Message from the Chair


March 27, 2020

Sii.ngaay ‘láa (greetings), 

To the community of Haida Gwaii, the Gwaii Trust Board of Directors and Staff have been discussing the needs of our communities given these unprecedented times. Given the ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis and the current State of Emergency declared by our local governments, Gwaii Trust would like to announce the development of an Emergency Response Grant.

The Gwaii Trust Board, in a teleconference meeting on March 20, 2020, approved a list of recommendations provided by our Chief Operations Officer, Carla Lutner. A call to action to better support communities, the trust will be restructuring its current budget in an effort to provide more support while we work collectively to protect the health and well-being of our elders and the people of Haida Gwaii from COVID-19. 

While our staff work hard to maintain operations under the circumstances, recognizing the seriousness of the situation, we want to reassure island communities that your well-being is a top priority moving forward. As an interim measure, effective immediately, the trust has secured $250,000.00 for the Emergency Response Grant. To help with the administration of funds, the Gwaii Trust has established a working committee comprised of members of the Board and Staff:

  • Chair: Maureen Bailey, Director, Graham Island Central
  • Carla Lutner, Gwaii Trust Society Chief Operations Officer
  • Kim Goetzinger, Director, CHN Skidegate
  • Cecil Brown, Director, Old Massett Village Council
  • Laurie Chisholm, Director, Area E (Sandspit)
  • Clyde Greenough, Director, Graham Island South
  • Michelle (Ooka) Pineault, Alternate Director, Skidegate Band Council

For more information on the Emergency Response Grant, please visit the grant page here, or contact Carla Lutner at 250 559 5807,

Wishing everyone good health and positivity at this time. Working together we can help put an end to COVID-19. 

Haawa (thank you) 

James D Cowpar