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World Heritage Site

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SGang Gwaay

SGang Gwaay

SGang Gwaay are the remains of a Haida village on the eastern side of Anthony Island, which represent an outstanding example of a traditional Northwest Coast First Nations village site, complete with standing totem poles and the remains of cedar longhouses.

It was the southernmost of traditional Haida villages, being just west of and facing Kunghit Island, the southernmost island in the archipelago. Today it features the largest collection of Haida totem poles in their original locations, many celebrated as great works of art, though they are being allowed to succumb to the natural decay of the lush coastal rainforest climate. The site is extremely remote, and access is only by sea or air from towns in the northern part of the islands.

SGang Gwaay was the location of several episodes in the early history of white contact with the isles.

Map of SGang Gwaay


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Trevor Canada - 14-Aug-06

I recently went on a kayaking trip to SGaang Gwaii and found it to be an fascinating place. The old totem poles and long house were great to see as they will not be there much longer.The Hiada people believe they came from the earth and that they should return to the earth. They are located on the southern part of the Queen Charlotte Islands. I found a travel company on the internet located in the Charlottes. About the only way to get down to SGaang Qwaii is to use one of these companies as the last road is 100 miles to the north. We also stopped at Skedans an equally impressive site and should not be missed. I highly recommend going you will not be disappointed. Don't forget to ask about the hot springs.

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Community Rating

Community Rating 4.00. Based on 1 votes.

Site Info

Full name: SGang Gwaay

Unesco ID: 157

Inscribed: 1981

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2006 - Name change From "SGaang Gwaii (Anthony Island)" to "SGang Gwaay"
  • 2000 - Name change From "Anthony Island" to "SGaang Gwaii (Anthony Island)"
  • 1981 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • SGang Gwaay


The site has 14 connections.



Human Activity

  • Language isolate: Haida (isolate is controversial, sometimes connected to Na-Dene) Link
  • Masks: Among the Haida, masks were used mostly by members of the secret societies. Link



WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process

  • Name changes: A series of changes which has resulted in the "extinction" of the original name - "Sgang Gwaay" started off as "Anthony Island" and offically passed through "Sgang Gwaay (Anthony Island)" before reaching its current title!
  • Inscribed on a single criterion only: iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
  • Extensions on Tentative List: Gwaii Haanas


5 community members have visited SGang Gwaay.