The Haida nation has expressed that while they are not against logging itself, they wish to be consulted on any decisions regarding their land.
The 2009 Kunst’aa guu Kunst’aayah reconciliation protocol, meaning “The beginning” in Haida details this. After the blockades at Athlii Gwaii, also known as Lyell Island, in 1985 there were calls to the provincial government for a change.
“At first it was just kind of a free for all. Before that people would just come and log. Before people. We use the forest now but it’s not in the same way they did it. We did it with single trees.” – Guujaaw, former President of the Haida Nation.
Guujaaw says during the peak of logging on the island, there were as many as 2.5 million cubic meters of wood being shipped away.
Now, that number is about 800 thousand. He says while it is a big improvement from the way things were, he believes that further regulations are necessary to prevent abuse.
“What we are up against is an economy built upon spoiling the earth. We are really up against a whole society. We are a small group of people with very few resources to fight with.” – Guujaaw
“We have had an effect if you look at what we’ve won, half the land is under protection, and that’s pretty damn amazing to have done that, protected half the land. But when you consider it from our point of view it’s not really a gain. There is no net gain, that’s just how the land was that’s how it was meant to be. Really what we did is we lost out on the other part. We are trying to mitigate that loss by first of all trying to reduce the impact of logging and trying to make sure that some of the benefits come back to the island. We really haven’t been that successful, we are still logging and the profit seems to get shipped off the island.” he adds.