Haida Gwaii: People and their Natural Environment

Learn in spectacular Haida Gwaii!

Experience the culture and history of the amazing Haida people and explore the unique ecology of the archipelago.

Haida Gwaii, known to the Haida as "Islands of the People," is a diverse archipelago of over 150 islands located on the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada. These islands are nestled below the Alaskan Panhandle and separated from the British Columbia mainland by the Hecate Strait. The Haida people have lived on Haida Gwaii for over 12,000 years. Recent findings have pushed that date back a further 1,000 years.

The Haida Gwaii Field School is an interdisciplinary biocultural studies program, offered with the support of the people and communities on Haida Gwaii. Biocultural studies at the College promote learning about the unique biological and cultural diversity and the interconnectedness of the two in northwest British Columbia. Biocultural studies also promote learning about the importance of sustaining that diversity given increasing assaults of environmental degradation. Biocultural studies support conservation, restoration and local control of resources including new out-of-the-box perspectives on how governments, industry, NGO's and local people can work together for an ecologically sustainable and just society.

Students and faculty, with the participation of Haida knowledge keepers, will learn of the Haida homeland and life ways and Haida peoples’ concepts about, and interactions with, the unique ecosystems of Haida Gwaii. Here you will study Haida oral histories from creation to recent and see how they compare to what western scientists are learning on the Islands. You will also earn of the impacts of contact and cash economy and disease.  Following this experience you will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complexities of Haida culture.

Courses | 6 credits:

  • GEOG 226 - Regional Geography of Canada
  • ANTH 270 - Traditional Knowledge in Practice

Admission requirements

Dates and locations

Check back for an upcoming schedule of dates and locations. 

  • Terrace campus
  • Old Masset
  • Queen Charlotte
  • Skidegate

Photo gallery