Our Process
The Journey
Our Learning
Cultural Treasures
Respecting Our Ancestors
End of Mourning Ceremony
Contact and Contributions

The idea of the butterfly was brought to our attention by the
Late Margaret Hewer. The butterfly represents the messenger
of the departed souls. It is also said to be a symbol of the traveling
Spirits, those departed and misplaced that are wandering about.
The design was created by the Late Brad Collinson and adopted
by our committee as our logo.

Photo: James McGuire

The Haida Repatriation Committee (HRC) is a group of volunteers who have taken on the responsibility for bringing home the remains of our ancestors, grave materials and ancient Haida treasures from museums and private collections around the world.

The HRC is made up of two official branches: The Skidegate Repatriation & Cultural Committee (located in the village of Skidegate and administered through the Haida Gwaii Museum) and The Old Massett Repatriation & Cultural Committee (located in the village of Old Massett, and administered through the Haida Heritage Society). Individually, each committee works on behalf of their community and together we work on behalf of the Haida Nation.

Our ancestors are our relatives and we have a deep connection to them. We are who we are today because of them. We believe that as long as the remains of our ancestors are stored in museums and other unnatural locations far from home, that the souls of these people are wandering and unhappy. Once they are returned to their homeland of Haida Gwaii and are laid to rest with honour, the souls can rest and our communities may heal a bit more.

The tasks of the HRC is to research and identify where Haida ancestors and cultural materials are located in Canada, the United States and Europe; to contact and negotiate with institutions for the return of remains and funerary materials, and to see that the remains of our ancestors are cared for with proper respect and brought home in
safety for burial on Haida Gwaii.

We have been working on the repatriation of Haida ancestors for over the past ten years. Today the remains of over 460 ancestors have been returned home. This has been our first priority. When this work is complete, we will then turn our attention to the work of repatriating other Haida treasures and cultural materials.