By Tawla Jaad —
Last Friday evening, Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aaju was joined by Te Tini A Maui in a song and dance presentation as part of the second evening celebrating the annual Skidegate Days.
Te Tini A Maui is a cultural group from New Zealand whose visit to Haida Gwaii was prompted after meeting Skidegate’s Health Director, Lauren Brown, who had visited New Zealand for work. The Maori’s visit comes at a good time, as the Skudegate Saints basketball team will be travelling to New Zealand this August to take part in a 3-game basketball series. The group sang a series of songs, accompanied by a guitar and dancing. Their performance concluded with a powerful haka that amazed the crowd. They also presented the Skidegate Band Council with a model of a traditional Maori canoe, and in return the Skidegate Band presented them with Haida paddles.
The following day, the classic Skidegate Days events unfolded beginning with the Totem-to-Totem Marathon and breakfast, and then into the afternoon with booths selling food. Kids lined up for games along Hlgaagilda K’iiwaay, canoe races were being contested in the inlet, basketball’s were dunked on the outdoor courts and home runs hit at the ball diamond. The festivities concluded with a salmon barbeque, turkey dinner, and dance featuring local band, Out of the Blue.