Haida Nation makes unprecedented claim for land and sea

Haida Nation makes claim for Queen Charlotte Islands and waters around them

The Haida First Nation has filed a lawsuit claiming ownership of the entire Queen Charlotte Islands and the surrounding waters.

The claim includes Hecate Strait, between Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlottes, as well as the islands themselves. The area is believed to contain billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves.

The federal government imposed a moratorium on offshore drilling in B.C. 30 years ago. But the provincial government has been studying if oil and gas drilling can be done without harming the environment.

Guujaaw, the president of the Haida First Nation says the claim is about protecting the environment, not about money.

"We're going to take charge of our lives and our future and we're going to make sure there is a future for the following generations," he said.