“This is Haida land, you all know that, and we’re here to uphold the decision of the Haida Nation. This is Haida land and there will be no further logging in this area.” Kilsli Kaji Sting, Miles Richardson Jr., on the line at Athlii Gwaii, 1985
In 1985, the Haida Nation refused to accept the relentless industrial logging practices that were ravaging Gwaii Haanas, the southern part of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Designating the area a Haida Heritage Site, they drew a line that stands to this day. Guided by Haida law and trusting in their culture, the Nation upheld their responsibility to Haida Gwaii with unwavering clarity. Canada and the province of British Columbia pushed back and seventy-two people were arrested, including many Elders. But the Haida held firm in their stand, and with the support of friends from around the world, logging was stopped. Negotiations between the Haida Nation and Canada ensued, resulting in the ground-breaking Gwaii Haanas Agreement in which both Nations agree to disagree on Title to the region, and instead focus on its protection for the benefit of all future generations.
Filled with rich political and personal stories from upwards of 40 authors, along with intimate images from this critical moment in history, Athlii Gwaii pays homage to Haida Gwaii and its people, upholds Indigenous Rights and Title, bears witness to how non-violence works and reminds us of … the possible.