Village Naming

Village Naming Conversation (2019 - present)

The following is a chronology of information with regards to the 2019 - 2022 political discussion that was undertaken by Council and the community with regards to the name of our municipality. It does not encompass municipal incorporation or the transition from Queen Charlotte City to the Village of Queen Charlotte. On July 13th 2022, the letters patent of the municipality were officially changed to the Village of Daajing Giids.

 

2019

On April 28th, 2019 the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (S.H.I.P.) formally requested that the Village of Queen Charlotte begin discussions to respectfully give back the name "Village of Queen Charlotte" to the province and restore the ancestral ancient Haida name of Daajing Giids Llnagaay. The letter from S.H.I.P can be read here.

The letter was received by Council on the May 22nd, 2019 Council Meeting (Agenda, Minutes), and was added to the June 10th, 2019 Committee of the Whole for further discussion (Agenda, Minutes).

Meanwhile, a resolution from the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) House of Assembly was included on the June 3rd 2019 Council Meeting (Agenda, Minutes) that addressed the rational for giving back place names. Additionally VQC Council & staff met with CHN and the BC Government's Toponymist regarding the replacement of other names on Haida Gwaii with their ancestral names. This partnership between CHN and the Province resulted in the January 7, 2022 announcement of the restoration of 12 place names on Haida Gwaii.

Recommendations from the June 10th 2019 Committee of the Whole were moved by Council at the June 17th Council meeting and included comments from the public in agenda item 8. (Minutes)

A summary of this information was shared in the July 2019 issue of the Village Voice.

August 15th, 2019 Council met with the Haida Hereditary Chiefs Council for advice and counsel with regard to the SHIP naming request.

The topic was next addressed at the inaugural KNOWvember community event on November 17th, 2019. Council of the Haida Nation and Satsan, Herb George both provided presentations, followed by a moderated panel discussion and a general community discussion. A recording of the event can be found here.  

 

2020

The COVID-19 pandemic starting in March 2020 put the continuation of the Village name conversation on hold.

 

2021

Council began to re-address the conversation about naming at the September 1, 2021 Committee of the Whole (Agenda, Minutes) and the October 13, 2021 Committee of the Whole (Agenda, Minutes)

On November 4th, 2021 on invitation from Council, Tom Swanky gave a presentation at the QCC Community Hall. It was an updated presentation on "The Smallpox War Against the Haida: including Francis Poole's 'Trails of Blood'". Swanky had previously visited Haida Gwaii in 2018 on behalf of School District #50 and gave a similar presentation in schools and also to the public.

The December 8th, 2021 What's In a Name community engagement session included a presentation on the history of Queen Charlotte and a world-cafe style community discussion on some questions surrounding the possibility of a municipal name change.

  • Leslie Johnson -The Village of Queen Charlotte - a brief history (slide presentation, written essay, recording)
  • Community discussion (group questions, recording)
  • A report to Council summarizing the event, including general themes, group responses to questions and general discussion was received at the January 17, 2022 Council meeting (Agenda, Minutes) including an addendum of additional comments that had been submitted after the report had been filed.

 

2022

Conversation and public comment has continued into 2022 and has been included on every Council agenda so far. (2022 Council Meeting Agendas).

On February 18th, 2022 an FAQ titled Village Name - Questions & Answers was circulated to the community electronically, and a hard copy was included as an insert to the February 2022 issue of the Village Voice.

On March 7th, 2022 Council released from In Camera meetings of Council the resolution "that Council authorize the Village Name Community Response Forms and associated engagement process with revisions.". (Minutes)

Council provided a briefing note and met with the Haida Hereditary Chiefs Council on March 15th, 2022 to provide an update on the progress of provincial and community engagement on village naming and the specific request from the province to provide a supporting resolution from Haida Nation if a name change request is to move forward.

Staff distributed the Village Name Opinion - Community Response Forms during the third week of March, with a due date of April 11th at 1pm. The response form and instructions can be viewed here.

After the collection of surveys, Staff provided a report to Council at the April 20th Council Meeting (Agenda) requesting a decision regarding non-conforming responses. At that same meeting, a resolution from the Hereditary Chiefs Council of the Haida Nation supporting the change of the Village name to Village of Daajing Giids was received by Council for information. The resolution can also be found in the agenda package.

A Special Report regarding the Village Name Community Response Form Results was presented to Council as a late item on the May 2nd regular Council meeting. The presentation can be watched in the audio and video recordings of the meeting.

On May 16th, 2022 Council received a request for decision on next steps regarding the request to return the name Queen Charlotte and restore the ancestral Haida name Daajing Giids. This council meeting took place in the Queen Charlotte Community Hall and a number of community members spoke. At this meeting Council unanimously supported amending its municipal letters patent to establish ‘Village of Daajing Giids’ as the municipality's name. This triggered the subsequent motion to provide public notice of intent ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs to advance a request to Cabinet and the statutory two week notice period. The agenda (including the request for decision), minutes (including public and Councillors comments) and video recording of the meeting are available by following the links included above.

This historic resolution garnered public attention across Canada. Some of the media attention included: CBC, Global News, Globe & Mail and more. The press release by Village Council can be read here.

With the statutory notice period fulfilled, the June 6th Council meeting (agenda, recording) included the formal resolution for Council to advance a request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs seeking an Order in Council to amend the Letters Patent of the Village of Queen Charlotte to establish ‘Village of Daajing Giids’ as the municipality’s name.

On Wednesday July 13th 2022, in an announcement by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Nathan Cullen, and guests MLA Jennifer Rice, Council of the Haida Nation, and Mayor Olsen, the official name of the municipality was amended to The Village of Daajing Giids. The name restoration came through a provincial Order in Council to amend the municipal letters patent and took immediate effect. The Provincial announcement can be read here. 

Ongoing steps, including celebrations, village rebranding, website changes, information for residents etc. will be shared as updates become available.

 

*This webpage was last updated July 27, 2022.

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