By Emilee Gilpin
As an end-of-February sun rose to paint the sky shades of pink and purple, howling laughter and cheerful chatter meant something was stirring on the island of Haida Gwaii.
On an otherwise quiet Monday morning, the most popular café bistro in Skidegate, buzzed with energy. Most mornings are busy for Jags Beanstalk, whose slogan is: "bistro, beds, coffee, conversation." But today, it was unusually animated.
The first cohort of Heiltsuk women had arrived off the ferry in Skidegate, where they stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat, before driving north along the east side of the island, to Old Masset. They were on their way to the first ever Heiltsuk and Haida Women’s Dialogue Session.
The event was the third Women's Dialogue Session to be held in Haida Gwaii over the last year. The first session was for Haida women only, the second, for Haida and non-Haida women living in Haida Gwaii, and now this one for Heiltsuk and Haida women. The dialogue sessions were inspired by the BC Assembly of First Nations' women's dialogue session in Vancouver in March, 2017.