HoA 2016 – Special Presentation
Lightning flashed in the company of all our relations on day four of the Haida House of Assembly. The weather-change took place during a special presentation to acknowledge the public service of elected officials and honouring the office of the President of the Haida Nation.
Artist Kuuyas 7waahlal Gidaak (Lisa Hageman) presented to the President of the Haida Nation kil tlaats ‘gaa (Peter Lantin) a robe that was fashioned using Raven’s Tail and overlay, and trimmed with Sea otter fur. Using Robert Davidson’s CHN emblem, given to the nation in 1986, and executed by Dean Auchter, as the main design on the robe, Kuuyas 7waahlal Gidaak surrounded the robe on three sides with two designs. Across the top is the Raven’s Tail design of “All our Relations” which is flanked on each side with “Lightning”. The robe is constructed of black wool cloth, red ultra-suede, and z-twist black, white and red wool. The designs are a reminder that the president walks with the teachings of our ancestors, has the power of those teachings and that the entire Nation, Ravens and Eagles, stand behind the president.
The position of president comes with heavy responsibility in taking the nation’s policies forward in negotiations with the Crown and ensuring that citizen voices are heard, and their opinions and ideas incorporated into the direction the Nation is going – on all levels.
“Our Nation has one steersman who braves some very icy winds. Those winds come to our shores from the shores of Canada,” said weaver Kuuyas 7waahlal Gidaak. “This robe is to honour the office of the president of the Haida Nation and is given in acknowledgement of the heavy responsibilities that office holds. “
Accompanied by drummers, the president danced the robe before a capacity crowd, bringing life into it. The bevy of singers and drummers kept the president on the floor for a good long time to the delight of the crowd.
“I wear this humbly on behalf of this team and on behalf of this powerful Nation.,” the president said, referring to all elected CHN and Band Council officials. “I’m so proud to be Haida. It’s hard not to reflect back on what that means to me personally. My relatives not here today, Scumby (Alex Jones), Nonnie Ethel … .”