In a B.C. courtroom, the testimony of a Haida leader spans the past and future of reconciliation

By Arno Kopecky
The Narwhal
December 21, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I watched as Guujaaw, former president of the Council of the Haida Nation, testified at the B.C. Supreme Court. The legendary Haida chief was the Crown’s star witness in a $75 million lawsuit brought by Teal Cedar Products Ltd. against the province of B.C. and the Haida Gwaii Management Council. The suit has been going on for months, but not until Guujaaw arrived did the judge hear an Indigenous perspective on what the forest industry has done to the landscape, and people, of Haida Gwaii. …The matter of sovereignty over Haida Gwaii remains a point of conflict between the Haida Nation and the province of B.C., and that conflict goes much deeper than Teal’s current fight with the province.  …Whether the judge concludes that reconciliation did indeed cost Teal $75 million, and that taxpayers should reimburse them, is something we won’t know until the second half of 2024, when the decision is expected.

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