropriate to bring us to Old Massett – and what a joy it was! This remarkable township is home to two master carvers responsible for sharing their culture far and wide. Jim Hart showed us his home studio where we got to meet his mother and his son. Together, Jim and his son shared the stories of the three totem poles outside of their home, each with a unique story regarding close family members. Another master carver some 5 minutes down the road, Christian White, beckoned us into his carving shed where he and his apprentices were actively shaping a canoe out of red cedar. Christian and Jim honor their ancestors’ legacies by training young Haida as carvers, each having several apprentices.

In both workshops, the smell of newly carved cedar brought a sense of purpose and hard work; wood shavings danced in the air like the Haida dancers would just after lunch today. It was another wonderful day of sharing, dancing, singing, and laughing.