Cathedral Grove
British Columbia

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Big Trees & Totem Poles

  Aboriginal Heritage Trees    
  Skeena River Totem Poles   The Vanishing of Totem Trees  
  Haida Gwaii Totem Poles

The magnificent totem poles in the Haida village of SGANG GWAAY were photographed c. 1890 (right) on Haida Gwaii, an island archipelago off the Northwest Coast of British Columbia (BC). "Haida culture is our relationship to the land in its totality. . . everything depends on everything else. The old forests of Haida Gwaii have sustained and continue to sustain our way of life. In the past fifty years, industrial logging has transformed the landscape of Haida Gwaii from diverse old forest to young, even - aged stands of one or two species. The major river systems that once provided Haida villages with salmon; large cedars for longhouses and monumental art; and, plants for food, medicines, fiber and animal habitat have been eradicated by logging without consideration for these values" Haida Nation.


SGANG GWAAY, Haida Gwaii, c. 1890
Photo: BC Archives