Province announces historic decision to restore of ancestral name in Haida Gwaii

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Daajing Giids, the ancient Haida name, is officially being restored as the village title for what was formally Queen Charlotte effective immediately, the province announced on July 13.

“To be clear for everyone’s knowledge and understanding, the restoration of this ancestral name, Daajing Giids, is the first in B.C.’s history that we are aware of,” Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs said.

The province’s approval was the last step for the name change of the community that stretches along Graham Island’s southern coast, now the Village of Daajing Giids (pronounced “daw-jean geeds”).

“I recognize that the name of local government is important to everybody, and we will spend our time in the next weeks and months when I visit and the conversations that we’ll have to learn from the leadership on Haida Gwaii because there are many other communities knocking on the door asking the questions about their name and the histories and how those names were given and in some cases imposed upon communities,” Cullen said.

The Village Council of Daajing Giids, unanimously voted in favour of the change during a regular council meeting on May 16.

For the municipality name change to be official, the village council had to pass a request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, which he brought to the provincial cabinet for approval.

The announcement today is the final stage in a process that started back on April 28, 2019 when the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (S.H.I.P.) sent what is now the Village of Daajing Giids Council a letter and petition for the name restoration.

More to come.

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View

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