Haida Gwaii
Haida flag
General Information
Population:ap. 1,000
Current status:occupied

The archipelago of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia is a mostly isolated region populated by a majority of fishermen, usually choosing to reside on the island for its autonomy. While it was not directly hit in the Great War, dilapidation, population drops, and overall natural decay greatly affected the islands, its environment a fraction of what it was before 2077.


The Great War

Haida Gwaii map

Haida Gwaii

During the American annexation of Canada, Haida Gwaii locals fiercely defended the town of Massett, with a small resistance force booby-trapping the port entrance in May 2067 with multiple home-grown explosives rigged to detonate on the approach of U.S. soldiers. This defense sunk a number of U.S. ships, but was ultimately not enough to protect the ill-equipped townspeople from the American military. The United States maintained its control of the islands until October 23, 2077, when nuclear fire rained on the mainland 150 miles away. Citizens demanded to know what had happened when friends & family would not respond after what seemed like a typical drill. American forces in control of Haida Gwaii refused to address them, but news of the devastation was eventually realized. This gave rebels the perfect opportunity to overthrow the occupants, with many of the locals, the indigenous Haida included, coming together to take down the U.S. forces positioned at CFS Massett and other minor stations in Skidegate, Queen Charlotte, Tlell, and Port Clements. They were successful in their small revolution, with much of the American troops either being killed in the fighting or retreating elsewhere.

Radioactive fallout in the aftermath of the Great War still affected the islands as with most other locations, but to a lesser degree than some had anticipated. That being said, many citizens left their homes and communities for larger towns on mainland British Columbia with more resources to survive the aftermath of the war. Toxic rain hit Haida Gwaii along with many other parts of the world, killing many of its unique native species as well as some of its human population. Some species survived with moderate mutations, and communities both animal and human were abandoned. The village of Tlell was one notable casualty, with a vast majority of its residents being killed off or moving out to Massett. On October 28, 2077, after much of the rain had subsided, locals emerged from their electricity-cut homes and tried to make the best of a bad situation. Queen Charlotte renamed itself Song in a symbol of harmony and unity amidst the destruction across the world. Lieutenant Mayor Jean Mueller, trying to keep some form of organized government, approved the renaming after Mayor Christian Crosby's suicide two days prior.

Skidegate crisis

Haida Heritage Centre

Haida Heritage Centre

Further complications came in 2085 when a local Haida figure, Gerry Greville, established a community at Skidegate for Haida-descended people of the island to come together and live by the ways of the past now that most of the world's civilizations had been consumed by the holocaust of eight years ago. While many followed Greville and locked themselves away in Skidegate, not all Haida left their homes and stayed among their friends and family in Song and Massett. Greville had originally intended for a peaceful departure and to bring back a sense of community within a similarly rooted people, but when he died on a fishing trip in December 2101, his son-in-law Georg Saads claimed leadership of Skidegate and forbade anyone to enter or leave the town. Trespassers would be shot on sight and anyone caught leaving were personally executed by Saads. This sudden change in perspective on basic rights was shocking to Skidegate residents as well as those outside of the community. After weeks of quiet panic and a number of deaths, a small group of Skidegate citizens managed to sneak a messenger out of the town to request assistance from Song.

While much of Song was aware of what had happened in Skidegate, they did not yet know of the extent of Sadds' inhumanity until the messenger arrived in Song around January 2102. Then-mayor Felix Melchiondo was distraught by the messenger's story and allowed a band of militiamen to assist in the overthrow of Saads. A number of Saads' close personal friends and family "agreed" (actually forced by Saads) to help defend his position of power and opened fire on the Song Militia. Once they realized what was happening, the militiamen took cover and fought back, eventually causing the Skidegate guards to surrender and join Song. In one last stand, Saads trapped himself inside of the Haida Heritage Center, holding many of his own citizens hostage alongside centuries-old artifacts and knowledge. Looking for a solution, one militiaman volunteered to scale the building and tear down Saads' defenses. He was successful in doing so, planting a small explosive on the impromptu blockade at the front door and clearing the way for the Song militia and other rebellious Skidegate residents to move in. Although they were not able to save every hostage, the rebels managed to kill Saads and free prisoners who had not been murdered by Saads during the siege.

De-evolution of local politics

By this point, many town councils and mayorships of Graham Island had already lost much of their power to wealthy fishermen. But the mentally ill Saads' attack on his own people further diminished the role these leaders played in the organization of towns across Haida Gwaii. Citizens, both new and old, began to distrust their mayor or representatives and slowly eroded the last vestiges of the organized pre-War society. While they were still civilized and had local leaders that would guide them through trying times, government and elected power positions became a thing of the past. The one exception to this was in Song, where Idris Oscar Smith, succeeding Melchiondo in 2111, maintained his standing as mayor of the largest town of the archipelago. This lasted until 2130, when he was accused of standing idly by as Sandspit, a small, dying settlement on Moresby Island was destroyed by attacking mutants. One resident whose family died in the destruction of Sandspit shot Smith to death outside of the Song town hall, allowing for lieutenant mayor John Simeon and grandfather of the current mayor, Ophelia Simeon, to succeed him.

Present day

As of 2287, Haida Gwaii's various communities mostly rely on fishing and trade for its contact with the mainland, many travelers making the journey by boat to the archipelago seeking new wealth and a unique environment for explorers and pre-War culture obsessives. Although its indigenous people, possibly the most fascinating part of the islands' history, have long abandoned the Haida language, many citizens are more than eager to talk with adventurers about their past and how the War has affected them while still focusing on the future. Not everything is golden, as the wildlife is still a threat to be reckoned with, and not all travelers come seeking friendship, but compared to many other areas of the world thrown into irreversible chaos by the apocalypse, it could be said that Haida Gwaii has done somewhat well on its own for the past two hundred years.