SEPTEMBER 20, 2014


The Heiltsuk and Haida nations initially signed an historic peace treaty at a potlatch in Massett, Haida Gwaii, hosted by Haida Nation chiefs.  The two nations historically had some territorial conflicts.  The last conflict between the nations occurring in 1852, according to oral history.  Following a potlatch a few years later near McLoughlin Bay, however, the nations entered into an oral peace treaty in response to an influx of European explorers changing the nature of their relationship.  Both nations have worked closely together over the last number of years opposing the Northern Gateway pipeline and, most recently, to oppose commercial herring fishing in Heiltsuk waters.  On June 15, 2015, the Heiltsuk Nation hosted its own potlatch in Bella Bella, where chiefs from the two nations finalized the treaty document.  The agreement is being coined a “treaty of peace, respect, and responsibility.”   

Source:  Ryan Erwin, “Heiltsuk and Haida nations finalize peace treaty,” The Global News, 6/30/2015.  Retrieved 7/13/2019,
Photo:  The Interior, 6/13/2013.  Bella Bella, British Columbia.  Permissive Use pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license,

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