DECEMBER 11, 2009


British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced the renaming at the signing of a reconciliation protocol.  The traditional Haida name, which means “Islands of the People,” will now appear on all official provincial maps.  “The change is a very important symbolic gesture,” said Guujaaw (Gary Edenshaw), then-president of the Council of the Haida Nation.  “That’s the land that gave us our life and culture. It’s the proper name.”  In 1787, the area was named the Queen Charlotte Islands after the ship of Captain George Dixon – which in turn took its name from Queen Charlotte, the wife of the British monarch at the time, King George III.  The name change was announced along with an agreement that created a new council to streamline decision making about resource projects on the islands.  Guujaaw said the protocol sets the ground for an “era of peace.”

Source:  Josh Dehaas, “B.C.’s Queen Charlotte Islands Renamed Haida Gwaii,” The Globe and Mail, 12/11/2009, updated 5/2/2018.  Retrieved 7/23/2019,
Photo:  George M. Dawson (1849-1901), July 1878.  Library and Archives of Canada.  Public Domain in Canada:  Pre-1/1/1949.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.    

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