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SGang Gwaay

SGang Gwaay

The village of Ninstints (Nans Dins) is located on a small island off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). Remains of houses, together with carved mortuary and memorial poles, illustrate the Haida people's art and way of life. The site commemorates the living culture of the Haida people and their relationship to the land and sea, and offers a visual key to their oral traditions.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

SGang Gwaay

Le village de Ninstints (Nans Dins) est situé sur une petite île sur la côte ouest des îles de la Reine-Charlotte (Haïda Gwaii). Les vestiges de maisons ainsi que de mâts funéraires et commémoratifs sculptés fournissent des exemples de la vie et de l'art toujours vivants des Haïdas. Le site commémore la culture vivante des Haïdas, leur relation avec la terre et la mer et offre une clef visuelle des traditions orales.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

أسغانغ غواي

تقع بلدة نينس تينتس (أو نانس دينس) على جزيرة صغيرة قبالة الساحل الغربي لجزر الملكة شارلوت (أو جزر هايدا غواي). وتعطي آثار البيوت والعواميد الجنائزية والتذكارية المنحوتة أمثلة عن حياة شعب الهايدا وفنّهم الخالد. ويحيي هذا الموقع الثقافة الحيّة الخاصة بهذا الشعب، وعلاقته بالأرض والبحر ويعطي صورة حيّة عن التقاليد الشفوية التي كانت سائدة في تلك الحقبة.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


安东尼岛上的尼斯停斯村(Ninstints)坐落在夏洛特女王群岛(the Queen Charlotte Islands)西侧的一个小岛上。村里的房屋遗迹以及图腾和死亡之柱,展示了海达人(Haida people)的艺术和生活方式。这个遗址是为了纪念海达人的生活文化以及他们同陆地和海洋的关系而设立,也为人们理解海达人口头传下来的传统提供了一个形象直观的途径。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Остров Энтони

Деревня индейского племени нинстинт (или – нанс дин) расположена на маленьком островке в западной части архипелага Королевы Шарлотты. Остатки жилых домов, вместе с резными погребальными и памятными столбами, демонстрируют искусство и образ жизни жителей острова. Объект создает представление о бытовой культуре этих людей, об их отношениях с окружающей природой, а также дает ключ к пониманию их устных традиций.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

SGang Gwaay

La aldea de Ninstints está situada en una pequeña isla frente a la costa occidental del archipiélago de la Reina Carlota (Haida Gwaii). Los vestigios de viviendas y tótems esculpidos de carácter funerario y conmemorativo constituyen un testimonio del arte y el modo de vida del pueblo haida. El sitio celebra la relación de los haida con la tierra y el mar, así como su cultura aún viva, y proporciona también una clave visual de sus tradiciones orales.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

SGang Gwaay

Het dorp Ninstints (Nans Dins) ligt op een klein eiland voor de westkust van de Koningin Charlotte Eilanden (Haida Gwaii). Het dorp werd bezet tot kort na 1880. De overblijfselen zijn uniek in de wereld, een 19e-eeuws Haida dorp waarvan de ruïnes van huizen en gedenkteken- of mortuariumpalen de kracht en de artisticiteit illustreren van de Haida samenleving. Het gebied draagt een unieke getuigenis van de verdwenen beschaving van de Haida Indianen, een stam die voornamelijk leefde van de jacht en de visserij in de archipel. De Haida cultuur werd gekenmerkt door de relatie van de indianen met land en zee en hun mondelinge tradities.

Source: unesco.nl

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SGang Gwaay © Amanda
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

On the island of SG̱ang Gwaay, the remains of large cedar long houses, together with a number of carved mortuary and memorial poles at the village of SG̱ang Gwaay Llnagaay (formerly Nan Sdins), illustrate the art and way of life of the Haida. The property commemorates the living culture of the Haidaand their relationship with the land and sea. It also offers a visual key to their oral traditions. The village of SG̱ang Gwaay was occupied until shortly after 1880. What survives is unique in the world, a 19th-century Haida village where the ruins of houses and memorial or mortuary poles illustrate the power and artistry of Haida society.

Criterion (iii): SG̱ang Gwaay bears unique testimony to the culture of the Haida. The art represented by the carved poles at SG̱ang Gwaay Llnagaay (Nan Sdins) is recognized to be among the finest examples of its type in the world.


The property is wholly contained within the natural boundaries of the island on which all remains are located, thus ensuring the complete representation of the features and processes that convey the property’s significance. There is some degradation of the ruins and mortuary poles due to natural processes, but the property is protected from adverse effects of human development and invasive species. There has been no permanent settlement on the property since the early 19th century.

While no formal buffer zone is associated with this property, it is within the 147,000 ha Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (created in 1993) and the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (created in 2010).


SG̱ang Gwaay is unquestionably authentic in terms of its location and setting, forms and designs, materials and substances as well as spirit and feeling. The property is an authentic illustration of the evolving Haida culture, as can be seen in the relationships between the forms and designs of the art and structures at the property, and contemporary Haida art. The property continues to hold significant spiritual value for the Haida and is still used today.

After consultation with chiefs and elders, in 1995 four poles were straightened and stabilized and in 1997 an additional pole was stabilized in an effort to prolong the period before they return naturally to the earth. Identified and potential threats to the authenticity of the property include the general decomposition of the cedar poles and house remains, the impact of deer on the in-situ artefacts (the situation is reviewed on a regular basis and culling happens as required), and unsupervised visitors who may inadvertently damage the fragile cultural resources by touching or walking on them.

Protection and management requirements

SG̱ang Gwaay is commemorated by the Government of Canada as a National Historic Site (1981) and is protected under the Constitution of the Haida Nation (2003), the Canada National Parks Act (2000), and related management systems. Situated within the boundaries of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, the property is cooperatively managed by the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation. Cultural resource management requirements for the property are currently addressed under the management plan for the entire Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (2008).

An Archipelago Management Board (AMB), comprised of Haida and Government of Canada representatives, determines all operational, planning and management actions, using a consensus-based decision-making model. The AMB examines all initiatives and undertakings related to the planning, operation, and management of SG̱ang Gwaay. The Haida Hereditary Leaders have moral authority over the village sites and are consulted; solutions are based on advice provided by the Haida Hereditary Leaders. The Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program of site guardians and guides is managed by the Skidegate Band Council and is an essential part of the management structure.

Special attention will be given over the long term to monitoring and taking appropriate actions related to a number of factors in and near the property. Specifically, these include the following: potential impacts of climate change; potential building development; marine pollution; local conditions affecting physical fabric including wind, humidity, and temperature; impacts of tourism, visitation and recreational activities; deliberate destruction of heritage; effects of climate change and severe weather; possible sudden ecological and geological events; and invasive species.