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

Skidegate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read