January 7, 2022
GIVING BACK NAMES
With direction from Haida citizens, the Council of the Haida Nation is proud to announce the restoration of 12 place names on Haida Gwaii. This process has been the result of two years of partnership with the BC Geographical Names Board and consultation with Haida citizens, community, leaders and organizations.
The CHN has worked with Xaad Kíl Née and Elders at Skidegate Haida Immersion Program to acquire recordings for all to practice and to use while enjoying our Haida Territories. It has come to a unanimous decision to restore the following names!
- T’áalan Stl’áng briefly known as Lepas Bay
- Íits’aaw briefly known as Mission Hill
- Dal Káahlii briefly known as Delkatla Inlet
- Dal Kún briefly known as Harrison Point
- Taaw Tldáaw briefly known as Tow Hill
- Juus Káahlii briefly known as Juskatla Inlet
- Kunxana Tlldaɢaaw briefly known as Mount Poole
- Gaysiiɢas K’iidsii briefly known as Burnaby Strait
- K’iid Xyangs K’iidaay briefly known as Dolomite Narrows / Burnaby Narrows
- Gid Gwaa Gyaaɢa Gawɢa briefly known as Poole Inlet
- Sk’yaaw Gawɢa briefly known as Francis Bay
- Sk’yaaw Kun briefly known as Poole Point
These 12 place names are just the first of many to be rightly restored. There is no end goal for this restoration; we will continue to work with the BC Geographical Names Board until Haida citizens, communities and leaders feel our job is done. Our next intake will work to restore 20 place names, 10 in Xaad Kíl and 10 in Xaayda Kil. Stay tuned to more information and consultation in the next few months through the CHN’s Facebook Page and website <haidanation.ca>.
“Restoring Haida place names and replacing arbitrary colonial names is of great value to all people who visit an area. The Haida language reveals deep rooted knowledge of the place that can reveal origin stories, traditional uses of an area and the interconnectedness between features of the landscape, seascapes, Supernaturals and humans over time. This knowledge guides how to care for places now and into the future so they can continue to provide for us. These 12 names are just the beginning of the work that needs to be done to continue to restore the proper names throughout Haida territory.”
— Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation
“Although the work to bring back our names to this precious territory is a small step, it will help to slow the perpetual colonization and devastating tactics to minimize our rights, our sovereignty and our self-governance that still exists today.
The late Francis Poole and his team are not deserving of having places of beauty named after them as they were prominent leaders in the genocide against Indigenous Peoples. I hope we, as Indigenous Peoples, take time to have Tom Swanky present to us his finding of Canada’s war of extermination through spreading small pox deliberately. This must change but not be forgotten.
Changing the names of those oppressors is key to acknowledging those who are continually finding strength to uphold Haida Ways of Being, while savouring co-existence with our friends, families and allies moving forward.”
— GidadGuudsliiyas Kim Goetzinger, Previous Chair of Culture & Language
To learn the locations and how to pronounce these 12 place names, CHN will be releasing an interactive map to view the locations and listen to the recordings next week.
Haida Place Names Interactive Map
BC Geographical Names Office Links:
- Dal Kún https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74847.html
- Dal Ḵáahlii https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74846.html
- Gid G̱waa GyaaG̱a GawG̱a https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74855.html
- G̱aysiiG̱as Ḵ’iidsii https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74853.html
- Juus Ḵáahlii https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74850.html
- Kunx̱ana TlldaG̱aaw https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74852.html
- Sk’yaaw G̱awG̱a https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74856.html
- Sk’yaaw Kun https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74857.html
- T’áalan Stl’áng https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74842.html
- Taaw Tldáaw https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74845.html
- Íits’aaw https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74844.html
- Ḵ’iid Xyangs Ḵ’iidaay https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/74854.html