Haida Gwaii Institute (HGI) operates within the traditional, ancestral, and ancestral territory of the Haida Nation. We collaborate with the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN), Skidegate Band Council, Old Massett Village Council, and the larger Haida community, in the development and delivery of HGI courses and programs.

HGI operates within the unceded ancestral territory of the Haida Nation. We work closely with the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN), the Skidegate Band Council and the Old Massett Village Council in the development and delivery of the Haida Gwaii Semesters.

We value the participation of Indigenous students and acknowledge the important contribution they make to the collective learning experience. We strive for diversity and hope to engage more Indigenous students (as well as staff and faculty) as our organization continues to grow.

Students in our programs get hands-on experiences on the land, exploring the diverse ecosystems of Haida Gwaii and learning from Haida and other Indigenous knowledge keepers and guest lecturers. Traditional Knowledge (TK) is integrated into our all of our curricula. Our programs include a multitude of Indigenous resources such as the Haida Gwaii Museum’s archives, collectives, exhibits; as well as assigned and recommended readings (books, scholarly articles, etc.) and films. We continue to build on this content and are open to suggestions and new ideas.

Pathways to participation for Indigenous students:

Typically we invite students with at least two years of experience in a related post-secondary program to apply for a Haida Gwaii Semester or Summer Session. This may be someone currently enrolled in a program, someone that has already obtained a certificate/diploma/degree, or someone that has taken a break from school and is interested in returning.

We also recognize that learning can take place outside of university and in different kinds of educational settings. We will consider applicants that have not attended post-secondary but have other achievements including community leadership, work experience, self-knowledge, as well as other skills and competencies.

Potential sources of funding for Indigenous students:

HGI understands that for some students participation in the Haida Gwaii Semesters or Summer Sessions is not possible without financial assistance. In an effort to respond to this need, HGI has worked with external agencies to identify funding that HGI students are eligible to apply for when accepted into one of our programs. Please visit our Financial Aid page for more information.

  • "Participating in the Haida Gwaii Semester as a local and Haida person enabled me to have a unique perspective on the subjects of reconciliation and First Nations governance that were touched on repeatedly throughout the courses. I would highly recommend this program for anyone looking for an alternative and meaningful way to learn outside of the classroom. I left the program with a new sense of understanding of my own people as well as many friendships that maintain today."
    Tawla Jaad<i>Kelsey Pelton</i>
    HGS Alumna
  • "The Haida Gwaii Semester allowed me to push my post-secondary journey outside of the classroom to the forest, water, and to Indigenous knowledge keepers. I was able to look at Gwaii Haanas as a case study for how co-management with the Canadian government could work within my home territory. I built life long friendships and Nation to Nation relations. I discovered why the Haida are known to be such a prideful Nation by experiencing how they care for their land, waters, one another, and the guests within their home territories.I am forever grateful for this learning opportunity and would encourage more Indigenous students to partake in a this program that will feel like it was made for you."
    ’Qátuw̓as <i>Jessica Brown</i>, Heiltsuk & Nuu-Chah-Nulth
    HGS Alumna
  • "The Haida Gwaii Semester provides an amazing opportunity to engage in challenging cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary dialogues. I was left with an in-depth understanding of Haida law, governance, history, and contemporary land management strategies. I continue to apply what I have learned at the Haida Gwaii Semester within the context of my community, the Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8 territory. Most importantly the semester enabled me to build meaningful relationships with some of the most incredible and inspiring people I have ever met!"
    Julian Napoleon
    HGI Alumnus
  • Gidansda Guujaaw, former President of the Haida Nation
    “Haida people have had an intrinsic connection with this land for thousands of years. The work of our ancestors is present in the forest today and we continue our struggle to protect these sacred workplaces and the forests that contain them. The forests, lands and waters of Haida Gwaii have much to teach about a sustainable connection between human beings and the nature world. The Council of the Haida Nation supports […] educational programs that bring students from across Canada to experience the uniqueness of Haida Gwaii and Haida culture”
    Gidansda Guujaaw
    Former President of the Haida Nation