Seven Wonders of Canada
The Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii ("Land of the Haida") are off the northwest coast of British Columbia. They consist of two main islands, Graham Island in the North, and Moresby Island in the south, and approximately 150 smaller islands. The islands are separated from the British Columbia mainland to the east by the wild and beautiful Hecate Strait. Some of the land, including the homelands of the Haida people, is protected as the Gwaii Haanas National Park. The islands are home to an abundance of wildlife, and unique ecosystems such as the incredible glass sponge reef.
Heather Layton (1:01)
Sabina Jessop (1:01)
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Haida Gwaii. Not only are these islands unparalleled in their wild beauty but they also provide testimonials to the highly developed and ancient civilization of the Haida people. When one visits the old village sites, one realizes that these islands are Canada's equivalent of the Easter Islands. Truly an amazing place.
Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC should be one of Canada's Seven Wonders. Ask any Canadian and most will tell you about their misty vision of these islands and their desire to someday travel here. The 150 plus islands that make up this archipelago are home to a strong, vibrant Haida Nation; Gwaii Haanas National Park Haida Heritage Site, voted the best national park in North America, natural beauty that will take your breath away, beaches that even in the middle of the summer can make you feel like you are on a deserted island, and some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in Canada. It truly is a place of wonder unique in Canada.
Betty Ann Caldwell
My nomination is for Gwaii Haanas, in the Queen Charlotte Islands. I was fortunate enough to paddle a kayak up the east coast from Ninstints to Tanu in 1990, and was thrilled with the total Haida experience as well the natural wonders of wildlife, hot springs and fabulous scenery. Definitely one of our wonders!
For a natural area I want to nominate Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in the island chain Haida Gwaii or the Queen Charlotte Islands. As it says in the visitor handbook " the archipelago is perched at the continent's edge where ancient rainforests shoulder their way down steep mountainsides to the Pacific Ocean" To be one of the 200 fortunate visitors who are allowed to be in this national park area at any one time is a wonderful privilege. It is a place where time seems suspended, where land and sea co-exist in a seamless harmony. A natural area of special beauty is Burnaby Narrows, where at low tide the sea bottom is visible with jewel hued sea stars in every conceivable colour from magenta to turquoise to black as well as countless other creatures. To drift through here at low tide is like being on a trip inside a kaleidoscope.
This site has been inhabited by the Haida for at least 10,500 years which is why it is World Heritage Site. Many of their early settlements are now underwater, sunk under the advancing waters as the great ice sheets retreated. They witnessed this retreat of the ice sheets and have oral history of this as well as shoreline and sea level changes. It is rare that currently existing society has existed in the same place for this length of time and survived to be a ongoing and vital culture today. Because the Haida built in wood and allowed their carvings and artifacts to decay naturally, there is little left of their earlier times. The study of their culture is providing much needed information about the history of the area from the late glacial times, through the pre-historic period, to contact with Europeans. It is also a site of incredible and amazing beauty.