A photograph of a page from the Haida Gwaii Observer newspaper that was distributed on Thursday, August 6, 1970. (Haida Gwaii Observer file)

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Fourteen sea otters — six males and eight females — were released in the Bunsby Islands area off the north coast of Vancouver Island, in a second attempt to try and re-establish the species in British Columbia after they were decimated during the fur trade. Members of the expedition, a joint operation of the Federal Department of Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Branch of the provincial Department of Recreation and Conservation, captured 45 of the animals in the Prince William Sound area of Alaska. While they expected some mortality among the animals during the capture and the trip south on the Fisheries Research Board vessel “G.B. Reed,” they reported that a bad storm encountered on the return trip contributed to the losses.

40 YEARS AGO (1980): A commercial fisher Spencer Acker was at sea on July 30 when his ticket was drawn for the top prize of $100,000 in the Kin-Win lottery conducted by the Kinsman Rehabilitation Foundation. The foundation was unable to contact Mr. Acker right away as he was crewing B.C. Packers’ vessel “Scotia Cape.” The $10,000 second prize went to Marie Goll of New Westminster, and the third prize of $5,000 was won by Dolly Magrath of Nanaimo.

30 YEARS AGO (1990): Showing at the Q.C.I. Museum were watercolours by two women artists, one being Manzanita Snow portraying the islands, the other Laura Dutheil, whose theme was ‘Women and Myth Birds.’ Manzanita had recently arrived on the islands and portrayed places such as Balance Rock, driftwood on the beaches, and the shipwreck. Dutheil had been a resident of the Tlell area for seven years. Watercolours of simple but vivid birds conjured up from her imagination reportedly left one “wondering of legends that would explain their being.”

20 YEARS AGO (2000): The Haida Gwaii Repatriation Committee was travelling to the Canadian Museum of Civilization to prepare 150 Haida ancestors for their final journey back to the islands. This repatriation was the result of months of work by the committees of Old Massett and Skidegate. Once the ancestors were returned, there would be two ceremonial feasts held in Skidegate and Old Massett to commemorate the final burial. This was the third repatriation ceremony the Haida had initiated. “Over 300 of our ancestors are stored in metal drawers labelled, mixed together and in plastic bags in museums,” a press release from the committees said. “Just as a coffin or a cross is sacred today, so are the burial boxes or a mortuary pole of our ancestors.”

ALSO READ: From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

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