Week of January 29, 2017
The week went by quickly with two presentations at Haisla Community School in Kitamaat Village. We had fun exchanging with both groups and we received beautiful gifts in appreciation (mugs and school logo t-shirts). Cameron was there for the occasion and the credit for the photos taken during our presentations goes to him.
Tuesday and Wednesday, we walked around. The wind was still strong and did not want to let go. Although the sun was present throughout the week, the Arctic air was felt. (See the February 1, 2017 post to see pictures of landscapes taken during our hikes:
Wednesday, we went to the end of the road of Kitamaat Village, the one that runs along the bay. Facing the marina, we found Sammy Robinson's shop, a renowned Haisla artist. We were lucky to meet him. He was working in his studio and he invited us to come in. Our first impressions were strong. His artworks, hanging on the wall, are incredible. The attention to detail, the light and colours, the vibrancy, the history and the aura that emerge from the sculpted works is striking. It is as if they had been engraved in time. Mr. Robinson was not sparing with information and the meeting was exciting. His artworks are expensive and exceptional. They are sold all over the world.
Mr. Robinson explained the process of selecting a tree. When he finds a subject of quality, he does not cut it down. Rather, he removes the bark and allows the standing wood to dry for at least 20 years. Then, he harvests it with great precautions. The process is a long one to have beautiful wood to work with, but the result is there. Mr. Robinson is also working with gold and silver. Aged 83, he says he has shortened his working days. Rather than working 14 to 16 hours a day, he spends 8 hours in his studio. He is at the top of his art. In one of his displays, there is a paddle sculpted in yellow cedar and embellished by pieces of abalone shells. We did not take picture of his artworks to show our respect and gratitude for letting us in. But I found a video on YouTube where we can see the paddle (from 1:37):: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Xnh2wWmys.
On Thursday, we were invited by Marilyn to lunch with the elders of the Kitamaat Village. We loved our discussions and the meal was very good. The elders bare the memory of time. They are looked upon with great respect by the community. We had the chance to attend an information session with the Active Chief. This allowed us to learn about the issues of the community and about the various projects underway. Out of respect, I will not mention here the subjects discussed.
In the evening, we gave a presentation to the Toastmasters club in Kitimat, at Cameron's invitation. It was a very pleasant evening which also allowed us to receive good feedback on our presentation. Thank you Cameron for the transportation and the invitation.
Friday, we went to Terrace to shop. Our stay in Kitimat is longer than expected and we must adjust and anticipate accordingly. Some items are not found here, such as Jasmine's food. She is fed a very high protein food and we would like to continue to offer her the best. Our trip to Terrace was made possible thanks to Betty, assistant manager of MK Bay Marina. She lent us her car for the day. That afternoon, we saw Candice. She came to bring us some canned fish that she made herself. Succulent! Candice works for the Haisla Nation, among others, with Tracey.
Saturday, we recorded the strongest winds of the week. We thought we saw in the distance the breath of a whale and a dorsal fin that resembled one of a killer whale. The animal was far away and with the reflection of the sun, it was difficult to distinguish things. But I remain convinced that this is our first sighting of a killer whale. We were told that during a certain period of the year, they can be seen just in front of the marina. There is even one who came near the dock. We cannot wait to see more!
The weather forecast is not looking good for the next few days. The wind remains problematic. One of the boat pilots carrying workers, told us on Friday that the waves were over 10 feet deep at the end of the bay. So no luck for us! Better to stay quiet and leave whenever Mother Nature will agree.