DamXan gud.ad t’alang hllGang.gulXads Gina Tllgaay (Working together to make it a better world)

Kii’iljuus Barbara Wilson


This article is a compilation of my thoughts based on interviews with the (coastal) village residents of Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. I asked, How can we make our communities healthy and able to withstand the rising winds, waters, more extreme temperatures, and droughts, all of which are related to climate change? How can we use our ancient kilyahdas (spoken laws) to empower our Nation to uphold our values of Yahguudang (respect), Ista ad isgid (reciprocity), Gud ‘Laa (consensus), Tll’yahdah (make things right), and ’Laa guu ga kanhlln (stewardship) to create a safe, healthy planet, including the ocean, for present and future generations? Study participants identified the need for more education on climate change impacts and the reinvigoration of ancestral laws. Colonization is discussed throughout this research because of the impacts it has had and continues to have on our life ways. The removal of Canadian legislation, such as the Indian Act, Species at Risk Act, and Fisheries Act, and the revitalization of ancient laws lived for thousands of years, which taught the Kuuniisii (the ancestors) to live respectfully with all aspects of the earth, is needed. These ancient laws offer respect and interdependence, as well as control over our Nation and other nations collectively. Currently, Indigenous communities are facing ongoing colonization while attempting to address the impacts of climate change. Reinfusing our kil yahdas (spoken laws) and kuuya (precious things or values) is important for rebuilding and maintaining healthy and resilient communities and strong governance. We hope that this reanimation will reduce the impacts of climate change, especially on our ocean.

Full Text:


section divider image

Canadian Wildlife Federation Logo Nipissing University Logo Trent University Logo Lakehead University Logo

Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352