UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Haida Pitek, Emily


The Haida are an Indigenous group who have traditionally occupied Haida Gwaii (now known as Graham and Moresby Islands, off the coast of British Columbia), and part of the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska (Blackman, 2018). This entry focuses on Graham and Moresby Islands, specifically the town of Masset, around the time of 1875-before extensive contact with Europeans and christianization. Traditionally, the main social and political unit of the Haida was the moiety (the Raven and Eagle), comprised of several lineages. Lineages were not ranked, although some were more powerful than others, and each lineage was led by a matrilineal chief. There was no overarching political unit above the lineage. The traditional religious beliefs of the Haida included a variety of supernatural beings, a belief in reincarnation, and the presence of shamans. Because religion overlaps with many elements of life among the Haida, this entry considers the religious group to be coterminous with the society at large.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International