When we think of surfing, seafaring, and indigenous culture, as surfers our minds typically head straight for Polynesia. As we know, Ancient Hawaiian culture serves as the foundation of our sport, even if there’s evidence to suggest other cultures that pre-date them were riding waves recreationally. With that, we also understand that Hawaiians and Polynesians more generally were incredibly adept at sea – using the stars to navigate the ocean and relying heavily on marine life for sustenance.
In Western Canada, though, live a people with equally rich ties to the ocean whose influence in ship making spans the globe: the Haida people. Like Hawaii, the Haida people’s native lands – an archipelago called Haida Gwaii – also happens to be wave-rich if not a touch colder than Hawaii’s tepid island waters.
Here, Paige Alms and Mathea Olin, hosted by local surfer Gwaliga Hart, get a taste of Haida Gwaii – from its surf to its deep cultural roots.