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.

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

Just Posted

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band had words of praise for the consultation between her people and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on an ongoing highway project. (Black Press file photo)
Collaboration on Shuswap highway project receives national award

Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson says expansion will open new economic opportunities for the band

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read