In Pictures: Haida Heritage Centre celebrates first 10 years

Nika Collison thanks guests for a gift of sweetgrass. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Nika Collison thanks guests for a gift of sweetgrass. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Singers with Hltaaxuulang Gud ad K’aaju / Friends Together Singing show the clan crests on their button blankets. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Nevermind dancing, walking was a new step to some of the youngest dancers in the girls 13-and-under contest. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
The winner of the boys 13-and-under contest danced in style. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Men and the masculine-minded try a Haida men’s dance in the Performing House. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Fifteen-year-old Trey Rorick dances inches from the floor in the men’s dance competition. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Desi Collinson, right, and Trey Rorick, left, dance over an hour into the men’s competition at the 10th annual Ḵay Centre anniversary. After the contest, Collinson said he could lose and go home happy, knowing his job was done after seeing how well his young cousin danced. “Trey just danced so hard, and with so much heart,” he said. “I don’t really know what do say — I’m speechless.” (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
From left to right, Nika Collison, Frank Russ, and Erica Ryan-Gagne sing their hearts out with the Hltaaxuulang Gud ad K’aaju, who had stamina to match the competing dancers. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Not a bead of sweat could stick to 15-year-old Trey Rorick on Saturday, Aug. 18 as he thrilled the Haida Heritage Centre Performing House by dancing for one hour, 38 minutes to win the men’s Haida dance competition at the Ḵay Centre’s 10th anniversary.

Cheered by the crowd, and by the songs and drumming of Skidegate’s Hltaaxuulang Gud ad K’aaju / Friends Together Singing, Rorick manage to outlast the legendary Desi Collinson and dance inches from the floor.

“This is the strongest feeling you could ever feel,” said Frank Russ, calling over a crowd that cheered past sunset. “The pride of teaching the next generation is what our culture is all about.”

The Ḵay’s 10th anniversary opened with a well-attended clan march, followed by an offical welcome, a toddler regalia review, storytelling by Ḵung Jaadee, a game of laahal (gambling sticks), a X̱aayda Kil/X̱aad Kil spelling bee, and a fish barbecue before wrapping up with the dance performance and competitions.

Speaking to the significance of the Haida Heritage Centre as a venue for Haida ceremony, Nika Collison, executive director and curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum noted that there are still elders alive today who remember dancing in basements with covered windows during the potlatch ban. By continuing in secret, and by sharing with anthropologists and others who wanted to record Haida traditions, they survived against all odds.

“Thank goodness our ancestors chose to do that,” she said. “That’s why today we can share with you.”

Photos by Andrew Hudson

Just Posted

This summer Masset RCMP will give positive tickets to youths

More than a dozen community partners are involved in encouraging good behaviour once school is out

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read