There is a piece of unfinished business from the Gwaii Trust Interim Planning Society’s agenda that Michael Nicol Yahgulanaas would like to see brought forward again.
“The idea is that we can afford to be generous. We have much, much more then many other villages in this world,” he said
Yahgulanaas would like islanders to once again consider providing funds to needy people in other parts of the world.
He thinks a first step would be to take stock of what the people of Haida Gwaii have accomplished since the 1980s, when the first work began at Lyell Island, which eventually resulted in the Gwaii Trust.
For Yahgulanaas, who sat on the GTIPS at the time, the idea of giving to less wealthy indigenous or developing communities is part of the lineage of the Gwaii Trust.
He was involved with a South Pacific group at the time which was involved in supporting tiny nations dealing with poverty, colonialism, war and more.
A tiny Polynesian island called Tuvalu received international money for a trust fund in the mid 1980s and it was this type of system that Yahgulanaas brought to the GTIPS table.
He thinks that Haida Gwaii is at a point where islanders could model a way to be generous by donating a percentage of the fund’s profits on a yearly basis to a worthy cause.
“A small pittance from us can be a vast treasure for others. How about our communities give boxes of mosquito nets for a village that is watching their children die from malaria?” he said.
“Who else would support a Gwaii Trust program that would commit to ongoing gift of money to some less fortunate people?” he asks.
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