The Haida Nation says it’s ready to welcome visitors who are being invited to sign a pledge committing them to be respectful on its territories.
The nation says the pledge evolved from COVID-19 response plans and includes guidance from hereditary leaders, sacred knowledge keepers and local health authorities.
Visitors must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before travelling to Haida Gwaii, and disclosure of vaccination status on the pledge is voluntary and held in confidence.
“It’s been a long year for the people of Haida Gwaii and I’m forever grateful for everybody’s respect of one another and diligence as we’ve all gone through this pandemic together,” Gaagwiis, president of the Haida Nation, said in a video posted on the Nation’s website.
“After many discussions with our leadership in our communities, Skidegate and Old Massett, our emergency operation centres, island leaders, our community health leads and local doctors, it’s become quite clear that we’re in a place now where we’re ready to turn the corner and begin to really look forward at the summer,” the president added.
Haida Gwaii has been under a state of emergency that dated to last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the state of emergency, all non-residents were prohibited from leisure travel to the area.
The nation says some services will be limited as communities that have been vigilant during the pandemic remain cautious and ask everyone to follow public health measures.
Gwaii Haanas National Park which opened to locals early last month is also now accessible for off-island visitors.
With files to the Canadian Press.