Skidegate celebrates 2020 grads with button blanket ceremony

The Skidegate Band Council celebrated graduates of 2020 on Saturday, June 27 with a button blanket ceremony that included Haida singing, drumming and speeches. The custom-made button blankets that were presented to the graduating students are pictured in this submitted photo. (Roberta Aiken/Byrds Eye View Photography)
The Skidegate Band Council celebrated graduates of 2020 on Saturday, June 27 with a button blanket ceremony that included Haida singing, drumming and speeches. The custom-made button blankets that were presented to the graduating students are pictured in this submitted photo. (Roberta Aiken/ Byrds Eye View Photography)

The Skidegate Band Council celebrated grads of 2020 on Saturday (June 27) with a beautiful button blanket ceremony.

After opening words from Tracy Hageman on behalf of the band council, graduating students Teniel Houston, Tyson Jones, Bailey McDonald, Jacey Pollard, Trey Rorick, Lyndsay Russ, Schon Sjolund and Olivia Wilson were introduced along with their family members and plans for the future, from travel and business school to training in mechanics and Indigenous studies.

Students Melva Collinson-Young, Taylor Lund, Dustin Davidson, Jordyn Sankey, Dawson Sterritt and Chayla Williams were also graduating and sent their regrets.

VIDEO: Haida Gwaii high school grads celebrate with drive-in ceremony, parade

MC Gyahgujaang Robert Russ led the ceremony, which included Haida drumming and singing, and the presentation of button blankets that were custom-made for each student.

Teniel Houston’s blanket was made by Nina Williams with a two-fin killer whale design done by Terry Williams.

Tyson Jones’ blanket was made by grandma Bubbles, aunty Michelle and his mom, and the Raven design was done by his late cousin Jesse Jones.

Wally Pelton and Norina Gladstone made Bailey McDonald’s blanket. The design, done by Wally Pelton, is a five-fin killer whale with a bentwood box as well as an Eagle and Raven to represent her chinaay Donk.

For Jacey Pollard, Wilson Brown and her aunty Tara made a blanket with a butterfly spreading it wings, and Raven borders representing her clan were also done by Wilson Brown.

Trey Rorick, who made a speech during the ceremony as the Haida grad class representative, received a blanket made by his aunty Dolly as well as sisters Raven and Loni. The design of the Wasgo, or supernatural Sea-Wolf, was done by his sister Raven.

ALSO READ: Haida UBC grad awarded prestigious academic honour

Lyndsay Russ’ blanket was also made by Nina Williams, and buttons were done by Leah Russ and Ross Kakuschke. The wolf design was done by Clayton Gladstone.

Schon Sjolund’s blanket was designed by his dad, Wilson Brown (Gidhaagans) and sewn by his mom, Tara (Jaad Haana). It is a Wasgo design for his love of ocean creatures with Raven borders to represent his clan motifs and dreams to become a marine biologist.

Last but not least, Olivia Wilson’s blanket was made by Wally Pelton and Norina Gladstone, and the black bear holding a rainbow person design was also done by Wally Pelton.

ALSO READ: Pole design changed after October earthquake

According to the program, grads from the “Kyahlgwa Sk’aadga” distributed learning school within Gid Galang Kuuyas Naay Secondary School were Nathan Brooks, Teresa Russ, Madison Brown and Leah Walker.

Off-island students acknowledged during the ceremony included Tyler Jones, who graduated from Charles Hayes Senior Secondary in Prince Rupert, Naomi Kuhn, who graduated from West Seattle High School, and Warner Hyndman, who graduated from Port Hardy Secondary School.

Post-secondary grads were Trystan Boyko, who completed her BSc in Marine Biology at the Hawaii Pacific University, Kostan Levirs, who completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Business at the University of Victoria, and Michaela McGuire, who completed her Masters in Criminology at Simon Fraser University.

Gwaganad Diane Brown closed the ceremony with a prayer.

ALSO READ: ‘Priceless’ grad dress handmade by Okanagan teen’s grandma stolen

Do you have something we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Graduation 2020

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

Just Posted

Jennifer Rice BC NDP North Coast Incumbent was re-elected for a third according to the preliminary results on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Subsea fibre optics running from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii and and then south to Vancouver will improve high-speed internet connection options for Coastal Communities, CityWest said on Oct. 13.
Subsea fibre optics running from north of Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii and and then south to Vancouver will improve high-speed internet connection options for Coastal communities, CityWest said on Oct. 13. (Black Press Media)
CityWest to refresh subsea fibre optics project

Fibre optics project to run cable from north of Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii then south to Vancouver

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Most Read