PHOTO ESSAY: Preview of The Ocean House on the West Coast of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia


This September, I had the privilege to be an invited by HaiCo, the Haida Enterprise Corp, to be a guest of the Haida People as they launched a preview of their brand new tourism property: The Ocean House at Stads K’uns GawGa (Peel Inlet). I joined a small group of international travel writers and tour operators as they were given a sneak peek of the lodge (which is opening May 2018) and I invited along the amazing and wonderfully talented Anishinaabe photographer Nadya Kwandibens of RedWorks Photography to document the trip.

Nadya shares her vision for RedWorks as:

“We, as Indigenous people, are often portrayed in history books as Nations once great; in museums as Nations frozen stoic; in the media as Nations forever troubled. These images can be despairing; however, my goal seeks to steer the positive course. If our history is a shadow, let this moment serve as light. We are musicians, lawyers, doctors, mothers and sons. We are activists, scholars, dreamers, fathers and daughters. Let us claim ourselves now and see that we are, and will always be great, thriving, balanced civilizations capable of carrying ourselves into that bright new day.” 

We are so thankful that Nadya was able to join us to capture beautiful images not just of the experiences at the Ocean House, but also to help tell the story of the land, the Haida people and the west coast of Haida Gwaii. Also thank you – Haaw’a – to the Chiefs and Matriarchs of the Haida People for welcoming us so warmly and sharing so generously of themselves while we visited.

Here are some of Nadya’s photos, go check out the full gallery on the Red Works Photography Facebook page.

 

Cohen Bradley welcomes guests with a song in the lounge area of the new Ocean House Eco-lodge, September 2017.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Ocean House Operations Manager Sascha Jones provides an orientation at Kaisun Village, Haida Gwaii.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Walking paths at Kaisun Village, Ocean House, Haida Gwaii.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Cohen Bradley Harvesting Cedar Bark at the Ocean House, Haida Gwaii.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Haida Elder and Historian Captain Gold, ITAC Director of Marketing Dene Sinclair, and Haida Hereditary Chief Gaahlaay (Lonnie Young) share a laugh over dinner at the Ocean House, Haida Gwaii.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Haida Gwaii Watchman, Ken, welcomes us to SG̱ang Gwaay Haida Heritage Site, Haida Gwaii.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Chef Brodie Swanson serves up delicious local cuisine at the Ocean House, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

Visiting the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate as a guest of the Ocean House, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

 

A great group to travel with! Saying our goodbyes at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate as a guest of the Ocean House, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.
Photo by Red Works Photography for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Read more about our trip in this great piece by travel writer Katharine Fletcher on Travel2Next.

This trip made possible because of great partnerships between HaiCo, Destination British Columbia, Aboriginal Tourism British ColumbiaDestination Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Haaw’a!

 

 



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