Masset Magic: Time for school, craft, and costumes

By Evelyn von Almassy

It’s official.

Fall is here.

September 22 marked the autumnal equinox. For us on Haida Gwaii, it means that soon we will go to work in the dark and return home in the dark, if you work nine to five. But there is hope. In February, the light slowly returns. Fall is also an excellent time to do inside projects, and to read all the books you didn’t get to read at the beach because, well, mostly there was no sun.

We are nearly into October, which means people are gearing up for the Masset Craft Sale. Yes, put this date on your calendar: Saturday, Nov. 18, atHoward Phillips Community Hall. I believe the tables are all booked, but you may wish to confirm that with Cynthia Davis.

Hallowe’en of course is the big event at the end of October. Remember that you need a good flashlight, and costumes that won’t trip you up. Our local thrift shop will have supplies for homemade costumes, and it isn’t too early to start. Anyone taking any bets on what the most popular costumes will be this year? Bears? The guy in the White House? Kim Jong Un? Bent knees? High heels? There is certainly no scarcity of political options.

Students in the new Reconciliations Studies semester have completed their first course. I had a chance to meet a couple of them, including Michael Hyer.

“It’s a pilot program,” he said. “I am honoured to be here on the unceded territories of the Haida Nation.”

The 18 students are learning from academics and traditional Haida knowledge keepers. One course — Reconciliation and Communities — runs the entire four months, while the others last a month each. First Nations and Canada: (Re)writing History has just been completed; Law and Governance: Indigenous and European Traditions is just beginning, with Perspectives on Reconciliation after that, and Reconciliation and Resource Management being the last one. Michael went on to say that he is happy to be here and thankful for the opportunity to learn.

The courses are set in the context, experience, the land and seascape of the Haida people. One of the local instructors is Jasḵwaan Amanda Bedard-Edenshaw, who is a Haida language scholar and teacher, and lives in Masset. Nika Collison who is an associate curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum, and Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, M.A. (c) are both from Skidegate.

Please Facebook message your local news by Thursday, Oct. 5 and enjoy the last week of September!