Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole

img_0782Jaalen was commissioned by Parks Canada to carve the 42 foot Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole to commemorate the creation of Gwaii Haanas 25 years ago, marking the efforts of the people who worked towards it.  The move to protect Gwaii Haanas began with the Haida standing up at Windy Bay on Lyell Island, blockading logging trucks to stop the clearcutting of the old growth forest.

The pole crests and figures from bottom to top are the K‘aal (Sculpin), Xuu.ajii (Bear), Tleyhll ‘Laa T’alang XaaydaGas GiiXaang (5 good people standing together), Xuuya (Raven), Kuuya GyaaGandal (Sacred One Standing and Moving), ‘WaasGo (Sea Wolf), Xaa (Dog), K’uuxuu (Marten), K‘awKaa (Visitor), Gina Ga ga Kyahts’as (Watchmen), Guud (Eagle).

Jaalen carved the pole in 2012/2013 at the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay.  As the time of the raising approached, Parks transported the pole to Windy Bay in Gwaii Haanas by barge and the carving continued at the Watchmen site. International media were present for the pole raising, including the New York Times, and a live stream of the raising was broadcast on the internet.  Around 400 people made the journey down to Windy Bay to be present for the raising, and over the streaming several thousand people viewed the event.

Below are two videos giving the story of the pole.  See the Media page for more video of the pole and the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole Gallery for more photos.

Parks Canada Video

Pole Crests Video

© 2024 Jaalen Edenshaw
© 2024 Jaalen Edenshaw