The Haida

On Sunday, my parents were available for a few hours of sight-seeing before they were heading back to Calgary. We decided to drive over to UBC and have a look around MOA, the Museum of Anthropology. My husband and I have talked about this a few times before and were looking forward to the day. After a few short hours, it became apparent that this would take several days to see all the exhibits. We had no idea of the treasure that has been sitting in our backyard all this time.

After looking through the photographs and doing a little more research today, I have a little better understanding of the Haida. Their artwork and totem poles are the larger pieces on display, so upon entering the Museum space it is very awe-inspiring.

For at least 10,000 years, the Haida people and their ancestors have lived on Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands), an archipelago of 150 islands off the North-Western coast of British Columbia.

Monumental totem poles carved of red cedar are one of the means by which Haida people, today as in the past, honour their ancestors and record their histories, territories, and inherited privileges.

My thoughts go back to my recent experiences in Alberta learning about the Blackfoot Nation. As well, reading about the Coastal people portrayed in the novel, “Vancouver”. It is with the descriptions in this novel that I often visualize what it must have been like to be an early settler here on the Coast. When I start to think about complaining of the non-ending rain, I only have to conjuror up one of the many scenes from the book, where the hardships of the land would have been unbearable by today’s standards.

Some related posts and pages from: The Good Stuff

Blackfoot Crossing

Ages

“Vancouver” by David Cruise and Alison Griffiths

Imprints at Rogers Pass

I have known about this place in the Rocky Mountains since I was a child. In fact, I can’t remember when I learned this was the gateway to British Columbia. Who knew what kind of fun would await us. Sometimes it was a short trip to the Okanagan, and other times we would ride the mighty BC Ferry over to Vancouver Island.

Nowadays, we live on the “other side”. So getting back through the Pass coming from either side is a huge relief. If we were able to make it from the East, pretty good chances we will make it home. And if we were able to make it through from the West, excellent chance of taking some turns the next day.

It is quite amazing that trains and cars can get through Rogers Pass in the winter at all. In the first winter of railroad operation in 1886/87 there was 12 metres of snowfall. Each season, there is a proactive effort to “manage” the snowfall that will affect the area. As the snow is accumulating in the alpine, experts are studying the conditions in anticipation of avalanche risk. When a motorist is turned away for a road closure, more often than not, the blasting has brought down a dangerous amount of snow and can take 24 to 36 hours, (or more) for crews to clear from the roads and rail lines. More on Rogers Pass National Historic Site –  http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/bc/rogers/index.aspx

This summer, on our family road trip, we stopped into the museum at Rogers Pass. There is no driving stress when the sun shines, the road is bone dry and the only snow visible is very high at the peaks of the Selkirks. Some interesting photo’s here show imprints taken from the park. I did not write down what everything was, so your guess will be as good as mine.

 

Other posts related to Rogers Pass: