There is a saying on Haida Gwaii, “When the tide is low the table is set,” made famous by the late Chief Skidegate, Dempsey Collinson. Haida Gwaii’s surrounding ocean provides a delicate feast, showcasing the finest of seafood, tide after tide, and season after season.
It’s this abundance that has provided the Haida Nation through Haida Wild, the opportunity to share with the world a part of our culture through food. Haida Wild hires local skilled workers, most of whom are Haida, to process, smoke (if that’s what is called for), and pack seafood in their world-class facilities.
Haida Wild is a force within the small island community of Masset; providing jobs, while celebrating high standards and integrity in its workforce. Most importantly, Haida Wild maintains and perpetuates a vivid and ancient connection between the Haida and the ocean. It continues a way of life for our people, where we continue to gather and understand the tides, and maintain a respectful relationship to the places from where the food came. This relationship in the Haida language is expressed as, “Yahguudang.” It is the existence of this relationship that allows responsible decisions for a long and continued sustainable future to be made.
The idea that the seafood moves carefully through the skilled hands of Haida fishermen, diggers and Haida Wild employees, is one that is quite beautiful. It’s ancient. The depth of the cultural connection towards our traditional foods feeds into a deep pride and strength for all who are involved in wild food gathering. It continues a deep respect to the food and the place that the foods are collected. Yahguudang — deep respect — is at the essence of Haida Wild, and as a result, the elegant foods they produce have a lot of soul.
Those in the food industry have recognized the soul of the company as something unique and consequently Haida Wild has developed respectful working relationships with a variety of local hotels and restaurants. They aim to share their seafood, culture and unique ethos with a larger audience in the years to come.
Seafood products can also be purchased online. For more information, visit our online shop.
– Written by Freelance Writer & Haida Gwaii resident, Kwiaahwah Jones.