Date: March 30th, 2015
Where: University of Victoria, First Peoples House
The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and Centre for Global Studies hosted a book launch with panel presentations to celebrate POLIS Affiliate Dr. Louise Takeda’s newly published book Islands’ Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Forests on Haida Gwaii and to discuss the long-term conflict over Haida Gwaii’s ancient forests.
Three esteemed panelists—Guujaaw, Former President of the Haida Nation; Kekinusuqs (Judith Sayers), Former Elected Chief of Hupacasath First Nation and UVic adjunct professor; and Dr. Michael M’Gonigle, Eco-Research Chair in Environmental Law and Policy & UVic professor—joined Louise to discuss the specifics of the Haida’s history and the broader implications for reconciliation and environmentalism. The event was moderated by Dr. Martin Bunton.
Islands’ Spirit Rising examines the long-term conflict over Haida Gwaii’s ancient forests and recent events that unfolded in the context of collaborative land-use planning. In response to threats posed by a century of logging, a local indigenous/ environmental/ community movement built enough momentum to challenge a multinational forest industry and the political structures enabling it.
The event speakers traced the evolution of the Haida’s battle to regain control over their homeland, from the early days of Haida resistance to the modern context of alliances, legal battles, and evolving forms of governance. The speakers also reflected on the broader implications of the Haida’s strategies and successes for reconciliation and environmentalism. The take-home message was that we are in this together, and that the Haida’s fight is everybody’s fight.
Event Presentations (video proceedings)
Restoring Balance: Key Steps Along the Journey
by Dr. Louise Takeda, Author, Islands’ Spirit Rising; Affiliate, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
Unwinding Colonialism: Lessons from the Front Line
by Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation, 2000-2012
Reconciliation: A Broader Perspective
by Kekinusuqs (Dr. Judith Sayers), Former Elected Chief, Hupacasath First Nation; Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria
Generalizing the Experience, What Will It Take?
by Dr. Michael M’Gonigle, Professor and Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy, University of Victoria; Founder, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
About the book: Islands’ Spirit Rising: Reclaiming the Forests on Haida Gwaii (UBC Press, 2015)