Haida Gwaii sportfishing

“Haida Gwaii: A Rich History.”

You’re certainly a sport fisherman; if not, a sportfishing enthusiast. Whether this is your first time or you’re a regular fishmonger visiting Haida Gwaii salmon lodge, you’ll likely be fascinated by the historical facts surrounding Haida Gwaii and its best salmon fishing lodge.

 Haida Gwaii has history. Thousands of years, in fact. Archaeological sites have established human habitation on the islands as far back as 13,000 years ago. Haida Gwaii is considered by archaeologists as an option for a Pacific coastal route taken by the very first humans migrating to the Americas from the Bering Strait.

The group of people, the Haida (Haida Gwaii simply means “islands of the people”, while “Haida” on its own can mean both ‘us’ and ‘people’), who previously inhabited these Islands thousands of years ago, developed a culture made rich by the abundant land and seascapes. A matriarchal society, prior to European discovery, the Haida were a linguistically distinct group, and had a strict class-ranking system consisting of two clans, Eagles and Ravens.

The archipelago you’re visiting for your Haida Gwaii fishing trip was first traversed by Europeans in 1774 by Juan Pérez at Langara Island and, in 1778, by James Cook. In 1794, the Haida captured and sank two European vessels seeking to trade for sea otter pelts, Ino and Resolution, killing most of the ships’ crew. In 1851, the Haida captured the Georgiana, a ship carrying gold prospectors, and held its crew for ransom for almost two months.

The Islands’ name has been a source of controversy. Still in use today is the island’s older name “Xaadala Gwayee” or, in alternative orthography, “Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai”, meaning “islands at the boundary of the world”. “Xhaaidlagha, Xaadala, or Xhaaydla” refers, in this case, here to the sea and sky.

The Oregon Treaty of 1846 put an end to what American claims had been staked to the islands. A discovery of gold was made in the 1850s, causing a rush to the islands. In July 1863, The Queen Charlotte Islands were amalgamated into the Colony of British Columbia.

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