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Only 0.2 percent of the world’s surface is made up of coastal temperate rainforests. British Columbia’s North and Central coast, including Haida Gwaii is home to a quarter of the planet’s remaining coastal temperate rainforests.
For thousands of years First Nations carefully managed the abundance of natural resources in the sea and on the land by relying on our knowledge of seasonal cycles to harvest a wide variety of resources without harming or depleting them. Many believed the abundance of natural resources on BC’s coast would last forever. They were wrong.
Resources continue to be taken from our Traditional Territories. Yet our communities continue to suffer from weak economies and high unemployment rates. Coastal First Nations have watched as natural resources within our Traditional Territories have been exploited for maximum profit over the last 100 years. The resources have been decimated. This has caused enormous economic, social and cultural damage to our communities.
The cost of industrial exploitation in our communities has been huge. The most obvious cost is the depletion and in some cases the complete destruction of resources in our Traditional Territories. It’s clear an economy based on exploitation of natural resources is no longer viable.
Who We Are
The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. The Coastal First Nations include Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Nuxalk Nation, Gitga’at, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation.
Our First Nations occupy the Northern and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii areas of B.C., from the Alaskan border in the north to Vancouver Island in the south. This region is the unceded Traditional Territory of more than one dozen First Nations.