The Haida Heritage Centre is located at Ḵay '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 with a series of traditional long houses constructed to blend into the original Haida Gwaii Museum.
This stunning 50,000 square feet 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 the Ḵay Bistro. Some of the organizations located within the Haida Heritage Centre include Haida Gwaii Institute, Haida Style Expeditions, Coast Guard, Haida Gwaii Restorative Justice, and the Haida Gwaii Watchmen program.
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 X̱aaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana gud uu X̱aaydas giinaa’ah xaaynang.ngas t’alang Gaad ts’adsdll dii. Tl’l ‘waadluxan gud ad X̱aaydas giinaa’ah Gii kyang.ga ihl tllgaay ad siigaay Giisda id xaaynang.nga.
Ḵay’'Llnagaay guu X̱aaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana X̱aaydas giinaa’ah ḵyang.gaay ‘laa ga, ga stlinlas ging haajang. Ḵay’'Llnagaay guu X̱aaydas Giinaa’ah ‘Laana X̱aayda kil guudang.nga Gas ga. Aaw gina Tllgaay Ḵ‘aaysguuxan tina t’ang isdas iijii.
a dream of the Haida people
The Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay 'Llnagaay was a dream of the Haida peoples for decades with community members discussing the idea as early as the 1990’s. Until two hundred years ago a small village of people lived in longhouses that lined the bay and beach at Kay 'Llnagaay. In 1976, the site became the location of the Haida Gwaii Museum. In 2000, six monumental poles, each representative of an historic Haida village and their respective clans, were carved and prepared for ceremonial raising in June of 2001.
Raising of the Six Poles
The first phase of this massive project was raising six poles over six days . The pole-raising event attracted visitors from all over the world. The poles represent six of the southernmost villages on 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, Guujaaw, Jim Hart, Tim Boyko and Giitsxaa carved the poles alongside their apprentices.
The doors finally opened in 2007, with the grand opening event in August of 2008.
“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