Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is a dense archipelago that lies north of Vancouver Island, across the Queen Charlotte Sound. It is separated from mainland British Columbia by Hecate Strait. Haida Gwaii comprises hundreds of islands—for a total area of almost 10,000 square km—which are the traditional home of the Haida First Nation.1
Juan Pérez sighted what would become known as the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1774, but he did not make landfall, nor designate them a European name; George Dixon did so in 1787, after his vessel, Queen Charlotte, which was named after amateur botanist Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife to King George III of England.2
In December, 2009, the British Columbia government committed to renaming the Queen Charlotte Islands as Haida Gwaii, in recognition of the long history and habitation of the Haida Nation.3
Mentions of this place in the documents