Canada and the Old Massett Village Council partner to launch the iit’l gudaad – We Remember Haida Heritage Plaza project

News release

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September 4, 2022 — Masset, British Columbia — Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, Donald Edgars, Chief Councillor of the Old Massett Village Council; and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown−Indigenous Relations, launched the iit’l gudaad – We Remember Haida Heritage Plaza project. The Government of Canada will provide $500,000 through the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program (CSICP) towards the construction of the memorial.

The iit’l gudaad – We Remember Haida Heritage Plaza will commemorate the Haida people and their history, celebrate Haida art and language, and serve as a gathering place for generations to come. This site will act as a space for healing and a space to honour those who have passed on. The space will also host workshops and gatherings aimed at the inclusion and revitalization of traditional Haida ways of being. The site’s design will integrate Haida principles, including respect for Indigenous girls, women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The Haida Nation has always valued its 2SLGBTQQIA+ citizens for their ability to see different perspectives; these members have historically held respected positions in the community.

Investing in cultural spaces is crucial to addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals, and to responding to Call for Justice 2.3. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Indigenous partners to create cultural spaces like the iit’l gudaad – We Remember Haida Heritage Plaza project. This project, funded through CSICP, is part of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. This transformative program will also support Indigenous Peoples in reclaiming their identity as part of their journey towards self-determination, which is a crucial step in advancing reconciliation and building relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.

Quotes

“One of the main laws of the Haida Nation is Yahguudang, meaning respect for all things: land, water and air; the Supernatural; our Ancestors; and each other. It is only when we show such respect that we can be worthy of respect ourselves. Our society is matrilineal. Members of our community who are 2SLGBTQQIA+ have held respected positions in our community since pre-contact. By creating more space for public displays of Haida values, we will see Yahguudang extended, and through that the creation of increased respect for our highly esteemed members, women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.

The Honourable Marc Miller, on behalf of the Canadian government, has shown great strides in pursuing reconciliation by joining us in our efforts to create inclusive Haida communities, strengthen and protect our culture and language, and memorialize and commemorate those lost to colonial practices.”

Chief Councillor, Donald Edgars
Old Massett Village Council

“With the construction of the iit’l gudaad – We Remember Haida Heritage Plaza, Haida citizens will tell their story in their own language using symbols and monuments that are meaningful to them. I am honoured to partner with the Old Massett Village community on this project where Haida women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people of today, tomorrow and generations to come will have a safe space to connect to their history.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous organizations, families, Survivors and communities across the country to make progress on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.

  • Budget 2021 invested $108.8 million over two years for the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program. This investment is part of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Girls, Women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan, and supports the response to Call for Justice 2.3, which calls upon all governments to prioritize safe and meaningful access to culture and languages for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people to restore, reclaim and revitalize identities.

  • The National Action Plan was co-developed by:

    • the National Family and Survivors Circle;
    • representatives of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Indigenous grassroots organizations;
    • Indigenous, provincial and territorial governments; and
    • Indigenous urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ leaders.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
renelle.arsenault@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

CIRNAC Media Relations:
Email: RCAANC.Media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.ca
Phone: 819-934-2302

Donald Edgars
Chief Councillor
Old Massett Village
Email: duffyedgars@oldmassett.ca
Phone: 250-626-7902

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