Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Charles Wilkinson
2015 | 75 minutes | Canada, Haida Gwaii
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

Eighty miles off the Northwest coast of British Columbia, the mountainous archipelago Haida Gwaii rises above the Pacific Ocean. These islands have been home to the Haida people since 13,000 BC, and it was here that they developed the world’s first totem poles. Though smallpox from European settlers killed a staggering nine out of ten residents and industrial overfishing and commercial logging have threatened them, a vibrant community thrives there today. In Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, award-winning director Charles Wilkinson turns his camera on the fight to preserve the land, sea, and people of Haida Gwaii. The film celebrates the Haida chiefs, organic farmers, scientists, and local artists who have come together on the islands today to explore creative ways of building a sustainable society.

Co-presented by The Film and Video Center, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Consulate General of Canada

Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Contender

Thresholds, My Perspective

"A great key to Haida Gwaii’s success is the boundary of water that separates the archipelago from the mainland. For centuries, the 80 miles of storm-tossed North Pacific protected the islanders from mainland predators. Even today, that boundary affords isolation from much of the industrial exploitation that occurs inland. The ocean boundary also creates a sense of ‘otherness’ that contributes greatly to the fierce protectiveness islanders feel toward their beautiful home."

- Charles Wilkinson | Director, Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World