Online Learning with the
Haida Gwaii Institute


Available Online Courses

To register for any of these courses, click here.


HGSE 360 Ocean People, Culture & Tradition

Instructed by Gid Yahk’ii Sean Young
Offered September – December, 2022 & 2023

The Haida people have lived within the marine environment since time immemorial. This course will be an in-depth study of Haida culture and tradition from the ‘pre-contact’ era before 1774, to modern day 21st century. 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.


HGSE 361 Fisheries Co-Management of the North Pacific Coast

Instructed by Dr. Sarah Harper
Offered September – December, 2022 & 2023

This course exposes students to concepts of fisheries co-management with a focus on the North Pacific Coast while also providing examples of other co-management structures regionally and internationally. It provides an overview of the historical context of co-management structures in the North Pacific Coast and court decisions that have become landmarks in the recognition of Aboriginal rights to manage local resources. More specifically, through local guest speakers, this course offers a perspective of traditional fisheries and marine management by the Haida Nation within Haida territorial waters, as well as the local settler fishing community of Haida Gwaii, and representatives of the Province of BC and Government of Canada.


HGSE 371 Re-Storying History: Indigenous Perspectives

Instructed by Jasḵwaan Bedard
Offered January – April 2023

This course explores the diversity of Indigenous peoples of British Columbia and Canada and the unique histories, beginning with origin stories and oral histories and moving on to the histories and relationships that Indigenous groups have with the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments.


HGSE 394 Marine Conservation in BC

Instructed by Dr. Lais Chaves
Offered January – April 2023

Building on successful experience in marine conservation through a series of online lectures and discussions, this course is designed to provide students the exposure to different perspectives and methodologies applied to the conservation of marine environments in BC. Selected guest speakers will provide speakers with opportunities for real-world experience of local culture, tradition and history, local and community-led conservation initiatives, and marine protected areas.


HGSE 381 Ecological Economics

Instructed by Dr. Katie Kish
Offered May – June 2022 & 2023

The emerging discipline of ecological economics has been influenced by the intersection of political, economic and ecological systems. This course will be divided into two parts: the first part will look at the underlying philosophy and principles of ecological economics and the basic concepts of ecological economics such as economic low-growth, ecosystem services, valuation of nature.

The course will have students question current measures of ‘progress’, comparing conventional measures (of wealth and growth) with those that incorporate environmental components, and we will discuss their usefulness – both conceptually as well as in various policy settings, including Haida Gwaii. The second part focus will shift to the implications of a radical reorientation of a political economy. Students will look at cascading effects of change, unintended consequences of change, and why it might be difficult to separate our ecological goals from our political realities.

To watch a video with Dr. Kish discussing this course, please click here.


HGSE 372 Language & Cultural Continuity

Instructed by Jasḵwaan Bedard
Offered in July – August 2022 & 2023

This course explores language as a means of examining culture and cultural continuity, in Haida Gwaii and throughout colonized spaces, 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.

To watch a video with Jasḵwaan discussing the course, please click here.