Friday, December 9, 2011

Skidegate United Church

Hey there!

I haven't posted in a while because I am super busy! Ha, and it feels like just yesterday I was whining because I was bored. Well, be careful what you wish for because now I am juggling five jobs - two writing gigs, two piano gigs, and one as secretary - oh yah, and being a Mom!

In my spare time, I have put together another blog for Skidegate United Church! Stay tuned for updates on service times, special events, and other fun stuff as we go about our days.

Visit and if you have anything to add, pictures to share, or stories to share about our church, please email us at


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Skidegate Socialite for August 11

And here we are, up to date yet again. Let's see if I can keep this up now that summer is winding down and the company will be all finished for the season (SAD but true...)

I’m exhausted as I write my column this week, as most people on-island are, I’m sure. The Edge of the World Music Festival has wrapped up for another year. I had full intentions of this being the year I went, and yet, the road just did not take me there. Taylor and I picked up some nice German people and instead of dropping them off in Skidegate (where we were headed Friday), we took them to Tlell so they would get to the festival earlier. Saturday we packed up a picnic lunch and headed up coast, only to decide last minute it was a perfect day to explore Tow Hill and North Beach. Sunday we went to church and then got sun-happy and spent the entire afternoon/early evening at Jungle Beach. I hope everyone who did make it to the festival had a great time. It seemed like a happenin’ place and the line-up was fantastic!
Last week I raved about a new place we ate at, Hidden RV. Well, I took Taylor there to experience the deep-fried Mars bars. They were sold-out. No! Well, as any East Coaster would do, we went to find our own and brought them back to the restaurant! They were super tasty. The new place I discovered this week was Moon Over Naikoon Bakery on Tow Hill Road. I’ve passed by the sign before but never went in to explore. Well, I was missing out on delicious bread and soup! We picked up some corn chowder to go, fresh loaf of bread, and some delicious goodies and off we went to our picnic on North Beach. Wow. Well worth the stop, as most of you probably already know. It’s just so fun to explore, especially when you have the excuse of an out-of-towner to show around.
We had the first service of the summer at Skidegate United Church this week as well. It was nice to see some familiar faces. Our Faith Adventure Camp was cancelled for this year but there are already plans to have it next year! Nancy and I are off to Prince Rupert for the National Aboriginal Spiritual Gathering August 19-21. It will be my first time away from Noora. I’m excited and nervous but I’m sure she and Dad will have lots of fun without me.
After a busy week of festivals and memorials, I hope everyone has a chance to relax. For those families who are mourning the loss of loved ones, I wish you peace and comfort. I, too, will be looking for some relaxation but I doubt I will find it this week. There is so much to do, so many things to show my friend, and an eighteen-month energy ball to run after. Ah, such is life. I’m excited to try out the Book and Bite travelling bookshelf, so maybe we’ll grab a burger at Island Burger House in Charlotte or go for a coffee at Jags Beanstalk!
For any of you who need a positive push to realize your dreams, Community Futures is putting on a workshop featuring the motivational tools of Walt Disney: The Dreamer, The Realist and The Critic. It takes place at the Skidegate Office, 191 Third Ave by the Firehall, on August 18 & 19 from 1:30 – 4:30pm. Show up and get some great information to help make some positive changes in your life!
And last but not least, happy belated birthday to Lisa Dignard who celebrated this past week, and Happy Birthday to Uncle Dwight Russ on August 15th.

