VIFF 2015 Review: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
For those who weren’t aware, Haida Gwaii is an archipelago comprised of 160 islands located one hundred miles off the coast of northern British Columbia. Apart from being one of the most pristine landscapes in North America, this region is home to an indigenous tribe that has thrived for over a millennia – the Haida people. This documentary shares the inspiring yet heartbreaking stories of their native culture, and how they have continued to persevere even in the face of climate and political adversity.
Throughout this film, you are taken on a journey of the Haida people’s struggle to stand up for the rights of their land and culture. During the last 100 years, they have watched as their precious forests were cut down by loggers, their herring supply dwindle due to commercial over-fishing, and the after-math impacts of industries who have done nothing but extract the natural resources from their land. All throughout this hardship, they found ways to give the land they love a voice on a political and global level – continuously fighting back against the corporations that kept stealing with little thought of the consequences.
Haida Gwaii is essentially a refreshing tale of how a group of people can work with nature, not against it, and still grow and flourish. They have strongly stood for their beliefs for centuries, and they haven’t given up for a second. This is their all-too-true story, and one that demands to be shared with the world.