Sunday, October 30, 2011

Place-names on Haida Gwaii

Bruin Bay
Graham Island
This bay received its name because a large bear came down to the beach to feed abreast of the H.M.S. Virago when at anchor there, May 1853.

Cape St. James
Southern extremity of Haida Gwaii
Named by Captain George Dixon, of the ship Queen Charlotte, because he rounded this point on St. James' Day (July 25th), 1787.

Cumshewa Inlet
Moresby Island
Derived from the Bella Bella word meaning "rich at the mouth of the river."

Graham Island
Named after Sir james Robert Graham, Bart., First Lord of the Admiralty, 1852-55, by Captain J.C. Prevost of H.M.S. Virago, 1853.

Harriet Harbour, Moresby Island
An adaption of the Haida word gigawai, meaning "large fish trap" -- the Haida name for Harriet Harbour.

Juan Perez Sound
Moresby Island
Named after Sub-lieutenant Juan Perez, sent by the Viceroy of Mexico in charge of an exploring voyage to the North-west Coast in 1774. Named by George M. Dawson, Geological Survey of Canada, 1878.

Langara Island
northern extremity of Haida Gwaii
Originally named "North Island" by Captain George Dixon of the ship Queen Charlotte in 1787. Named after Admiral Langara of the Spanish Navy by Lieut. Jacinto Caamano, commander of the Spanish corvette Aranzazu in 1792. The Spanish name was adopted by Captain Vancouver on his charts and in the twentieth century superseded the original name.

Laskeek Bay
Moresby Island
From an old Tsimshian name meaning "on the Eagle," one of their clans. This was the Tsimshian name for the Haida village of Tanu situated there.

Louise Island
Named after H.R.H. Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, by George M. Dawson, G.S.C. 1878.

Graham Island
From the Haida name of Maast given to a large island situated in the inlet about 3 miles above the village.

Moresby Island
Named after Rear Admiral Fairfax Moresby, Commander-in-Chief of the British Navy's Pacific Station, 1850-53, by Captain J. C. Prevost of H.M.S. Virago, 1853.

Naden Harbour
Graham Island
From an old Haida name, by Captain J. C. Prevost of H.M.S. Virago.

Parry Passage
between Langara Island and Graham Island
Named after Rear Admiral Sir William Edward Parry, noted Arctic explorer, by Captain J. C. Prevost of H.M.S. Virago, 1853.

Peel Inlet
Moresby Island
Named by George Moore, R.N., master of H.M.S. Thetis, in 1852 after Francis Peel, third lieutenant on the Thetis.

Port Kuper
Moresby Island
Named after Captain Augustus L. Kuper of H.M.S. Thetis, stationed there 1851-53.

Rose Point
Graham Island
Named after George Rose, M.P., political writer and statesman and follower of William Pitt; by Captain William Douglas of the brigantine Iphigenia, 1788.

Selwyn Inlet
Moresby Island
Named after Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn, noted geologist and director of Canadian Geologic Survey, 1869-95; by George M. Dawson, G.S.C., 1878.

Graham Island
From the Haida word meaning "red paint stone," because of the calcinous rocks found there which could be ground up for paint pigments.

Graham Island
Means Beeline Town (literally, "to proceed in a straight line"). The town chief of Yan, name Stiltla, was an accomplice of Chief Wiah of Masset in the capture of the ship Susan Sturgis in 1852. After its seizure, the ship was brought to Yan, then looted and burned a short distance offshore from Stiltla's House Looking at Its Beak. Stiltla built another large house at Masset, on which he displayed a carved eagle from the sternboard of the ship.