BLOG: Saying Goodbye to Haida Gwaii

Earl Marriott student Jessica Cooper says she learned a deeper understanding of herself

Earl Marriott Secondary students are on a nine-day cultural adventure at Haida Gwaii, which began on May 1. The students will tour several sacred sites, explore the rich historical significance of the islands while mingling with locals.

The students have offered to write a daily blog post about their adventure, which the Peace Arch News will publish for the duration of their trip.

To read other blog posts from their trip, click here.

‘Saying Goodbye to Haida Gwaii’

– by Jessica Cooper

Saying Goodbye to Haida Gwaii

When we started this trip we were a group of fourteen students, strangers with few things in common other then the nervous excitement of the journey we knew was ahead.

Today, only eight days after leaving home, we stand together as a family.

Through thick and thin we have stood together. As cliché as it sounds, we’ve quite literally bonded through blood, sweat, and tears. And yet with each struggle we’ve pushed ourselves forward in pursuit of knowledge, driving further each day to discover the truth of this beautiful land.

Haida Gwaii is a place of ancient tradition and new beginnings. A place where you can disappear into the wilderness and sleepy towns and emerge with a deeper understanding of your own self and the land where you walk.

Today is our last day before we return home to White Rock, though some of us will never truly leave Haida Gwaii.

Our minds and spirits are connected to the land now, itching for the next adventure.

I held back tears today as I stepped out of the Haida Language Centre where I had the privilege of meeting Haida Elders and learning their language.

They welcomed us with open arms and smiles, excited to share their knowledge with eager young students.

I was seated with my friend Rori next to an elder named Dolly Cooper, Haida name Hiilang-nga Jaad (Thunder Woman).

Her and I bonded over our shared last name, laughing at the quirks we Coopers seem to share.

I began to ask her as much as I could about the Haida Language, scribbling down all the new words and meanings in the small journal I brought along.

She was happy to correct me on pronunciation and even took my journal, writing down her own favorite phrases and sayings in Haida for me to practice later.

Dolly and the others were amazing hosts and wonderful teachers. I will always remember the kindness they showed us today and allow it to inspire my future studies and decisions.

And now, I’m writing this last message before joining my friends in a final walk down to the beach.

We will listen to the waves rise to the shore and watch the eagles soar across the water one last time as we laugh and banter, remembering always this unforgettable journey we’ve taken together.

Haawa Haida Gwaii,

Thank you.

Just Posted

Winners to come to Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Former Zellers to also include a gym and daycare

Saddle bronc rider earns highest score in Cloverdale Rodeo’s history

In 73 years, no one had achieved a 94 in saddle bronc —until last night

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

UPDATE: Missing 17-year-old girl found

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

COLUMN: ‘Smart growth’ lacking in Surrey

Surrey council’s approval of infrastructure projects in the Tynehead area shows the… Continue reading

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Most Read

l -->