Meet James Cowpar & William Shawn Cowpar
Brothers James Cowpar and Shawn Cowpar have many fond memories of growing up on the ocean. As descendants from the West Coast Tsaahl Eagle Clan, their lives were rich with ancient traditions and stories about their peoples’ past. It instilled in them a deep love for the land and the Haida culture. As adults, they wanted to share that culture and their passion for the outdoors with visitors to the islands. It lead them to start Haida Style Expeditions in 2000.
They began as a small outfitting company providing kayak tours through the inlet. Over the years the business has grown and now includes tours all over the islands by kayak or Zodiac as well as fishing adventures. The brothers’ draw on their growing up years and their own fishing experiences to lead guests to the places where salmon and halibut are abundant. Fishing, though, is only part of the venture. Interwoven with every tour is education about the Haida culture. Storytelling is an integral part of that culture, and guides use storytelling to help guests understand the Haida traditions and to develop an appreciation for the land and waters of Haida Gwaii.
Mentoring is another important aspect of Haida life, and James and Shawn have also made it a part of their business. They strive to create opportunities for Haida young people to gain work experience. “We incorporate skills and training into everything we do as a business,” James notes. Each summer youth are given an opportunity to learn the industry, and some go on to operate their own business ventures.
Educational. Cultural. Adventurous.
Haida Style Expeditions offers visitors a unique firsthand experience with the rich, ancient heritage and culture and the thrilling, breathtaking natural wonders of Haida Gwaii, its waters and its peoples. Professional guides with an intimate, personal knowledge of the island’s out-of-the-way places will take guests to some of the island’s remotest waters. Capturing the intermarriage between Haida culture and the environment, guests are introduced to the ancient Haida way of life. Opportunities for salmon and halibut fishing are only a small part of the Haida Style experience. Guides with extensive knowledge of the region and its history share their own personal stories, traditions and fishing techniques with guests. Education is a central component of every Haida Style Expeditions tour. Visitors will come away from their Haida Style experience with a deeper understanding of self and their relation to the environment as well as a new appreciation for Haida culture. Guests can choose from kayak or Zodiac tours. Every tour is unique, personal and provides a one-of-a-kind perspective by individual crew members. Tours can be customized to suit individuals and groups.
Safety is Haida Style Expeditions’ highest priority. All guides are fully certified in MED A1, A2 and A3, Wilderness First Aid, Radio Operator (ROC) and Small Vessel Certified (SVOP).
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