In the Haida culture, the cedar tree is known as the 'tree of life'. Traditionally, when babies were born, they were placed in cedar boxes. When people died, their bodies were also placed in cedar boxes. These trees are also used for one of the well-known symbols of Haida culture - totem poles.
A new perspective on the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole, a 42-foot monumental pole commissioned by a unique cooperative management board made up of equal members of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada. This was the first pole raised in the Gwaii Haanas region in over 130 years.
When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he carved the first new totem pole on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter steps easily through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire village of Old Massett gathered to celebrate the event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit.
A sacred totem pole that has been in Victoria, B.C. museum for over a century has been returned to its owners, the Nuxalk Nation. CBC’s Wawmeesh Hamilton takes us through its repatriation back home to Bella Coola, B.C. and he tells us what this homecoming means for the community.