The Centre

Mission Statement


Through the Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay we celebrate the living culture of the Haida. Through our language, art and stories we share our relationship with the land and sea – that which shapes, nourishes and sustains us.

Ḵay Llnagaay protects and fosters Haida culture by reaffirming our traditions and beliefs, encouraging artistic expression, and serving as a keeper of all that we are. Ḵay Llnagaay is a place for the Haida voice to be heard. This is our gift to the world.


Ḵay Llnagaay guu Xaaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana gud uu Xaaydas giinaa’ah xaaynang.ngas t’alang Gaad ts’adsdll dii. Tl’l ‘waadluxan gud ad Xaaydas giinaa’ah Gii kyang.ga ihl tllgaay ad siigaay Giisda id xaaynang.nga. 

Ḵay Llnagaay guu Xaaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana Xaaydas giinaa’ah ḵyang.gaay ‘laa ga, ga stlinlas ging haajang. Ḵay Llnagaay guu Xaaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana Xaayda kil guudang.nga Gas ga. Aaw gina Tllgaay Ḵ‘aaysguuxan tina t’ang isdas iijii. 

Our History

The Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay was a dream of the Haida peoples for decades before opening its doors in 2007 and hosting a grand opening event in August of 2008. The Haida Heritage Centre is located at Kay Llnagaay or “Sea-Lion Town”, an ancient village site. The Centre was designed to resemble the traditional Oceanside Haida village that once stood in its place.

The first phase of this massive project was raising six poles over six days in 2001. The pole-raising event attracted visitors from all over the world. The poles represent six of the southernmost villages in Haida Gwaii – Skidegate, Ts’aahl, Cumshewa, Skedans, SGang Gwaay and Tanu, and are now standing in front of the Haida Heritage Centre.  Master carvers Norman Price, Garner Moody, Guujaw, Jim Hart, Tim Boyko and Giitsxaa carved the poles alongside their apprentices.

This stunning 50,000 sq. ft. Centre houses the Haida Gwaii Museum, Performance House, Carving Shed, Canoe House, Bill Reid Teaching Centre, two multipurpose classrooms, a spacious Welcome House area, and Eating House or Ḵay Bistro. Some of the organizations located within the Haida Heritage Centre include Northwest Community College, Haida Gwaii Higher Education Department, Swan Bay Rediscovery and the Haida Gwaii Watchmen program.

“We are a people of strength. We owe this legacy to our ancestors and to the beauty and richness of Haida Gwaii. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to pass this legacy on… The Kay Llnagaay Heritage Centre is a way for us to preserve and celebrate our past, enabling us to share our history with our children and with visitors.” 

–Diane Brown, Chief Councillor, Skidegate 1995


Spaces


Gyaa K’id Naay  Carving House

The Carving House is a large, open-walled building designed to house monumental poles, canoes and any other work that would be too large to fit in the enclosed carving shed for our enterprising and talented local artists to work on.

Projects that have been worked on in this space include the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole, House Frontal poles, etc. Currentl, the Skidegate Pole carved by legendary Haida artist Bill Reid is housed in the Carving House until it is ready to be raised again inside the walls of the Haida Gwaii Museum. 

 

Skaajang Naay / Tluu Naay   Canoe House

Learn about the Haida mode of travel, transportation, food/resource gathering and trade by exploring the history and importance of canoes in Haida lives.
 
Haidas were fierce warriors and well-known coastal travellers, having ventured to Victoria for trading purposes in earlier times during the 1800s. Critical to the success of Haida culture, without canoes, the Haida would not have been able to trade with neighbouring coast First Nations; or travel between communities on Haida Gwaii.

Gina DaahlGahl Naay  Gift Shop

No visit to the Haida Heritage Centre and Haida Gwaii Museum is complete without a stop at the Haida Gwaii Museum Gift Shop.

With an ever changing display of local Haida artwork, guests will get lost in authentic Haida culture as they peruse the gift shop’s diverse selection of original, authentic Haida artwork. Featuring exquisitely carved silver jewellery, argillite, masks and traditional weaving as well as prints and original paintings.

The Museum Gift Shop has an extensive collection of books on topics ranging from Haida history and culture, to personal stories and encounters.

Not to be missed is the clothing selection showcasing Haida Artists’ artwork and designs. With local handcrafted items from the Islands and a wide range of souvenirs and gifts in every price range, there’s no need to leave empty handed.

Whether it’s to commemorate your visit to Haida Gwaii or to purchase a unique gift for someone else, a visit to the Haida Gwaii Museum gift shop is a must for everyone.

Xaayda Sahlinda Naay  (Saving Things House)  Haida Gwaii Museum 

The Haida Gwaii Museum opened in 1976, and continues to build an international reputation for its outstanding collection of Haida historical objects, contemporary art, archives and natural history collections and partnering with local organization’s  and museums from around the world to create a unique place of exploration and dialogue.

The Museum plays an import role in preserving, collecting and presenting the rich and diverse collection of archeological artifacts, natural science, Haida knowledge, and history, visual art, settler artifacts and an archive of rare documents, books and photographs to help establish Haida Gwaii as a unique environment of the Pacific Northwest.

The Museum works closely with the Haida community to repatriate Haida human remains and specific cultural objects held in museums around the world; reconstruct the genealogies of the Haida clan system; and mentor Haida members in arts and heritage-related careers.

Ḵay Bistro

Gaa Taa Naay  Eating House

Mon-Sat 10am-4pm

*Lunch is only served from 11am-3pm

Visit the Kay Bistro on Facebook!

If you have any enquiries, please contact Edi – ediszasz.kay@gmail.com

Testimonials


“Overwhelming. I need at least 6 more days just to start. Raven was a wonderful tour guide and introduction. Thank you.”

Barbra and Dennis Wiginton – June 2014


“Not enough Time! Too much to see!!”

Kristztha – October 2014

“’Not enough time! Too much to see!!’ A wonderful Heritage Centre and Museum ‘The Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Linagaay is a must see attraction on the Haida Gwaii Islands. There are 6 beautiful totem poles erected outside and the wonderful guide we had gave us lovely stories about each totem pole. There are three traditional Haida canoes in a shed, each painted in striking colours. The Haida culture museum is very well organized and is a perfect place to become immersed in Haida culture. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Plan to spend at least 2 hours – you will not regret the time.’”

Trip Advisor – August 2014

“The Haida Soul” : “This is a place to visit with your mind and your heart. The exibits are gripping in their forms, conveying millenia of skillful arts and crafts.I visited this modern centre that was enveloped by mist and clouds adding to the mystical aura of the west coast.Take your time and admire this impressive cultural gem.”

Trip Advisor – September 2014

We would love to hear from you!

If you visited us at Ḵay Llngaay and want to say a few words about your time, please email us at haidaheritagecentre@gmail.com or rate us on Trip Advisor!