About Haida Style

In welcoming you to our backyard, we want to introduce you to our home. Haida Style Expeditions is a Haida Owned and Operated cultural adventure & fishing expeditions company on Haida Gwaii that shares our culture, stories, and history with you. In doing this, we seek to provide an authentic aboriginal experience.

The owners of Haida Style are identical twin brothers Sk’aal Ts’iid (Flicker Bird - James Douglas Cowpar) and Kung X angajii (Moonshadow - William Shawn Cowpar). Born into the Tsaahl Eagle Clan, we offer a combined 35 years in the tourism industry. Our backgrounds in the commercial & recreational fishing industry, forestry, and community governance have shaped our belief in building a sustainable future on Haida Gwaii.

Living on Haida Gwaii requires a balance, a symbiotic relationship between human beings and the natural environment. In sharing our history and way of life, it is our hope that we continue to build on conversation and protect the natural world in trust for future generations.

Offering day tours through Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve has been a long-standing dream of ours, formed during years spent working in the region.

In 2000, after completing a diploma in Adventure Eco-Tourism/Small Business, we started off with a small fleet of kayaks. Over the course of the next 10 years we moved into the sport fishing industry. After years of educating the masses on Haida protocols on fishing, with scales growing behind the ears, we then made the jump into cultural eco-tourism and met the requirements as a registered guide operator with Gwaii Haanas.

In 2012, we expanded by purchasing a Titan 240Xl zodiac. After years of researching what would work best on our waters we decided on an open zodiac for cultural adventure tours. And so it began, in welcoming the world to our backyard, guests had the option to learn more about our beautiful island that we call home.

People are like trees, and groups of people are like the forests. While the forests are composed of many different kinds of trees, these trees intertwine their roots so strongly that it is impossible for the strongest winds which blow on out island to uproot the forest, for each tree strengthens its neighbour, and their roots are inextricably intertwined.

In the same way the people of our Islands, composed of members of nations and races from all over the world, are beginning to intertwine their roots so strongly that no troubles will affect them.

Just as one tree standing alone would soon be destroyed by the first strong wind which came along, so it is impossible for any person, any family, or any community to stand alone against the troubles of this world.
— Chief Skidegate - Lewis Collinson. March 1966.

The Owners

 

James Cowpar

Avid outdoorsman, identical twin, I enjoy sharing my culture with guests from around the world. In continuing to learn, through reciprocity and the protocols that bind us, I have built my life around the principle of Yahguudang, respect for all living things. In welcoming you to our backyard, we seek to educate our guests on our way of life.

Shawn Cowpar

I am an outdoorsman and provider. Whether it is fishing or tour guiding around Haida Gwaii, I enjoy sharing my cultural experiences with others.

 

Our Team of Local Guides

Our guides are all local to Haida Gwaii. Each brings a different set of skills and experiences to our tours, providing an authentic experience for our guests. Some have up to 15 years experience with recreational and commercial fishing, while others have served as Watchmen and tour guides throughout Gwaii Haanas. On all our tours, Haida Style Expeditions ensures safety and wilderness requirements are met, including: MED A1, A2, A3, Wilderness First Aid, Radio Operator, Small Vessel Certification.

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  SASCHA DEAN JONES    - HAIDA WAVE   CAPTAIN & CULTURAL GUIDE

SG̱aan Kwah.Agang (James Dean McGuire)

 Cultural Guide

Musician/Traditional Dancer/Traditional Singer

Also in Gak’yaals Kiigawaay Raven Clan of K’uuna Llnagaay, James works tirelessly to share his cultural knowledge with Haida People and Visitors to Haida Gwaii. He is a singer and dancer in the Skidegate Dance group Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aaju (Friends Singing Together) and considers this one of the most important things in his life. James is a man if many hats, he plays as the lead singer and guitar player in the Haida punkrock band known as Jason Camp and The Posers. He also helped create the first feature film ever made in the Haida language SG̱aawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife) which has been shown at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and has won 2018 Canadian Film of the Year at The Vancouver International Film Festival, and continues to make noise around the film festival circuit. James’ storytelling, cultural knowledge, wealth of understanding, and variety of experience, will make your journey around Haida Territory one that you will never forget.

 

 

Gid yahk’ii (Sean Young)

Cultural Guide

Is part of the Gak’yaals Kiigawaay Raven Clan of K’uuna Llnagaay. He is currently the Collections Curator and Archaeologist at the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay. Sean is an educated and trained archaeologist, and has worked in the field on Haida Gwaii since 1995 and is an instructor for the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society's natural resource studies program.  He has also worked for the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program since 2004. Sean has an extensive knowledge of the history of the islands, from the creation of Haida Gwaii to the present day, and has a passion for sharing it with guests. 

 


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SG̲aana G̲aahlandaay (Alix Goetzinger)

SG̲aana G̲aahlandaay haan.uu dii kiiGa ga, wagyen Alix yaatsxaayda kihl gii. Kay Llnagaay uu hll chii'akaatl'lxa.

My name is SGaana Gaahlandaay (Spirit of the Killerwhale) and my English name is Alix. My clan came out of the ocean at Kay Llnagaay.

I'm a traditional singer, dancer, weaver, and aspiring storyteller. 

Through sharing songs and oral stories I take our guests on a journey through Haida history that has been documented word for word since the beginning of our existence. 

I enjoy bridging connections to other cultures around the world and creating an open conversation that allows our main Haida law of yahguudang- respect- to guide a better understanding and appreciation for our diverse ways of life.

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IILJUWAAS-Sitting BIG

Leonard Arens-Cultural Guide & Captain



Our Partners

 
 

We have built Haida Style Expeditions on a system of values, with the art of exchange at its core. This value is central to our culture, and we believe it runs from the traditional potlatch system through to how we conduct our business.

In giving back, we are helping to improve tourism on Haida Gwaii. We work with a local network of operators, and we will happily provide solid recommendations on where to stay, dine, and which sites to visit while on island.

We work hard to make your trip a memorable one, helping you to enjoy as many opportunities as possible while on island.  Our goal is to have you walk away having learned a story about our people and these lands we have called home for thousands of years.

 
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Or you can contact us the old fashioned way... 

#2 Second Beach, Office #606, P.O. Box 1771 Skidegate B.C V0T 1S1

 Phone: (250) 637-1151

Email: haidastyle@gmail.com