ABOUT THE HAIDA


A HISTORY ON HAIDA GWAII

SPANNING TENS OF THOUSAND OF YEARS


The Haida have occupied the lands and seas around Haida Gwaii since the beginning of time. Here, Haida families, culture, and art have flourished for tens of thousands of years. Before contact with early explorers and settlers, there were at least 10,000 people living in villages from the northern edges to the southern tip of this rugged archipelago. Historically and still today, the Haida are fortunate and wealthy. The land and waters surrounding Haida Gwaii offer sustenance and prosperity. Trade relationships with neighbouring First Nations were critical to survival and continue to be an important part of life among coastal nations. Traditionally, prosperity and status were not measured by the accumulation of goods, but rather by the distribution of wealth. Throughout the harvesting season, families worked together to gather food and goods. During the scarce winter months, Haida families would host potlatches to redistribute their wealth. This generosity and sharing remains a prominent part of life on Haida Gwaii.
 

Haida traditional territory encompasses parts of southern Alaska, the archipelago of Haida Gwaii and its surrounding waters. Haida reside throughout the islands but are concentrated in two main centres, Old Massett at the north end of Graham Island and Skidegate at the south end. Besides these two communities there are many 2000 more Haida scattered throughout the world.

EMPLOYMENT   ENVIRONMENT   PROFITABILITY   ENTERPRISE

We are always looking for new and skilled people to build HaiCo and create wealth for the Haida people.
Bob Brash
HaiCo CEO

 

HAIDA GWAII: ISLANDS OF THE PEOPLE

Haida translates to “people” and Gwaii means “Islands”
In the 18th century, early explorers started to call Haida Gwaii the “Queen Charlotte Islands.” In 2010, Islanders, local governments, and the provincial government joined in a ceremony as the Haida nation returned the colonial name “Queen Charlotte Islands” and reinstated the traditional name, Haida Gwaii.
 

TODAY'S POPULATION

The Islands’ population today is 4,200, about half of which are of Haida ancestry. The economy on Haida Gwaii is mixed. Islanders are business owners, entrepreneurs, and artists. The service industry and government jobs are important, and so too is employment in natural resource sectors, mainly fishing and logging. Island residents continue to thrive with an abundance of natural resources. Wild salmon, halibut, clams, scallops, seaweed, and berries, among many more culturally important staples are continually harvested from the land and sea. These resources help to sustain local people and contribute to healthy communities and lasting economies.