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Indigenous 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
RegionHaida Gwaii
Regional districtSkeena-Queen Charlotte
 • Chief CouncillorWillard Wilson
 • Total5.65 km2 (2.18 sq mi)
28 m (92 ft)
 • Total837
 • Density138.3/km2 (358/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
Highways Hwy 16 (TCH)
WaterwaysHecate 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]

Skidegate is home to a number of totem poles:[9]

    • T'anuu'llnagaay (Tanu) by Giitsxaa
    • Hlknul'llnagaay (Cumshewa) by Gidansda Guujaaw
    • HlGaagilda'llnagaay (Skidegate) by Norman Price
    • K'uuna'llnagaay (Skedans) by Jim Hart
    • Ts'aahj'llnagaay (Chaatl) by Garner Moody
    • Eagle and Bear Mother by Dick Bellis
    • Dogfish, by Bill Reid
    • Unity Pole
    • Chief Skedans Jimmy Wilson Memorial by Bert Wilson and Joe Mander
    • Strongman by Tim Boyko, Skaadgaa Naay elementary school
    • Chief Wiiganaad Sid Crosby Naa'uuwans (chieftanship) by Tim Boyko and Jason Goetzinger
    • Weeping Woman of Taanu by Norman Price St
    • Chieftanship pole to honor Matriarch Barb Wilson
    • SGang Gwaay'llnagaay (Ninstints) by Tim Boyko
    • Kaay Watchman's pole

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

Houses and totem poles, Skidegate, 1878

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census". 2016-02-05.
  2. ^ "FirstVoices: Hlg̱aagilda X̱aayda Kil: words". Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  3. ^ "BC Geographical Names". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  4. ^ "BC Geographical Names". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  5. ^ "BC Geographical Names". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  6. ^ Hlg̱aagilda X̱aayda Kil, Haida language at FirstVoices. Accessed 1 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b G.F. MacDonald,[Skidegate] 1983, SFU Bill Reid Centre. Accessed 1 July 2017.
  8. ^ Skidegate, (Archived link). Accessed 1 July 2017.
  9. ^ "The totem poles of Haida Gwaii". Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii Observer. p. 30.

External links[edit]