The First Monumental Pole Raised in Gwaii Haanas in 130 Years

Monumental Pole

More than 400 people participated today in the raising of the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole, a 42-foot monumental pole that celebrates 20 years of cooperative management since the signing of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement by the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mr. Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation, are pleased to announce that the Gwaii Haanas Legacy is now standing in Hlk’yah GawGa (Windy Bay).

“Raising this monumental pole is a fitting way to recognize two decades of cooperative management in this exceptional place,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Our Government is committed to working with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples to protect and present Canada’s natural and cultural treasures and works with the Haida Nation to ensure Gwaii Haanas remains protected for future generations.”

“Monumental poles commemorate the stories and history of the Haida,” said Mr. Lantin. “The Gwaii Haanas Agreement is historic in that our two governments have agreed to disagree about ‘title’ to Haida Gwaii. The Legacy Pole tells the story of how we work together for the common good, resulting in the successful care of land and waters for the benefit of all people.”

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been working in collaboration with Parks Canada and the Haida Nation as part of the Archipelago Management Board since 2010,” said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This is a testament to the strong cooperation on conservation of the fisheries by our government and the Haida First Nation.”

The Legacy Pole is the first monumental pole to be raised in over 130 years in the remote protected area of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. The design for the pole, created by carver Jaalen Edenshaw, was inspired by those who take care of Gwaii Haanas and was selected for its detailing of the interconnections between land, sea and people through human, animal and supernatural carved forms.

Funded by Parks Canada at a cost of $130,000, the Legacy Pole Project is being completed in collaboration with the Haida Nation. The project has also included public outreach activities in which the carver and Parks Canada representatives have provided visitors and school groups with an opportunity to experience the various stages of monumental pole carving.

Parks Canada works to ensure Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.

The Council of the Haida Nation is the governing body of the Haida Nation.

Together, the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation manage Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site through the Archipelago Management Board.

For more information on the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole Project visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca and/or www.haidanation.ca.

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