Haida Gwaii is located 100 kilometers west of the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada and is an isolated group of over 200 islands, large and small, totaling approximately 3750 square miles or 1,000,000 hectares.
The west coast lays at the edge of the continental shelf – an abrupt tectonic scarp rising from 3,000 metres below sea level to the 1,000 metre-high peak of the San Christoval mountains. Exposed to Pacific Ocean weather systems, it bears the brunt of the strongest winds in Canada, waves up to 35metres, and four metres of rainfall a year.
The east coast is a gentler leeward landscape of sheltered inlets, islands, lowland and plateau, with an annual rainfall of about 80 centimetres, yet is also exposed to high wind speeds from most points of the compass.
The islands’ shores are bathed in nutrient-rich waters of the north Pacific,
their climate tempered by warm offshore currents. There are extensive seabird nesting colonies, large numbers of raptors, and many salmon spawning streams of all sizes.
The closest city to Haida Gwaii is Prince Rupert with a population of 13,392.
The ferry from Prince Rupert to Skidegate is 93 nautical miles or approximately
8 hours in good weather. The islands are situated 48 km south of Alaska, and 720 km north from Vancouver with a population of 2,116,581.
The territory of the Haida Nation includes the entire land of Haida Gwaii, surrounding waters, sub-surface and the air space recognizing the independent jurisdiction of the Kaiganii (southern Alaska) The watersinclude the entire Dixon Entrance, half of the Hecate Strait, halfway to Vancouver Island and westward into the abyssal ocean depths.
- From the Constitution of the Haida Nation
The Village of Masset is a small fishing village located on Graham Island – the largest of the more than 150 islands that comprise the archepelago of Haida Gwaii (Islands of the People).
Located along the northwestcoast of British Columbia the Village of Masset provides access to northern Naikoon Provincial Park, is the western terminus (Mile 0) of the Yellowhead Highway (HWY 16), and is at the heart of of a unique and vibrant Islands culture.
Famous celebrities and people from all over the world have visited Masset to enjoy the areas pristine beauty, rich sportsfishing and unique culture. As well, Masset is known for its endless hiking trails, magnificent beaches and exceptional birdwatching opportunities. World renowned artists hail from Masset and can be found at studios around the village and at our close neighbour, the Haida community of Old Massett.