Skidegate Socialite for August 4

Happy Fall, everyone! Confused? Well, so was I when I arrived in Tlell on Sunday, July 31. The Tlell Fall was in full swing when we arrived with Noora that afternoon. First things first, we went to inspect the farm animals and it took forever to see anything else; Noora was obsessed with the horse and the bunnies! Hmm, do I see a hobby farm in my future? I think so! It was my first time there and it was a wonderful experience. The entertainment was wonderful, food was tasty, and so many people braved the sporadic downpours and danced away to the music. I also was pleased to see the wide variety of fresh produce on display (Peter Rabbit would have loved the giant cabbage).
After the fair, we headed up to Masset to wish Chinni Reynold Russ a belated Happy 81st birthday (July 30). It’s always a fun time to go up the coast and we always have some type of adventure while there. This time, after a cruise up to North Beach while Willie, Noora and Nova snoozed in the car, we decided to follow our tummies to a new destination: Hidden Island RV Resort. The fish and chips were amazing and for dessert, I went out on a limb and tried the deep-fried Mars bar. Let’s just say, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one. I’m always excited to find new places to see on-island. Who needs the fancy attractions of the main land?
This is going to be a busy week for me. As this goes to print, I will finally be in possession of my bestest friend, Taylor. Also, we’ll be welcoming back Nancy O’Higgins after her time away for studying. It’ll be nice to have her back but I just hope I find the time to clean the manse before she arrives. As the summer begins to wrap up, many visitors and loved ones will be returning to their homes away from the island, and I wish all of you a safe journey.
I would also like to reach out again for volunteers for Skidegate’s Fire Department. If you love your community and its’ people, don’t mind having a good time once a week (Tuesdays) and want to make this place safer, please sign up. The long-time members need a break! Not only are they busy training and responding to emergencies, they are out there cleaning up our community when no one else shows up (Hawa’a guys for cleaning up those cars before Skidegate Days!).  
Hawa’a also to the Skidegate Health Center who put on the wonderful fitness workshop July 28 & 29. Those of us who participated learned so much from Dr. Rosalin Miles and I hope we can get some fun new programs running in the fall. If anyone has any ideas, give the Health Center a call or email me (
Also, I’d like to thank our handsome RCMP men for keeping this community safe. In the last few weeks there have been some arrests made for drug trafficking, and I hope there will be more. This community has too many beautiful children in it and I do not want to see their lives wasted with something as stupid as drugs. We need to stay positive and send a message that we’ve had enough. (Regardless, it’s not a bad thing to have handsome uniformed men around for any reason!)
And last, but not least, I have some birthdays to celebrate. Happy belated birthday to fellow July babies, Abby (7 years) and Reannah (6 years) who celebrated July 27th. Happy birthday also to Nadine Jones (Aug. 4th), Doreen Ridley (August 7th) and Mare Levesque (Aug. 7th).

Skidegate Socialite for July 28

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to...oh, sorry, I guess I got a bit too excited there because it’s my birthday! Not that I’m entirely pleased with this fact; what woman wants to get older? But if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! So, let’s shake it up this week and celebrate the birthdays first! I’m sharing my birthday week with a very sexy new member of Skidegate. His name is Iron Hide (no, ladies, he isn’t available. He belongs to Goox and Leah). And as with all Leos, he is beautiful, loud and just a bit too much! Happy 1st birthday and I wish you many more to come. Also, wishing a Happy Birthday to Gary Russ and Natalie Fournier this week.
If you’re looking for last minute birthday gifts, or perhaps are in need of a ticket out of the doghouse, Tanya Alton has just made room for some great new Avon products so give her a shout on Facebook, or give her a call!
I was going to go without ranting this week, but I just have a teeny tiny one so bear with me. Just after I wrote my column last week, I found out that Dave’s In the Village suffered some vandalism after the Skidegate Days dance. I find this sad not only because it is part of Nuni Pat’s (Gellerman) property, but because it is disrespectful. A few months back you may remember a series of break-ins. I know no community can be crime-free but really! I’m hoping once the Youth Center is up and running kids will have some more things to do to keep things like this from happening. Hawa’a to all those who are working their butts off to get ‘er done!
Be sure to check out the book launch for That Which Makes Us Haida-the Haida Language on Friday evening, July 29, 7pm at the Kaay Center. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful photos by Farah Nosh! The 240-page book and CD set include Jusquan Amanda Bedard, Lucy Bell, Nika Collison, Dr. Marianne Ignace, Dr. Jordan Lachler, Barbara J. Wilson and others. It’ll be an evening of celebration you won’t want to miss!
Also coming up is the Faith Adventure Camp at Skidegate United Church on August 8-12. It’ll be a great chance for kids ages 6-13 to get together to share in craft-making, song-singing, acting and snacks! Please call Mavis (559-4209) or Sandi (559-8797) or send an email to to register. I’ll be helping out when I can and can’t wait to see what kind of fun these ladies have planned.
I hope Royal Warner enjoyed his party at the Kaay on Sunday July 24th. I had planned to go but ended up asleep with Noora instead. All this working out at the gym has made me sleepy! Haha. William Russ, aka Tycoon, had a very successful Loonie Auction this past week as well and will be off to Washington, DC to promote his music and his community at the end of August! See “Personal Notices” for his big Hawa’a! And WELCOME HOME Dena and Ed Russ. We’ve missed you! It’s good to know you’re back with friends and family in time to enjoy this burst of sunshine on Haida Gwaii. And last, but not least, this week I would like to wish Norm and Kristen Moraes a very happy 2nd anniversary on July 30th. Congrats!
Looking forward to the upcoming weeks, my best friend is coming to visit all the way from Newfoundland! I’m so excited. I can’t wait to introduce her to the wonderful Edge of the World music festival taking place August 5, 6, and 7th!

