Gwaii Haanas: Land Sea People

Gwaii Haanas: Land Sea People tells stories of the only place in Canada protected from mountaintop to seafloor. Thirty years after the Haida took a stand at Lyell Island, this unique place exists as an unprecedented example of cooperative management, between the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada.

The exhibition has been developed with the knowledge that “Gina Waadluxaan K'ud Ad Kwaagiidang” or everything is connected. It is presented by the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in the spirit of collaborative partnership with: Parks Canada, the Haida Nation, the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, HaiCo, Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Simon Fraser University and the City of Vancouver.

In the words, of exhibition Curator, Kwiaahwah Jones, “the extraordinary energy of Gwaii Haanas feeds the creative spirit, inspiring humanity from time immemorial to create ceremony and art that express the profound connection to this remarkable place.”

This ground-breaking exhibition brings together Haida and Canadian artists who create expressions that reflect the timeless wonder of Gwaii Haanas, which means “Islands of Beauty”. The exhibition reaches deeply into ancient history to tell of the supernatural origins of Haida Gwaii, and the Haida ancestors emerging from the ocean. The ceremonial button robes of the Haida elders, who were the first to be arrested at Lyell Island, represent the stewardship spirit of the Haida people. Films bring forward brilliant images and stories that tell of those who have travelled to Gwaii Haanas, connecting mountain top to seafloor. Paintings and photographs capture the vitality and essence of the landscapes and ancient Haida villages. Altogether, these multiple expressions create a feeling in the Bill Reid Gallery that exists nowhere else but in Gwaii Haanas.


Exhibition Partners



October 28, 2015 to March 27, 2016


On The Go!: Gwaii Haanas Exhibition on Shaw TV
On The Go!


Photo in Header: Tanu Longhouse Panorama. Photos in slider: Dancing the Legacy by Pole Jason, Legacy Pole Detail by Jags Brown Shafto, Adelaide de Menil Ninstints19 1968