Haida Paddle Making Project- Tluu Xaadaa Naay Society- Final Report
The Haida paddle making workshop was held at the White canoe shed in Old Massett from June 23- June 30, 2014. The paddle painting workshop was held at the Tluu Xaadaa Naay (Canoe People’s House) from July 1- July 4, 2014.
The Tluu Xaadaa Naay Society, a non-profit society, donated the use of the two venues and tools to contribute to this important project. The project had 24 participants, including 8 Haida youth. Many of the youth also participated in the canoe journey as well. In total, there were 24 paddles made, plus one steering paddle. Many participants took their paddles home after the canoe journey and the rest were left with the canoes.Christian White was the instructor and mentor, who provided assistance and direction for the participants to create their own paddle. He also provided templates for people to use if they did not have a specific Haida design in mind for their paddle. The workshop was very successful with all participants learning the skills and techniques used to make a strong functional and beautiful Haida style paddles. The paddles proved to be made well as there were no casualties on the canoe journey to Bella Bella where the paddles were used for up to 8 hours at a time.
Learning these traditional skills are really important, as they bring pride and accomplishment, especially for our youth. We would like to thank the Gwaii Trust for their support of this wonderful traditional art workshop! Tluu Xaadaa Naay Society is happy to contribute to keeping our Haida culture strong.