Haida Eagle Treasures

Haida Eagle Treasures


Take a journey into the heart of Haida culture as it is lived and experienced by an extraordinary woman of the Tsath Lanas Eagle Clan. Pansy Collison, a Haida woman born and raised in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii, tells stories of her clan and community, as well as personal narratives about her history and family. Haida Eagle Treasures embodies a strong Haida woman’s voice, offering a rare glimpse inside Haida culture. Each story and memory is a treasure that captures part of the beauty of the Haida worldview and way of life.

Now retired, Pansy taught for 23 years at elementary, secondary, and college levels. From these experiences, she describes some of the challenges and contradictions of living between two worlds. Pansy’s teaching skills, artistic talents, and political affiliations keep her involved in politics and education on Haida Gwaii.

Thirteen original illustrations by Pansy’s brother, Paul White, a gifted artist, teacher, pole carver and designer, provide the guideposts within Haida Eagle Treasures.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Celebrating Haida Culture through Storytelling
The Greatest Mentor In My Life, My Dear Precious Grandmother
How the Haida People Were Created
The Haida Women and the Bears
Bears and Picking Berries
Chinny Benjamin
Our Precious Gifts
My Beautiful Mother
Tribute to my Mother
My Precious Children
Beliefs of the Haida People
Golden Spruce
Drum Making
Button Blankets
The Haida Chief Who Built an Island
Tow and Tow-Ustahsin
The Raven and the Moon
Traditions and Culture
Basket Full of Stories
Listen to our Elders
Education and Culture
Trails and Tribulations
I Believe
Protecting Our Land
What Does Culture Mean To Me?
My Loved Ones
Haida Glossary

Pansy Collison

Pansy Collison is a Haida woman born and raised in Old Massett, BC. As a teacher, singer, and storyteller, she shares her extensive knowledge of Haida traditions and culture with the younger generations. Pansy is active in band politics, having spent 12 years as a council member and four years as the Deputy Chief Councillor for the Old Massett Band. Now residing in Prince Rupert, Pansy teaches at an elementary school also leads adult workshops in the art of drums, weaving, and traditional regalia.


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