Meet Lisa White-Kuuyang & Jordon Seward
Lisa White-Kuuyang and Jordon Seward built their business on the legacy that Lisa’s family has created. Lisa and Jordon have a passion for their Haida heritage and culture, and their business is an extension and reflection of that. It is housed inside a traditional longhouse located on property that has been meaningful to Lisa’s family for many years. In the 1950s it was home to a sawmill which belonged to Lisa’s Naanii and Tsinii. It is across the road from her family’s longhouse, Tluu Xaadaa Naay, two family totem poles and the family’s canoe shed which was built by Lisa’s late father, Morris White-Chief Iidansuu(Edenshaw). Its location overlooking the inlet is the perfect place for artists to find inspiration, and many of those artists’ works can be found in the shop. Lisa and Jordon are both artists, and there are many other talented artists in their family.
Lisa and Jordon are deeply connected to the lands and waters of Haida Gwaii. “This is our homeland,” Lisa states, and she and Jordon are proud of their heritage. They appreciate the wonderful, down-to-earth people who also call Haida Gwaii home. “People care about each other’s well being,” she says of them, and adds, “the people that live here care about the environment and would protect what we have here at all costs.” Lisa and Jordon enjoy getting outside when they can to engage in activities like gathering seafood, berries and cedar bark and walking the beach collecting agates.
For Lisa and Jordon, operating their business is a way to contribute to the local economy and support their people by purchasing art and promoting authentic Haida arts and crafts. They are also committed to giving back to the community. Lisa and Jordon dance and sing with the Tluu Xaadaa Naay dance group, and they participate in many fundraising events for the non-profit Tluu Xaadaa Society.
Authentic. Traditional. Inspiring.
Gin Kuyaas- Haida Art Studio & Gifts offers a diverse selection of authentic Haida artwork, clothing and gift items. Housed inside a newly-built traditional style longhouse, Gin Kuyaas – Haida Art Studio & Gifts also serves as an inspiring place for artists to create. Customers and visitors to the islands will experience a glimpse into Haida life and find a variety of items to take home. This includes artwork, apparel with custom Haida designs, rare books, traditional cedar woven hats, Haida-designed blankets, designer bags and wraps, Haida carved jewellery and argillite, post cards, gift cards and souvenirs. It also carries a beautiful selection of Gin Kuyaas Custom Designed Apparel by Kuuyang-Lisa White and Haida artwork by Nang K’iidaa Leegas Jordon Seward. The collection is extensive and always changing with new and fresh items arriving regularly. “Gin Kuyaas” means “precious things,” which is the closest translation to “treasures.” The late Haida elder and fluent speaker, Tsinii Stephen Brown, named the house many years ago. He was a great friend and mentor to owners Lisa and Jordon.
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