Sailing Cruise to South Moresby and Gwaii Haanas National Park

A brief orientation on the sailboat is followed by a quick overview of the first evening's sailing ahead, as we make our way to South Moresby and Gwaii Haanas. This is our first taste of what the adventure will be like. We are all just taking it in.

Haida Pole Carver Takes Visitors on a Carving Shed Tour

A visit to Haida Gwaii would not be complete without meeting a local carver. Norman Price is a Haida elder in Skidegate who makes himself available to our trip participants. He is of the Raven Clan.

The pole he carved and raised in front of his house on the occasion of his 80th birthday a few years ago always draws the attention and interest of our guests. He has been carving and designing since his very early teens... watchmen, raven, mouse, eagles, bear and cubs... and beavers.

But the real treat is when he invites us over to his carving shed. His sense of humour is as vivid as ever, as he demonstrates how even master carvers must sometimes adapt to technological advances.

But not all modern tools are equally suited to Haida carving needs.

He also loves to work with argillite, a type of black slate sedimentaty rock harvested from a Queen Charlotte Islands quarry owned by the Haida , the material from which can only be used by Haida carvers... The material became more popular as a carving medium after the demised of the fur trade.

Totem poles were so highly prized they they fetched as much as 1 dollar per foot for a house pole and $1.50 per foot for a burial pole in institutions like the Field Museum in Chicago by the end of the 19th Century.

Visiting the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, BC, Canada

From the top of their pole, Haida Watchmen who might have been on the lookout for invaders from foreign lands centuries ago are now welcoming visitors to Skidegate. Master harvesters, carvers and navigators, the Haida were true masters of the sea.

A visit at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate is the best way to start seeing the world through the eyes of a very successful nation with great knowledge, elaborate trade networks, rich material culture and a wealth of traditions.

There are as many histories of Canada as there are are First Nations. If anything, the Haida have reclaimed their history in an inspiring way -- one where they are again taking control of their destiny, their resources.

They are developing a tourism industry that is based on sound stewardhip practices.

And quite frankly, the Haida are showing the world a part of Canada that most Canadians know very little about and that most will likely never see. Because, to come here and to experience Haida Gwaii the way it should be experienced requires from visitors that they be prepared to be exposed to a world that has very little to do with what most of us were led to believe Canada was like when we went to school.

My first impression of Haida Gwaii was that of a land inhabited by a people who draw their identity from the place they inhabit with great wisdom.

It seems one of the lessons I learned is that material wealth can play a positive role in how a people grounds itself in the environment which nutured it.

My visit to the Haida Heritage Centre certainly opened my eyes. I'm OK with that. I am just along for the journey... just as long as I learn a little bit more every day from those I share my journey with.

Looking for professional rafting guides in Newfoundland

A quick note to let you know about this request from a Newfoundland operation that we received this morning. Pretty straight forward. Feel free to reply directly to them:


My name is Jason, I'm the manager of Rafting Newfoundland.  Not sure if you're familiar with our operation, but we run rafting trips down Exploits River in Central Newfoundland, Canada.  The portion we run features class three rapids.

We are in the process of hiring for our 2011 season, and we would appreciate it very much if you would consider us for students and alumni of your rafting program that are qualified but you are unable to provide a job for.

We're planning to hire four guides in total (we already have one confirmed), but we may only have full time work for 3.75 guides.  It would be ideal to have three exceptionally qualified guides, and one eager and promising beginner that is seeking time on the river and will be happy even with slightly less work than the other guides.

We run a short 12 week season (we operate from mid-May to early Oct, but are only really busy from mid-June to mid-Sep), but pay fair to compensate.  Guides can expect between $6,000 - $7,500 (Canadian Dollars) for the 12 weeks including bonuses.  We start at $110/trip through the peak season, and offer bonuses throughout the season.   We offer our guides free accommodation in riverfront cabins.

Please feel free to forward students to our website,, or they can contact me for a full job description.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

All the best,

Jason Nault
Administration, Marketing & Web Design
Riverfront Chalets & Rafting Newfoundland
P.O. Box 661, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
Canada  A2A 2K2
Reservations: 709-486-0892
Office: 719-387-0866
Cell: 709-293-3690
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