Skidegate Socialite for July 21

I still have a bit of excitement buzzing in my ears leftover from Skidegate Days. It was my first time at the event, and honestly, I can’t say I know much more about it than before I went. The reason? I was trying to co-ordinate the mass amount of pies and desserts that were donated for the Pie & Coffee Booth. Hawa’a to everyone who baked up a storm, and hawa’a to those who couldn’t bake for us (no really, THANK YOU! We had far too many things to sell in the end). We had a tremendous turnout, and though I was exhausted by the end, I was glad to have helped out. I was a bit nervous to have taken on such a venture, but with the help of Pearle, Liz, Ivy, Mavis, Gwen, Olga, Ron and Thelma, we made it work!
I did manage to sneak in a break during the Canoe Races. I was very proud of the Girl Power team, and sister-in-law Carla Russ, who had an amazing time of 5:37 minutes. Not bad for a girl’s team remarked Willie. I jabbed him and asked what on earth that meant. I think it was mere sibling rivalry more than male chauvinism because his team was up next. They also did well coming in at 5:14 (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong). Skidegate Days was definitely a showcase of athletic talent, including Bruce Haralson won the Totem to Totem Marathon and many other worthy participants who crossed the finish line shortly after.
Don’t think for a moment things will get dull now that the big event of the summer is over. If you didn’t have a chance to make it to Willie Russ’ Loonie/Toonie Auction and Dinner on Wednesday evening but would still like to make a donation toward his trip to the SCMC music conference he will now be attending in Washington, D.C on August 29th, email him at We had a great turnout and hawa’a again to everyone who donated auction items and their time to help get him one step closer to realizing his dreams!
There will be a baby shower for Royal Warner Funk on July 24th at the Kaay from 2-4pm. And more excitement at the Kaay, on July 29th for the launch of That Which Makes Us Haida-The Haida Language book will take place at 7pm. The book features beautiful portraits of fluent Haida speakers by noted photographer Farah Nosh. There will also be a screening of Sinxii Gangu-Sound Gambling Sticks. Come and be inspired!
Also, now is the time to get your tickets for the Edge of the World Music Festival! The early bird gets the worm and in this case, pays less. Check out the QC Visitor’s Centre, the Crow’s Nest, Bayview Grocery and Masset Grocery for advance tickets. Check out for ticket prices and more. Featured artists this year include The Odds, Jaffa Road¸Wayne Lavallee, Doug Koyama, The Sweet Lowdown, Hilary Grist, and more. Another event I haven’t been to, so maybe you’ll see me there! They are still looking for volunteers, so please check out the site for that info as well.
And last but not least I’d like to send birthday wishes to Randy Tennant who celebrates this week, along with Calida Erickson who will celebrate on July 24th. July Babies rock! And so ends a very action-packed week, and I hope everyone has fully recovered from the Skidegate Days Dance. While some people were nursing hangovers the day after, someone was missing their smile – thanks to the good people at Taaw Naay for displaying them in hopes of finding their owner!

