A ceremony held on Aug. 31 marked the official restoration of the ancestral name of Daajing Giids village on Haida Gwaii.
Daajing Giids, formerly known as the Village of Queen Charlotte, is the first municipality in B.C. to have its name officially reinstated.
The ceremony was co-hosted by the Haida Nation and Village of Daajing Giids and took place in front of the community hall which is built on the site where the old village used to be. The ceremony opened with a food offering for the ancestors on the village site and ended with a feast for all who attended.
Several Haida chiefs, matriarchs, the president of the Council of the Haida Nation Gaagwiis (Jason Alsop) and vice president Ginn wadluu un uula isdaa ayaagang (Trevor Russ) attended.
In attendance were also B.C.’s premier John Horgan and several senior cabinet ministers including, Attorney General and the minister responsible for Indigenous Relations Murray Rankin, Municipal Affairs minister Nathan Cullen, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice and Skeena–Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach.
The B.C. government announced the approval for the name change on July 13, however, the mayor of Daajing Giids, Kris Olsen said they waited until this week to host the ceremony since they wanted to do it the “right way.”
“That was a colonial act that was passed through the cabinet, so what we did [on Aug. 31] was work with Haida protocols and making sure that we did it properly with our First Nation neighbours, the Haida, through their process and their worldview,” Olsen said.
Olsen called the reinstating of the ancestral name a “historic event ” and said he is very proud of the community and the residents of Daajing Giids.