Haida sign unveiled at Masset RCMP station

  • Feb. 20, 2008 10:00 a.m.

by Judy McKinley–Traditional Haida black and red button blankets and the vivid red of the formal Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A thin drizzle fell while K’ay Ts uu Laay Naay – the Haida name for ‘police house’ – was unveiled Tuesday morning outside the RCMP office in Masset to a small crowd gathered for the ceremony. “This marks the working relationship between the RCMP and the Village of Old Massett”, said Sergeant Jim Vardy. The logo, to the left of the new words, he explained, is for Aboriginal Police, on one side of the sign printed with Massett, and the other with Masset, the spellings of the old and new settlements. On the right is the Eagle and Raven logo for the Village of Old Massett.Haida names have been put on the RCMP boat and on two trucks to date. Old Massett Chief Councillor Elizabeth Moore spoke of the collaborative efforts to incorporate this Haida language, and commended Sergeant Vardy for including the Haida language in his work. Her invitation for Sergeant Vardy’s return brought laughter and a murmur of agreement. Masset Mayor Barry Pages thanked Sergeant Vardy for his involvement in the community.”For a long time the Haida language could not seem to get beyond a certain point, said Reno Russ-Chief Iljuuwaas, ” and now it seems that it is going further”. He thanked the young people who worked so hard to get proper Haida pronunciations. He himself consulted Xaad Kil speakers in Hydaburg and Skidegate as well as in Massett to get this name for ‘police house’.Reverend Lily Bell said prayers before Chief Iljuuwaas led the crowd in the three times saying of K’ay Ts uu Laay Naay to make the name legal in the Haida way. After singing, Sergeant Vardy led the group into the RCMP lobby to unveil second purchase of Haida Artwork – this time a watchman design with K’ay Ts uu Laay Naay painted along the image. A celebration lunch was then held at the community hall.

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