The Haida Gwaii Singers Society
To educate Haida people and the general public about the rich musical traditions of the Haida. We seek to reinvigorate Haida songs and protocol, and perpetuate the continued use and existence of traditional and contemporary songs. To that end, we produced two box sets, which are now the top played songs on iTunes lists of Haida Gwaii youth.
Five longstanding singers of Haida songs formed The Haida Gwaii Singers Society in 2000 with the goal of educating Haida people and the general public about, and in the rich musical traditions of the Haida. The Society also seeks to reinvigorate Haida songs and protocol, perpetuating the continued use and existence of traditional and contemporary songs. They are committed to the prudent use of all resources contributed to the Society to safeguard and enrich this unique cultural legacy.
The Legacy Project
Consisting of 2 boxed sets, the Haida Gwaii Singers Contemporary Anthology presents contemporary renditions of ancient songs performed by the Haida Gwaii Singers Society, and the Songs of Haida Gwaii Archival Anthology presents digitized and re-mastered archival recordings that date back to the early 1900's. Included in each set is a booklet of liner notes with song histories, translations and historical photographs.
Royalties and profits will be used to support projects dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Haida song and dance. A portion of the profits will be shared with the Haida Gwaii Museum and in trust for a future cultural centre in Massett, Haida Gwaii.
The Songs of Haida Gwaii Archival Anthology and the Haida Gwaii Singers Contemporary Anthology are available for purchase separately, or together as a Limited Edition Collector Box.
About Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii, the Islands of the People, (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) is the home of the Haida Nation. These beautiful Islands have developed and sustained a culture rich in artistic and musical traditions for more than ten thousand years.
Today, as in the past, Haida culture, songs and ceremonies continue to transform and evolve so that they can remain relevant to Haida people. The Haida Gwaii Singers Society celebrates and sustains the Songs of Haida Gwaii for this and future generations.
Since the late 1800's, Haida culture has endured and overcome challenges, including population decimation and official suppression of traditional practices and knowledge. Through these challenges, the richness and beauty of Haida musical traditions survived in the memory of elders and archival recordings.
The last 40 years have witnessed a renaissance in Haida musical and dance traditions. In 1969, there were less than thirty elders who were "Holders of Songs". From this small but solid foundation, new generations of singers have grown. Today almost every Haida child knows Haida songs.
Even so, the vast majority of Haida songs are seldom heard. They have remained silent in our treasure box of knowledge. The Songs of Haida Gwaii shares our musical treasures by giving new voice to our ancient songs.