The B.C. government is “pursuing profit over culture and community” by selling logging rights on Haida Gwaii without permission, the president of the Council of the Haida Nation says. Kil tlaats ‘gaa, whose English name is Peter Lantin, compared the current mood among Haida people to 1985, when members of the Haida nation erected blockades to prevent the harvest of old-growth forests on Lyell Island. “The pent-up frustration on Haida Gwaii has built up to the place where it’s going to blow out,” he said. Kil tlaats’gaa said the province’s actions underscore deeper divisions over the future of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off B.C.’s west coast whose physical beauty draws tourists from around the globe but whose economy is also heavily reliant on a decreasing number of forestry jobs.
By Andrew Kurjata