September 30, 2016 6:30 am
Updated: October 1, 2016 6:33 pm

Royal Visit 2016 Day 7: Will and Kate visit Haida Gwaii, B.C.

WATCH ABOVE: First Nations culture was the focus of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip to Haida Gwaii off the west coast of British Columbia. Aaron McArthur was along for the trip and has these details.


On the last full day of the Royal Visit 2016 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge once again left Prince George and Princess Charlotte behind in Victoria to visit Haida Gwaii, an island off the coast of British Columbia.

Story continues below

READ MORE: Full coverage of the royal visit

They arrived in the village of Skidegate at about 11:50 a.m., where crowds gathered ahead of their arrival. Seven paddlers who helped ferry the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Haida Gwaii village of Skidegate wore teal-coloured T-shirts with the words “No LNG” on them, following the federal government’s conditional approval of an LNG project.

READ MORE: Royal Visit 2016 –  Royal couple caught in anti-LNG protest on trip to Haida Gwaii

READ MORE: Cutest moments from the children’s party

READ MORE: Royal Visit 2016: Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend children’s party in Victoria

Global News reporter Aaron McArthur is in Haida Gwaii to cover the visit and was flown up there early Friday morning in a military transport aircraft.

After they landed, the royals transferred to a traditional Haida canoe and helped paddle around to the beach at the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum, arriving at 12:15 p.m. The vessel was a 15-metre replica war canoe.

Watch below: Prince William, Kate arrive at Haida Heritage Centre

More than a dozen chiefs and elders welcomed the Duke and Duchess to the hall.

PHOTOS: Will and Kate canoe and fish on royal visit to Haida Gwaii

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paddle with a group in a traditional Haida canoe in the waters of Haida Gwaii, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.


The royal couple were officially welcomed with an address by the president of the Haida Nation. They also saw a cultural performance by around 30 local children, who dedicated a dance to the survivors of Canada’s residential schools, highlighting their personal journeys.

Watch below: Prince William and Kate take in cultural events, visit hospital in Haida Gwaii

“We are survivors,” Haida Nation spokesman Peter Lantin told William and Kate.

“We owe our existence to these islands and these waters. We know that good will come from your visit to Haida Gwaii because you bring hope.”

Will and Kate learned about the tradition of carving totems and cultural practices.

“The historic link between the Crown and the First Nations people is strong and is one that I hold dear to my heart,” Prince William said in a speech to the community.

Just after 2 p.m., they officially opened the new Haida Gwaii Hospital and Care Centre in the Village of Queen Charlotte and met with people who have been treated there. The care centre means that women no longer have to leave Haida Gwaii to give birth in a hospital.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talked to those who have benefited from these services: local mothers, fathers and children who explained past challenges of pregnancies and births on the island, and what the new facility means to them.

READ MORE: Royal Visit 2016 Day 5 – Will and Kate visit Whitehorse, Yukon

At 2:40 p.m., the royals joined youth from the Skidegate Youth Centre to fish on the waters of the Hectate Strait. The area is renowned for some of the best salmon and halibut fishing in the world.

Watch below: Prince William and Kate go on fishing trip off coast of BC

Will and Kate boarded after guides reeled in one salmon, and took close looks at the crabs caught during the trip.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge putting life jackets on for a fishing trip from Haida Gwaii on Day 7 of the Royal Visit to Canada, Sept. 30, 2016.

Aaron McArthur / Global News

They then made their way to Victoria, where they will spend the last night of their Canadian royal tour.

PHOTOS: Will and Kate canoe and fish on royal visit to Haida Gwaii

Kate was wearing a dark green blazer by Smythe, a Canadian women’s clothing brand.

The Haida Gwaii islands were known as the Queen Charlotte Islands until 2009 when the province and the Haida Nation reached a historic reconciliation agreement. As a result, the island chain went back to its original name.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.