Haida Gwaii
Online Learning


Haida Gwaii Online Learning Winter Term 1 (Fall) 2021

September 7th to December 7th, 2021

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HGSE 360 - Ocean People, Culture, and Tradition

Weekly synchronous classes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00pm to 2:30pm Pacific

The Haida people have lived within the marine environment since time immemorial. This introductory course of the Haida Gwaii Semester in Marine Conservation will be an in-depth study of Traditional Haida Culture from the ‘pre-contact’ era before 1774, to modern day 21st century Haida Culture. The focus of our learning will be on how the Haida people and culture are intricately related to their marine environment; how they were sustained by and managed traditional marine resources, and how management has changed over time.

This course will cover important topics including Haida oral histories, ceremonial practices, and unique world views as they pertain to marine conservation. As well, the technologies used throughout time to harvest, prepare, and store food will be studied. The history of the fur trade will be included as an example of the influence of western culture on Haida culture regarding marine resources. Archaeological examples, both textual and physical, will be drawn upon throughout the course.

There will be multiple guest speakers from the local Haida Gwaii community including elders, traditional food gatherers and professional archaeologists. We will make virtual visits to view the collection of marine harvesting tools at the Haida Gwaii Museum. The course will also include multiple virtual field trips to several types of archaeological sites and marine harvesting sites throughout Haida Gwaii (i.e. Fish weirs, shell middens, village sites, etc.).


HGSE 370 - Introduction to Resilience Theory in Community

Weekly synchronous classes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm Pacific

This course introduces students to foundations of resilience theory. The course explores the theory of social-ecological resilience as applied to cross-cultural community settings. Resilience will be examined across different scales: from individuals, households, communities, and beyond. That said, the focus in this course will be community and, as such, a resilience analysis will require an understanding of the historical evolution of a social-ecological system.


HGSE 372 - Language and Cultural Continuity

Weekly synchronous classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm Pacific

This course explores language as a means of examining culture and cultural continuity, in Haida Gwaii and throughout what is now British Columbia, spanning ancient times to the present. Students will explore methods of knowledge translation and transmission; and how cultural knowledge, values, and worldviews are embedded in language and other forms of communication and expression. Using X̱aad Kil—the Old Massett dialect of the Haida language— as a framing device, students will explore the integral connections between language, culture, history, land, health and resilience. Specific topics that will be examined throughout the course include the importance of oral histories; Indigenous political, social and economic systems; repatriation, and language as a tool for cultural resurgence. Ancestral knowledge contained within languages serves as a connective thread woven throughout history: delivering lessons about strength, resurgence, and resilience through stories, cultural teachings, and songs. Language and Cultural Continuity is for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to better understand the importance of language and culture in one’s own identity and understanding of community.