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The Queen Charlotte Islands, an archipelago of more than 1,500 islands on the northwest coast of British Columbia, is the cultural homeland of the Haida People. A land of ephemeral beauty captivated by towering forests, mist-swept fiords and pristine mountainscapes, it is known by the Haida as "Haida Gwaii," or in modern-day terms, "the islands of the Haida." But it is the Haida's ancient translation of this name, "the boundary of the world" that reflects the Haida's true kinship with these islands.
Home to approximately 5,000 people who are spread across the archipelago's two largest islands, Graham and Moresby, the Queen Charlottes are the visual evidence of a submerged ring of mountains that rises precipitously from the ocean. Although the archipelago is only about 150 miles long north to south, clusters of "islands" stretch for more than 1,000 square miles off shore, providing ideal locations for sea kayaking and boat tours.
The Haida Gwaii's most popular attraction is the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, a remote wilderness park whose translated name, "Place of Wonder" aptly describes its beauty. Gwaii Haanas is only accessible by float plane or boat and is favoured for kayaking, wildlife photography and wilderness camping.
Each of the islands' small towns and hamlets has a culture and personality of its own. Masset, perched at the northeastern tip of Graham Island, is located approximately two miles from several ancient Haida townsites, what is now called Old Masset. The town of Tlell, is Graham Island's artistic centre and has several galleries and private artist studios that accept enquiries from the public. Tours of the islands' key attractions can be arranged when booking accommodations or by enquiring at a local tourism and information centre.
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