Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Haida

The Haida were native North Americans who lived primarily on the Queen Charlotte Islands, off British Columbia, and on the southern end of the Prince of Wales Island. They speak the Haida language, which forms a branch of the family of Nadene languages. In physical and cultural characteristics they are closely related to the Tlingit and the Tsimshian, as all three tribes belong to the Northwest Coast cultural area.

In the early 19th century The Haida lived in large cedar houses, fished for salmon, hunted sea mammals, and were noted for their large and well-made dugout canoes. Their society was divided into the Raven and Eagle clan, as marriage was always with someone of the opposite clan. They then numbered some 8,000, but by 1880 disease, particularly smallpox and venereal infections, had reduced their population to some 2,000. Today most Haida are employed in fishing, canning, and logging and many have left their island homes for mainland life. In 1990 there were close to 2,000 Haida living in the United States and another 2,000 in Canada.

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