I hope that your International Women’s Day Celebration was fun! I was lucky to be invited to a lovely tea which was held in Christian White’s longhouse last Sunday in Old Massett. Rachel Lavrissa and Sandra Dan were the main organizers of the event, and to be at this gathering was truly an empowering feeling. To be in the company of 80 women in one room, reminded me of the power and diversity of women on Haida Gwaii. It’s good to remember that every day of the year. We are stronger when we are together, rowing in the same direction.
Speaking of rowing in the same direction, Carl Coffey who lives in the Village of Queen Charlotte, came to Haida Gwaii as a political refugee, so he has an understanding of what it means to flee ones’ country and find refuge in another. He is one of the sponsors of the Operation Refugees Haida Gwaii group, and he said that Bruce [Ives] is the “father of this group”. Carl sees what the group is doing as “ the right thing to do.” The core group consists of Bruce Ives, Peter Lake, Fran Fowler, Jenny White, Beng Favreau, Kim Claggert, Margaret Davies, and Carl Coffey. There is also a group in Sandspit that is taking a family, and all the funds raised are for both families.
Carl said that the Skidegate band council was the first to donate to the Syrians. There are also a few businesses in town, such as AMS, and Charlisles who have already donated basic items that the families will need. There is going to be an art auction, and the pieces will be up at Northern Savings Credit Union for a couple of weeks.
Has anyone tried to leave or get to Prince Rupert lately? I was there after a medical appointment in Vancouver, (coming home through Terrace), planning to catch a ferry. My friend was dropping me off at the terminal on Thursday at 9:00 am, when we were told that they just got word there would not be a ferry until Sunday. When we checked the B.C. Ferries website at 7:30 there was no notice of a delay. So I flew to Masset, (though my car was at Skidegate Landing). I know that there were still people stranded in Rupert. So the lesson learned, was to have lots of extra funds with you for taxis, hotels, and plane fare whenever you leave Haida Gwaii, because you will never know who long you will be away from home for, no matter the plan you might have.
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