Haida Gwaii
Online Learning


Haida Gwaii Online Learning Winter 2021

January 4th to April 8th, 2021



HGSE 352 - First Nations Governance and Natural Resource Management

Weekly synchronous classes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30pm to 2:00pm Pacific

This course provides an overview of Indigenous governance and natural resource management – with Haida Gwaii as a case study. Utilizing a decolonial lens we will examine the impacts of colonialism and imposed systems - with specific attention to the way in which the mechanisms of genocide, land displacement, control and assimilation were utilized in order to supersede Indigenous people’s authority. Indigenous peoples were not passive bystanders to their oppression and thus, key resistance movements will be explored. On Haida Gwaii, strategic resistance has been integral to protection of natural resources and to the assertion of Haida control. This resistance and resultant Haida control or co-management will be examined. Lastly, we will explore how decolonization and resurgence frameworks can be applied to governance and Natural resource management on Haida Gwaii.


HGSE 360 - Ocean People, Culture, and Tradition

Weekly synchronous classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 4:30pm 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 361 - Fisheries Co-Management of the North Pacific Coast

Weekly synchronous classes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am to 11:00am Pacific

Over the last two decades there has been a shift in the governance and management structures of fisheries that has given way to a broader approach that recognizes the participation of marine resource users, whether it be cultural, commercial or recreational, in shared decision-making. Through this process, co-management is now understood as involving the people closest to the resource in the design, implementation, and monitoring of management measures. Marine resource users are now empowered to become active members of the management group, with rights and responsibilities, by working in partnership with governments.

In the North Pacific Coast these users are represented by 17 First Nations, along with the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. Through local guest speakers, this course offers perspectives on traditional fisheries and marine management by the Haida Nation within Haida territorial waters as well as the local settler fishing community of Haida Gwaii, insights from other Indigenous groups along the North Pacific Coast and from representatives of the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada.


HGSE 362 - Marine Protected Areas and Marine Spatial Planning

Weekly synchronous classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm to 2:30pm Pacific

What is Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)? Why plan for the management of complex coastal and marine spaces? What tools, technologies, and techniques are available to balance the interests and values of coastal communities, stakeholders, and non-human nature? What is the role of MSP in identifying conservation values and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)?

Welcome to the murky depths of MSP and MPAs! This course will link theory to practice, drawing from academic literature, international and national case studies, and the coastal places, peoples, and processes of Xaayda Gwaayaay. Over this twelve-week course, prepare to take a deep dive into the range of possible responses to these questions (hint: there is no one right answer!).

The course will cover foundational topics like ecosystem-based management and key ecological, socio-economic, and cultural considerations in the broader field of marine and coastal resource management and conservation. There will be a focus on the Canadian context and on temperate MPAs in British Columbia specifically – international examples will also be drawn upon where applicable.


HGSE 381 - Ecological Economics

Weekly synchronous classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am to 11:30am Pacific

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.