Artists and community came together in Skidegate recently to create a colourful sign with a clear message: “Haida Gwaii United Against Enbridge.” An impromptu session, the painting was sparked by a group of individuals disheartened by Harper’s recent approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline. The group got the materials together to get started and artists Corey Bulpitt, Fanny Aishaa, and Rob Geary heard about it and volunteered to help out. With the support of the Skidegate Youth Centre space, the artists led participants in the design and spray painting of the banner. The Haida Gwaii Against Enbridge banner saw it’s first public appearance in the march at Hospital Days in Queen Charlotte.
The following quotes are from April Churchill published in a Globe and Mail Panel titled “FAITH EXCHANGE: Nature in harmony with faith” facilitated by Guy Nicholson. April Churchill is the Vice President of the Haida Nation.
The Haida culture is based in our spiritual, mental and physical relationship to the land, waters and all life forces. The very core of our culture is our spiritual connections, which govern our use of the Creator’s gifts.
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We well know the sweat of our brow. We follow our ancient harvest calendar to provide for self and community. Harvesting, preparing and preserving for the year takes a great deal of work and community effort from the spring through winter. On Haida Gwaii, our people are working intimately with all life forms: seaweeds, clams, cockles, all species of fish, sea cucumber, geoduck, mussels, octopus, to name a few of the ocean foods. The forest gifts include trees, medicines, berries and greens.