X̱aayda Kil place names restoration

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

The Gwaii Haanas Archipelago Management Board (AMB) supports restoring location names to their rightful Haida place names. In early 2022 the AMB approved the restoration of five Haida place names within Gwaii Haanas.  These exciting name restorations were initiated by the Council of the Haida (CHN) in consultation with Haida Elders who identified numerous place names around Haida Gwaii to be changed.  The AMB, with positive feedback from stakeholders, was unanimously supportive. The AMB acknowledges the Haida language speakers for leading the way and drawing attention to these matters. Place names’ restoration supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action related to language, and further supports targets in the Gwaii Haanas Gina ‘Waadluan Kiluhla Land-Sea-People Management Plan (2018).

The five locations in Gwaii Haanas include four water features, and a land feature (see table/ map below).

map

New Name in aayda Kil (Haida Language, Southern Dialect)

English Interpretation

Previous Name

Latitude, Longitude

1

aysiias ’iidsii

“Calm water narrows”

Burnaby Strait


52.378, -131.357


2

K’iid Xyangs ’iidaay

“Narrow passage narrows”

Dolomite/ Burnaby Narrows


52.360, -131.353


3

Gid waa Gyaaa awa

“Gid Gwaa’s Inlet”

Poole Inlet


52.369, -131.302


4

Sk’yaaw awa

“Tail Bay”

Francis Bay


52.371, -131.271


5

Sk’yaaw Kun

“Tail Point”

Poole Point


52.373, -131.244


 

Place names restoration in Gwaii Haanas for the initial five locations was made official by the Geographical Names Board of Canada. Maps of Gwaii Haanas, and transitioning to full use of these names will take several years as many will need time to become familiar with the names and pronunciation.

Tools to help

Pronunciation tools are available on the CHN’s website, including audio recordings of Elders speaking the place names and an associated map of location details. Visit the CHN website for more information on why the Elders prioritized these place names and for pronunciation tools: https://www.haidanation.ca/haida-place-names/

Map of location details

 

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