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Indian Reserve
View of the Kay Llnagaay beach in Skidegate.
View of the Kay Llnagaay beach in Skidegate.
Skidegate is located in British Columbia
Location of Skidegate in Haida Gwaii
Coordinates: 53°16′02″N 131°59′26″W / 53.26722°N 131.99056°W / 53.26722; -131.99056Coordinates: 53°16′02″N 131°59′26″W / 53.26722°N 131.99056°W / 53.26722; -131.99056
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Haida Gwaii
Regional district Skeena-Queen Charlotte
Founded 1850
 • Chief Councillor Willard Wilson
 • Total 5.65 km2 (2.18 sq mi)
Elevation 28 m (92 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 781
 • Density 138.3/km2 (358/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Highways Hwy 16 (TCH)
Waterways Hecate Strait

Skidegate /ˈskɪdɪɡɪt/ (Haida: Hlg̱aagilda)[2] is a Haida community in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia, Canada. It is located on the southeast coast of Graham Island,[3] the largest island in the archipelago, and is approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of mainland British Columbia across Hecate Strait. Skidegate, which is located on Skidegate Indian Reserve No. 1 and was formerly home to the Skidegate Mission[4][5] is also the northern terminal for the BC Ferries service between Graham Island and Alliford Bay on Moresby Island.

According to tradition, the village was named after an earlier village chief, Sg̱iida-gidg̱a Iihllngas = "Son of the Chiton”][6] whose name late 18th-century traders in sea otter pelts recorded as Skidegate.[7] Between 1790 and 1820 the community was a hub for the exploitation of sea otter furs.[7][8]

The Haida Heritage Centre is located in Skidegate along the town's Eastern boundary.

Houses and totem poles, Skidegate, 1878

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