FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2022
STRENGTHENING THE HAIDA GWAII WATCHMEN PROGRAM
The Council of the Haida Nation, the Skidegate Band Council and partners are working together to ensure a strong future for the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program.
On February 11, 2022, the Skidegate Band Council passed a Band Council Resolution indicating agreement among Skidegate Band Council, Council of the Haida Nation, Gwaii Haanas Archipelago Management Board and the Hereditary Chiefs’ Council that transferring administrative authority to the Council of the Haida Nation is in the best interests of the Program.
The administrative authority of the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program will be transferred to the Council of the Haida Nation effective April 1st, 2022. The program will continue to operate as it has in the past few years under the leadership of Anita Moody.
“The Watchmen program started in 1981 with citizens taking on the responsibility to protect our village sites,” said Chief Councillor, Bill Yovanovich. “At the time it was done under the authority of the Skidegate Band Council and since then the program has grown to a globally respected program. Having it now move under the CHN makes sense for the future of the program.”
The Council of the Haida Nation is taking on the responsibility and is grateful to past volunteers, all the Watchmen who have served, and the Skidegate Band Council for building an extraordinary foundation, ensuring Haida stewardship and continuity of culture on the land and ocean.
“This program is the people,” said Gaagwiis, President of the Haida Nation. “It is those who educate visitors what it means to be Haida. They are diplomats, caretakers and at times tricksters, and the CHN is honoured to be taking on the legacy and responsibility.”
The Council of the Haida Nation wishes to assure current Watchmen that no changes are planned for the upcoming summer season and it will be ‘employment as usual’ for season dates, job duties, and employment benefits.
The Haida Nation is working together with partners including the Gwaii Haanas Archipelago Management Board to secure the necessary revenues streams to assure a bright future for the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program.
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