Celebrating Haida music, culture and language
featuring BC’s SGaanaGwa
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SGaanaGwa is Claire Lawrence, Saffron Henderson, Camille Henderson, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Jodi Proznik and Bill Henderson. (Farah Nosh Photo)


BC “supergroup” will perform on the main stage at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

“If we can achieve reconciliation in music then anything is possible”, said Haida musician, activist, author and lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson in 2017 when she launched the culture and music project that’s become the band SGaanaGwa.

The award-winning Williams-Davidson had two heralded albums to her credit when she brought “a rock star guitarist and a jazz musician together with a Haida vocalist” to record the music for Grizzly Bear Town, an album she describes as “cutting-edge ancient”.

The featured musicians she enlisted? Renowned BC artists Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence from the band Chilliwack. Backing vocals came courtesy of Henderson’s two daughters, Camille and Saffron.

The Vancouver Sun’s Stuart Derdeyn labelled the collaboration “exceptional.”

“Throughout the immaculately produced and played album a clear sense of space and time is evoked.”

SGaanaGwa founder, musician, activist, author and lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson

On her Raven Calling Productions website Williams-Davidson says, “The heart of this album is to bridge cultures, by respectfully blending ancient knowledge with contemporary music to propel the conversation about past and future, history and legacy. The songs illustrate aspects of Haida culture, including concepts of supernatural beings, spirituality, and indigenous laws.”

Last fall the band named itself SGaanaGwa and added two-time Juno-nominated bassist Jodi Proznick to the line-up

“Our new name reflects our music, telling stories about Supernatural Haida Gwaii and female Supernatural Beings in the Haida language,” Williams-Davidson wrote when introducing the band on Facebook.

“Contributing to the preservation of the Haida culture and language is my life’s work. In Haida culture, customs, beliefs, and history were passed down orally through narratives, songs, and dances. I like the idea of blending modern media and ancient traditions to address contemporary challenges, in a way that appeals to people of all ages and cultures. To me this is an important part of how Haida language and tradition is shared and perpetuated.”

SGaanaGwa will open the evening main stage show at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival on Sunday, July 17.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: During the mid-90’s and early 2000’s I had the honour and pleasure of working with Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson – through my studio Working Design – on several visual design projects for her law initiatives EAGLE and White Raven Law Corporation).

Kurated is a music sharing project.
Stay tuned and enjoy,
Kris Sig Plastic V3

29 May 2022




Working In The Oral Traditions With Modern Topicality

By Stuart Derdeyn

A contemporary singer-songwriter, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson has made it her life’s work to preserve both her Haida culture and language. On her third album she sings almost entirely in Haida and makes clear in the English opening tune, Red: Indigenous Rising, that she’s got things to say.

Songs such as Foam Woman, Have a Light Heart on Your New Journey and Peace Making Song display her working in the oral traditions with modern topicality. Throughout the immaculately produced and played album a clear sense of space and time is evoked. This makes sense as Terri-Lynn is also a principle lawyer at White Raven Law Corp., involved in the area of Aboriginal-environmental law besides cultural preservation.

The singer calls her latest record “cutting-edge ancient,” and with Chilliwack guitarist Bill Henderson and saxophonist Claire Lawrence backing her songs of land stewardship, spirituality and place, this is an exceptional album.


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