Council of the Haida Nation

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The Council of the Haida Nation is the Aboriginal Government of the Haida Nation. The Haida Nation is engaged in a Title dispute of their territories, Haida Gwaii, and holds them to be independent from Canada. The Haida Nation, culturally, also includes portions of Alaska. The Kaigani Haida, who are the Alaskan group, are not part of the same government and are constituted separately within the Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. There are two villages of the Haida Nation within Canada, G̱aaw, known in English as Old Massett and Hlg̱aagilda, known in English as Skidegate.

The Haida Gwaii archipelago is one of the richest marine and terrestrial environments on earth. The Haida culture comes from the land with a distinct language and distinctive and renowned material culture. The Council, formed in 1973, has been involved in many conflicts over the fate of its territories, which have been part of Canada since 1871, and by the Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands prior to that. No treaties between the Crown and the governments of the Haida were ever signed, as in most of the rest of the current Canadian province of British Columbia.

All Haida territories were in the past also claimed by Russia and Spain as well as the United States. Once Russian and Spanish claims to Haida Gwaii were given up in treaties with Britain and the United States, the islands continued to be claimed by the United States until the British claim to them was formalized by the creation of the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1853. Russian claims to Kaigani Haida territory were sold to the United States in 1867 with the Alaska Purchase.

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