People are like trees, and groups of people are like the forests.  While the forests are composed of many different kinds of trees, these trees intertwine their roots so strongly that it is impossible for the strongest winds which blow on out island to uproot the forest, for each tree strengthens its neighbour, and their roots are inextricably intertwined.

In the same way the people of our Islands, composed of members of nations and races from all over the world, are beginning to intertwine their roots so strongly that no troubles will affect them.

Just as one tree standing alone would soon be destroyed by the first strong wind which came along, so it is impossible for any person, any family, or any community to stand alone against the troubles of this world.

Chief Skidegate – Lewis Collinson

March, 1966

Where it all Began:

  • In 1985, the political standoff at Lyell Island brought worldwide attention to the Gwaii Haanas issue of the land title dispute, the environment, and economic matters.
  • In 1987, the Haida Nation designated the area a Haida Heritage Site.
  • In 1988, Canada designated the area a National Park Reserve.
  • Representatives of the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and the Residents Planning Advisory Committee (RPAC) established an Accord on a Community Development Fund.
  • In spite of legislative hostiles and other societal encumbrances to cross-cultural understanding, and after years of difficult work, the results evolved into the Gwaii Trust Interim Planning Society (GTIPS).
  • The GTIPS was established in accordance with the Society Act of British Columbia in November, 1991.
  • Its purpose was to develop a permanent model for a locally controlled, interest-generating fund.
  • The Gwaii Trust Society would be founded on the principles of achieving a sustainable islands community.
  • The Gwaii Trust Society was formed in September 1994 to operate the perpetual trust fund, and the GTIPS was dissolved as a society.

Mission Statement:

  • The Gwaii Trust will enhance environmentally sustainable social and economic benefits to Haida Gwaii though the use of the fund.
  • The Gwaii Trust society shall operate in a manner consistent with it’s constitution and strive to reach the general objectives as developed by the islands community.  The general objectives of the society are located in Part 2 of the Gwaii Trust Constitution under “Purposes of the Society.”
  • The Gwaii Trust will advocate and support an islands community characterized by respect for cultural diversity, the environment, and a sustainable and increasingly self-sufficient economy.