Haida - History and Cultural Relations

The first known European contact was with the Spanish explorer Juan Pérez in 1774. For the next fifty years, the Haida traded sea otter pelts with European trading ships for iron, manufactured goods, and potatoes, which the Haida then began to cultivate themselves. In 1834 the Hudson's Bay Company established the Fort Simpson trading post in Tsimshian territory which became the center of Indian-White trade as well as trade among the various Indian groups for the next forty years. The trading trips disrupted the traditional economy, led to warfare with the Kwakiutl, and brought a smallpox epidemic to the Queen Charlotte Islands that led to a rapid population decline in the late nineteenth century. By 1879 the Haida were so reduced in number that they had all resettled in the communities of Skidegate and Masset. The first missionary to visit the Haida came in 1829, but the first to establish residence on the Queen Charlottes did not arrive until 1876 (in Marret); the first missionary to the Kaigani Haida arrived in 1880 (Howkan). The Skidegate mission was founded in 1883. From 1875 to 1910 the Haida underwent considerable culture change, largely in the direction of acculturation into the adjacent White society. The potlatch was outlawed, many features of the traditional religion disappeared, White-style housing replaced the cedar plank houses, and totem-pole raising was discontinued; wage labor increasingly replaced traditional economic pursuits. The Queen Charlotte Haida were granted a number of reserves that reflect their many subsistence places. The two largest reserves are the Skidegate and Haida (Masset) reserves, which were laid out initially in the 1880s and added to in 1913. The Kaigani Haida are not reservation Indians.

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Mar 17, 2019 @ 9:09 am
Hi there!
I'm just wondering, the cultural changes for the Haida?

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