FILE - Haida Nation President Gaagwiis Jason Alsop is pictured delivering a Thursday, May 28, 2020 COVID-19 video update. On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Alsop delivered another update that said Haida Gwaii will remain closed to non-residents for at least three weeks. (YouTube screengrab)

FILE - Haida Nation President Gaagwiis Jason Alsop is pictured delivering a Thursday, May 28, 2020 COVID-19 video update. On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Alsop delivered another update that said Haida Gwaii will remain closed to non-residents for at least three weeks. (YouTube screengrab)

Travel ban to Haida Gwaii to remain for ‘at least’ 3 weeks, says Haida Nation president

Gaagwiis said Haida Gwaii will continue to observe what is happening in B.C. in preparing next steps

Haida Gwaii will not open to leisure travel within the next three weeks, the Haida Nation president has confirmed.

In an update posted to Facebook on Saturday (June 20), Gaagwiis Jason Alsop said the island was still closed to non-residents and continued to discourage leisure travel.

“We will not be looking to open for sure at least within the next few weeks, three weeks,” he said.

ALSO READ: B.C. premier eyes Phase Three of COVID-19 restart plan for ‘sometime next week’

As for the rest of the summer, Alsop remained vague, and reminded people that B.C. had still not moved into Phase 3 of its restart plan.

“Haida Gwaii will continue to take a cautious and careful approach, and observe what is happening in B.C., Canada, and around the world in preparing for our next steps,” he said.

The Restart B.C. plan is currently in Phase 2, which includes avoiding non-essential travel between communities, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry hinted on June 15 that the province will be looking at transitioning around safe travel within B.C.

“I know there is a lot of anxiety around the uncertainty at times, but I remind everybody this is a global pandemic and this uncertainty we share with many across the entire world,” Alsop said.

“We will be able to get through these difficult times if we continue to stay united.”

ALSO READ: VQC proposes reopening Haida Gwaii to B.C. tourists 3 weeks behind rest of province

Alsop also said more trails would be opening for the weekend of Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) and work was being done to open some protected areas.

An update with more details on next steps is expected next week.

Alsop’s update followed an Island Protocol Table (IPT) meeting on June 17, during which all island leaders were expected to discuss reopening plans.

IPT meetings are currently closed to members of the public and the media.

Area E Director Evan Putterill told the Observer there was no consensus reached at Wednesday night’s IPT meeting, but all island leaders decided to work together on social and economic support programs.

ALSO READ: Provincial parks on Haida Gwaii remain closed, as others around B.C. open to day use

ALSO READ: Gwaii Haanas will remain closed until at least June 30

Earlier this month Putterill said he had been advocating for weeks behind closed doors to follow the Restart B.C. plan with a three to four-week delay period for non-resident travel.

At a special meeting on June 17, the Village of Queen Charlotte council also resolved to advocate for the removal of the non-essential travel restriction on Haida Gwaii three weeks behind when the province announces resumption of leisure travel.

“A sign of a healthy relationship is that we can disagree on some things and still continue to work together on others,” Putterill said. “There was no consensus reached at Wednesday night’s protocol on how to address reopening going forward, however, the table unanimously acknowledged that the Haida Nation and band councils have the right to institute and manage states of emergency.”

Putterill confirmed he does not agree with the approach the Council of the Haida Nation is taking, having called for an end to “open-ended or creeping travel restrictions” previously, but added that he understands it is their decision to make.

“All the communities on Haida Gwaii will continue to work closely together,” he said. “The relationship is one of mutual trust, respect and support. That is not about to change anytime soon.”

ALSO READ: Sandspit director calls for clear plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

(Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts on Kitsilano beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for what the COVID-19 public health orders are,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read