Skidegate Socialite for July 14

I’m having a bit of trouble writing my column today. While making turkey pies to sell at our Pie Booth for Skidegate United Church, I sliced my index finger instead of a potato. Don’t worry, there’s no blood in the pies! They are delicious enough without it, haha. They will be frozen and for sale at $4 a pie and we will have lots more goodies available, so please stop by and bring your appetite! Hawa’a to everyone who will be donating a pie or two, and if anyone else would like to drop something off, we’ll be in our usual place by CHN. It will be a cash only booth as well.
So yes, Skidegate Days is upon us. I’m excited as it is my first chance to see what all of the fuss is about. There are so many events to take part in, I hope I don’t miss any. I’m not sure I’ll be taking part in the Coke guzzling contest, but it does sound intriguing! I’ll be interested to see the canoe races, though. Noora will most likely be most excited about the dancing. She is the newest (and youngest) member of the talented dance group, Hlt’aaxuulang Guud ad K’aajuu. I only caught the end of their rehearsal last week, but she is pretty darn good at the Chief’s Dance already! Such a proud Mom am I.
If you’re up for more excitement after Skidegate Days, there will a Loonie/Toonie auction for William Russ in the next week (keep your eyes out for more information). As you may remember, I had a little write-up about his music in a past column. Well, he has been selected to attend the SCMC Music Conference in Greensboro, South Carolina on July 29th. There will be lots of goodies to bid on and some performances by local talent. It should be a great night, but will be soon as he’ll be leaving before the end of the month. Check out his stuff at
And if you’re up for even more excitement, join us to celebrate the launching of That Which Makes Us Haida-The Haida Language book that features beautiful portraits of fluent Haida speakers by noted photographer Farah Nosh ( Opening ceremonies/book launch will begin at 7pm on Friday July 29th at the Kaay, followed by a DVD screening of Sinxii Gangu- Sound Gambling Sticks. It should be a very proud evening for all those who took part, and for everyone in this community. I hope it stirs some people to begin language lessons at S.H.I.P in the fall! The only way to learn is from the elders.  
Just a quick note while on the subject of language; when I was at Saint Mary’s University I took part in a small class of students wanting to learn Gaidhlig (Scottish Gaelic). Our teacher was a mostly-fluent speaker (there are very few left, most in Cape Breton, NS) and he used the TIP method (Total Immersion Plus). In class, we would try only to speak Gaidhlig, covered basic everyday things, and used LOTS of repetition. They also have weekend-intensive courses. Much like the Haida language, it is struggling to survive but it is making a comeback with the youth. Anyone interested in Gaidhlig should take a look at this project It’d be a great project for S.H.I.P to work on next!
Alright, and last but not least, the birthdays of the week! Sending wishes to Ashley Knapton who celebrated on July 7th and to Deedee Crosby on July 8th. Also to Aria Price who turned 4 on July 9th, and to Ryan Goetzinger who celebrated on July 10th.

Skidegate Socialite for July 7

I hope everyone enjoyed their Canada Day in spite of the rain. We did not get to Port for the festivities, but instead had our picnic and adventure on Saturday instead. We stopped at Bayview Store to get supplies, and ate on the back of the truck at the Golden Spruce Trail. We then continued on to Masset to visit relatives, and Noora got to visit with her cousin, Addison. Nova forgot we were even there because she was having so much fun with a beautiful husky. When I inquired who he belonged to, they said no one. He had been abandoned because he had outgrown the “cute puppy” stage, and hadn’t had a home in a long time. I was furious, to say the least. We were then told the dogcatcher would be coming round on Monday to “dispose” of all the stray dogs in the village. WHAT? No way, this dog was not going out like that, and so, here he sits by my feet. It’s Monday morning and he’s no longer homeless. Harlan (or Harley, for short) is the newest addition to our family; Noora and Nova simply adore their new brother.
It makes me sick to think of how irresponsible people are in Masset, and in Skidegate, as well. A dog is a responsibility, much like a child is. You must give it, at the very least, the basic necessities of life: food, water and shelter. Why not go further and show it love. I’m not saying that everyone must turn into Caesar Milan and ride around on roller blades with your pup a few times a day, but please, do not get a dog (or any other animal) just to leave it chained up, or worse, abandoned on the road.
While in Ranch Feeds buying Harley’s collar and leash, I met a wonderful couple from Skidegate, Tommy Greene and Laura Dutheil. They were buying treats and food for their dogs. However, it turns out “their dogs” are really some of the stray village dogs. I was so happy to find out they take care of Nova’s friend, Chief, even giving him special extras to help with his arthritis. If only all strays had angels like this to care for them. There are plenty of options for your pets if you cannot take care of them; obedience training is available in Lawn Hill at the SPCA for $25 a session, or you can surrender your dog there and it will find a good home. Please, help control the population of strays humanely; prevent the problem.
Sigh. Now, my rant is over, on with other news! There will be a headstone raising for Wesley & Bubby Pearson on July 30th, 1 pm at the Skidegate Cemetery with tea to follow in the small hall, after.
Chad Dignard graduated from high school, on the honour roll, and Nuni and Chinni want to wish him good luck as he heads off to the mid-West for training in the Armed Forces this week.
Skidegate Days is just around the corner, July 16th, so please come by the church’s booth to get some coffee and yummy pie or cake! I can’t wait to see what goes on there!
And for all new moms, there will be a breastfeeding network meeting at the QC Clinic Lounge on July 12, at 10:30am. Call Sandi at 559-8910 to register!
And the birthdays of the week: Happy Belated Birthday to Noni June Russ who celebrated her 80th on June 1. Madison Williams celebrated her 9th on June 27th. Alexis Buxton celebrates her 11th on July 6th and Nuni Kathleen (Golie) Hans celebrates on July 13th.