A Google Maps view of Kung, B.C., in close proximity to the Queen Charlotte Lodge. As of Friday, July 10, 2020, the ancient Haida village of Kung is one of two villages being occupied by a group of Haida matriarchs who say local fishing lodges should not be reopening without Haida consent. (Google Maps screengrab)

A Google Maps view of Kung, B.C., in close proximity to the Queen Charlotte Lodge. As of Friday, July 10, 2020, the ancient Haida village of Kung is one of two villages being occupied by a group of Haida matriarchs who say local fishing lodges should not be reopening without Haida consent. (Google Maps screengrab)

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Haida matriarchs have announced they will uphold Haida law by occupying two ancient villages on the islands.

G̲aandlee Guu Jaalang, the “daughters of the rivers,” announced on July 9 that two luxury sport fishing resorts have disrespected Haida law and jurisdiction, and are putting island residents at risk by reopening despite the ongoing Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) state of emergency measures, which do not permit non-essential travel at this time.

After several community meetings, the release said, the matriarchs are upholding Haida law through the occupation of two ancient villages, Kung and Sk’aawats.

ALSO READ: Haida Nation reminds ‘select few’ fishing lodges that Haida Gwaii is closed to non-essential travel

“Queen Charlotte Lodge (QCL) and West Coast Fishing Club have reopened without Haida consent,” the release said. “This means plane loads of non-residents are coming to our islands and potentially exposing island residents to COVID-19.

“Previously, QCL has catered to predominantly wealthy American clientele. Haida Gwaii is a remote community with limited health care services and only two ventilators on all of Haida Gwaii. One case would devastate our communities.”

The release from the matriarchs follows another from QCL president Paul Clough over the weekend, which said the Naden Harbour fishing resort would be reopening today (July 10) despite the ongoing CHN state of emergency.

Google Maps shows Kung in relatively close proximity to QCL and G̲aandlee Guu Jaalang media liaison Adeana Young told the Haida Gwaii Observer that Sk’aawats is in the same area.

ALSO READ: Following incident at sea, fishing lodge says it will reopen despite Haida travel ban

Young said about 12 or 14 boats with Haida matriarchs and others left Old Massett to go fishing in the area this morning. She said some people are camping out there and others plan to return to Old Massett toward the end of the day.

“We’ve had our inherent right to harvest traditional foods since time immemorial,” she said. “The lodges have impacted our ability to do so.”

In addition to impacting food security prior to COVID-19, she said the two lodges reopening without Haida consent is causing safety concerns.

“When the people are coming up to the lodges, they’re leaving a trail of risk,” she said, adding that even if the lodges fly guests direct from the mainland, they typically get their groceries from island communities, which may entail some form of contact.

“The message that we’re looking to send to lodges that want to open is to be respectful of our wishes.”

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

A couple wants the Regional District of Nanaimo to deal with roaming cats that are causing damage to gardens and killing wildlife. (Submitted Photo)
Roaming cats pose problem for Parksville Qualicum Beach area couple

Residents upset with felines damaging gardens, want RDN to take action

Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association’s popular walking soccer league was one of several sports programs and activities that were cancelled following provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest announcement to ban indoor adult team sports. (PQB News file photo)
Adult sports shutdown ‘tough pill to swallow’ for some Vancouver Islanders

Adult recreation adjusting to new provincial COVID-19 orders

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Felled spruce and cedar trees waiting to be stripped, sorted and hauled down Island. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Kwakiutl First Nation angry at logging in Douglas Treaty land

The nation is calling on government to honour the Douglas Treaty

Most Read