At One Yellow Tree we like to think of this legend as a metaphor for each business we work with. The Haida Gwaii; Island of The People – We help our clients business’ become recognizable and memorable like the Kiidk’yaas.
Haida Gwaii is home to some of British Columbia’s oldest forests. In the early 1970s, a group of botanists from the University of British Columbia discovered a golden Sitka Spruce on the island near the Yakoun River.
The island’s natives, the Haida, revered the tree for a rare golden color, calling it the Kiidk’yaas, and was recognized as sacred.
Its golden color made the Kiidk’yaas stand out among its deep green brethren. As a sacred symbol to the Haida and a biological marvel, the Golden Spruce was protected from industrial foresting.
However, in 1997, a 47-year-old unemployed forest engineer named Grant Hadwin hacked the Golden Spruce down as a political statement. His actions caused uproar and he was arrested, but on his way to trial, he disappeared and was never seen again.
Rumors say he died kayaking; remains of his broken kayak and his belongings were found on a remote island after he went missing. Speculations of his whereabouts drew on for some time until the case went cold.
Whether he was murdered for his crime, accidentally drowned, or left his belongings behind on purpose is still a mystery.
As for the Golden Spruce, saplings were saved and are propagating in UBC’s Botanical Garden and Center for Plant Research and the wood harvested from the tree went into making a guitar dedicated to Canadian History.