Queen Charlotte name change will be a long process

Mayor says conversations still to be had with all residents

Slow.

Really slow.

Village of Queen Charlotte Mayor Kris Olsen says council will respectfully and diligently explore a request to change the municipality’s name to a Haida place name, but the process could take years.

“We have to go slow,” says Olsen. “No decision has been made yet. The elders have brought forward the name and we still have to have a discussion with the Hereditary Chiefs.”

Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (SHIP) elders and staff submitted a formal request to Queen Charlotte council April 28 to begin the discussion with the hereditary chiefs of Xaayda Gwaay and the Council of the Haida Nation.

Olsen notes that within the modern-day boundaries of Queen Charlotte, there are many ancient village sites, each with their own place names. Long before any decisions are made thorough discussions will need to take place with all stakeholders.

Council discussed the matter at a Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month.

Olsen says he and council are happy to explore the request, as the restoration of place names is identified in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as important steps to reconciliation.

While the village explores the possibility, Olsen says there are other measures the village can take in the short term to promote the revitalization of the Haida language. This includes flying a CHN flag at the village offices alongside the flag of the Village of Queen Charlotte, and adding Haida interpretations to the English street signage.

Staff will begin looking at the cost involved and bring the conversation to SHIP elders. Olsen says he doesn’t believe the municipality should cover those costs.

Olsen says a conversation will also begin with non-Haida residents of the municipality right away.

“It’s pretty exciting in some ways. We can have an open conversation about this in our community, and be able to have it in a way that doesn’t separate us and pull us apart. Too often outside forces have worked against us. So the idea here is to not separate our community but bring it together with understanding.

“This is 2019, it’s the year of indigenous languages here in Canada. The more Haida that’s spoken, and the more available it is, that’s all good.”

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii sportfishing lodges set to shut down

Tourism company wants to enact experiences more in line with Haida values

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

On The Wing: Raptors in the wind, shearwaters in the waves

By Margo Hearne A hawk glides over the dune ridges. It circles,… Continue reading

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read