Queen Charlotte Islands officially renamed Haida Gwaii

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Looks like the name Queen Charlotte Islands as the official name for the archipelago is now a thing of the past. The islands are located quite a ways off the coast of British Columbia, and can only be reached by first going to Prince Rupert and then taking a six-hour ferry across the Hecate Strait. Or you could take the ferry up the coast straight from Vancouver or Victoria, but that adds on another 20 hours of ferry time and when I went there in 1997 I threw up the whole time over just six hours.

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The native language spoken there is Haida, which is undergoing a tiny revival at the moment. The islands themselves are huge and the population is only a few thousand, so it's pretty much as isolated a place as one can find. Lots of old forests with moss and millipedes and whatnot, lakes with tiny frogs in the grass that run away from you in a triangular kind of wave as you walk, and interesting tiny deer and bears that are evolutionary distinct from those on the mainland. It's basically one of those places that one sees aspiring authors in movies always move to for a period of time to work on a novel they just can't concentrate on in the big city.


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