Preserving Heritage, Sharing Wisdom: The Haida Storytellers of Cascadia
From the village of Skidegate on the northern island to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the archipelago’s south, stories are everywhere on Haida Gwaii.
And while guests are fortunate to have access to stories by the amazing guides at the Haida Heritage Center and at the Watchman sites in Gwaii Haanas, a very special experience is to also explore the islands of Gwaii Haanas in the company of a Haida storyteller aboard Cascadia.
In 2022, we embarked on a journey to deepen our connection with the vibrant Haida culture we are privileged to bring guests to year after year.
We introduced a program that has since become a symbol of our dedication to both our guests and the rich communities of Haida Gwaii: the inclusion of a Haida storyteller as a member of our crew on every Cascadia expedition.
The positive impact of this collaboration was evident to all, and it was clear that this was a journey we needed to continue. For 2024, we are thrilled to be extending this collaboration, with Haida crew members joining us on select Maple Leaf voyages, too—further bridging our guests’ connection with Haida culture.
With every expedition, we aim to provide an enriching experience that not only connects you with the breathtaking natural beauty of Gwaii Haanas, but also immerses you in the captivating stories and traditions of the Haida people.
Together with our Haida Storytellers, we are crafting unforgettable journeys that honor the past and embrace the future.
Meet Gaajiiaawa Linda Tollas, a proud member of the Skedans Raven clan. Linda’s path has been one of relentless curiosity and passion for passing on the profound cultural heritage of her people.
Linda is a constant companion of our guests, leading walks through the lush rainforest and ancient village sites. As the sun sets, her captivating evening slideshows transport audiences to a world where legends and landscapes intertwine.
In Gaajiiaawa Linda Tollas, we find a remarkable custodian of Haida Gwaii’s cultural treasures, a bridge between the past and the present, and an inspiration to all who have the privilege of crossing her path. Her life’s work is a testament to the enduring spirit of this extraordinary land and its people.
Gidin Jaad (Dee Dee)
Deedee is a cherished member of our Maple Leaf Adventures’ Haida Storytellers crew. Her connection to Haida Gwaii runs deep, as she has served as a watchman and educator, sharing her ancestral heritage with our guests for more than a decade.
Deedee hails from a lineage of hereditary chiefs in Skedans and Skidegate, and her stories resonate with the wisdom of generations past. Her great-grandfather left a lasting legacy by recording oral Haida stories, preserving the rich tapestry of her language for future generations.
Deedee’s connection to the land and its history is profound, making her an extraordinary custodian of Haida culture. Her belief in unity transcends borders, and she welcomes guests from around the world to experience Haida heritage.
Join us in embracing the wisdom and warmth of our Haida Storytellers. Their passion for preserving the past and nurturing the future makes every expedition a journey of cultural enlightenment. These trips typically sell out each year, so inquire now to secure a place.