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.
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.