The community of Masset is located in northeastern Haida Gwaii, on Graham Island. Masset draws its name from the nearby Maast Island, whose etymology is traced to a Haida account in which a European officer named Masseta died during a visit to the area.1 His body was buried on a little island near his ship's anchorage, which the Haida of the day called “mah-sh-t”, likely, a Haida pronunciation of Masseta.2
Masset, along with Skidegate, served as congregation points for the Haida during the devastating smallpox epidemics that swept through Haida Gwaii villages in the early-to-mid 1800s.3 The HBC maintained a trading post at Masset for some time, and the Anglican Church established a mission there in 1876.4
  • 1. Origin of European Settled Masset, Village of Masset.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 366.
  • 4. Ibid.
Mentions of this place in the documents
Places in this document

Graham Island

Haida Gwaii


The Colonial Despatches Team. Masset. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)