Plants and the knowledge of them are a vital part of our culture, our language and our way of life. This knowledge is part of the plants themselves, and of the lands and waters in which they grow. The knowledge, the people, the culture, the language, the plants, animals, the land, bogs and lakes, and the ocean are all pieces of the whole of Haida Gwaii. All are intertwined and woven together.

If the strands of this weaving are removed, the whole fabric is weakened. Plants, from the giant cedar and spruce of the rain forest, to some of the tiny flowering plants used in Haida medicines are integral parts of our existence on these islands. This is why we continue to be the watchers and guardians of Haida Gwaii. We are connected to the land and sea, and all of the living things here.
Plants and the knowledge of them are a vital part of our culture, our language and our way of life. This knowledge is part of the plants themselves, and of the lands and waters in which they grow. The knowledge, the people, the culture, the language, the plants, animals, the land, bogs and lakes, and the ocean are all pieces of the whole of Haida Gwaii. All are intertwined and woven together.

If the strands of this weaving are removed, the whole fabric is weakened. Plants, from the giant cedar and spruce of the rain forest, to some of the tiny flowering plants used in Haida medicines are integral parts of our existence on these islands. This is why we continue to be the watchers and guardians of Haida Gwaii. We are connected to the land and sea, and all of the living things here.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

aerial view

Aerial view of San Cristoval Range; Haida Gwaii.

Photo: Haida Gwaii Museum.

© Haida Gwaii Museum


Animation

Twisted treed in the Government Creek watershed.

Photo: Rob Wenner
c. 1998
© Rob Wenner


Animation

Government Creek watershed.

Photo: Rob Wenner

© Rob Wenner


" I want to stress that it’s the land that helps us maintain our culture. It is an important part of our culture. Without that land, I fear very much for the future of the Haida Nation...I don’t want my children to inherit stumps...I fear that if we take that land, we may lose the dignity and the pride of being a Haida..."
- Gwaganad, Florence Davidson, 1990

This is why we took a stand to protect the thousand year old Cedar and Spruce trees on Lyell Island from being logged in the early 1980’s. Our Elders were arrested and jailed, as they blocked the roads to industrial logging vehicles. After repeated arrests, the federal government finally took action and placed a moratorium on any further logging in the southern area of Haida Gwaii. Known as Gwaii Haanas, this area comprises approximately one third of the total landmass of Haida Gwaii. It is preserved as National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site through an agreement between the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada. The ancient forests of Lyell Island will continue to nurture new generations of trees and human beings for millennia to co Read More
" I want to stress that it’s the land that helps us maintain our culture. It is an important part of our culture. Without that land, I fear very much for the future of the Haida Nation...I don’t want my children to inherit stumps...I fear that if we take that land, we may lose the dignity and the pride of being a Haida..."
- Gwaganad, Florence Davidson, 1990

This is why we took a stand to protect the thousand year old Cedar and Spruce trees on Lyell Island from being logged in the early 1980’s. Our Elders were arrested and jailed, as they blocked the roads to industrial logging vehicles. After repeated arrests, the federal government finally took action and placed a moratorium on any further logging in the southern area of Haida Gwaii. Known as Gwaii Haanas, this area comprises approximately one third of the total landmass of Haida Gwaii. It is preserved as National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site through an agreement between the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada. The ancient forests of Lyell Island will continue to nurture new generations of trees and human beings for millennia to come.

© Rob Wenner

Collage

Haida blockade of logging on Lyell Island, 1986.

Photo: Council of the Haida Nation

© Council of the Haida Nation


"We are a people of strength. We owe this legacy to our ancestors and to the beauty and richness of Haida Gwaii. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to pass this legacy on."

Diane Brown, Skidegate
"We are a people of strength. We owe this legacy to our ancestors and to the beauty and richness of Haida Gwaii. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to pass this legacy on."

Diane Brown, Skidegate

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

aerial view

Aerial view of clear cut logging on Lyell Island,1984.

Photo: Haida Gwaii Museum

A3722
© Haida Gwaii Museum


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the importance of the forests to the Haida people, with reference to their philosophy and hope for the future
  • Describe how and why the Haida Nation stopped logging in the southern area of Haida Gwaii
  • Form an opinion about the general character of the Haida people

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