Original watercolour 22" x 29" by Gordon Miller © 1988

Called Koona (Q'ona) by the Haida, Skedans is a corruption of the head chief's name, Gida'nsta, by the early fur traders. It was built on a small peninsula on the northeast side of Louise Island, facing south onto Skedans Bay.

The Haida scattered to temporary fishing camps during the spring and summer seasons, but during the winter months they returned to their permanent villages. It was the time for visiting between friendly villages, and places like Skedans were the centre of feasting, storytelling and potlatching.

The bay in front of the village would have been busy at all seasons with the arrival and departure of the great canoes. Killer Whales were frequently among the visitors. The Haida believed they were people who had drowned and were returning incarnated in the body of the huge marine mammals.

Skedans did not escape the ravages of smallpox and other European diseases, and the survivors abandoned the village late in the nineteenth century. Today the houses and most of the poles are gone, but the site is still visited by the occasional Haida, tourist, and Killer Whales.

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