BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Queen Charlotte Islands
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
Islands - Plural of Island
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Not official. Lookup the official name
Relative Location: Off NW coast of British Columbia, separated from mainland BC by Hecate Strait, Queen Charlotte Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 53°15'00''N, 132°15'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 103F/1
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.:
102O/14 103B/2 103B/3 103C/16
103C/9 103F/1 103F/10 103F/11
103F/14 103F/15 103F/16 103F/2
103F/7 103F/8 103F/9 103G/12
103G/13 103G/4 103G/5 103J/4
103K/1 103K/2 103K/3 103K/6
  Nearby names within
  

Origin Notes and History:

"Queen Charlotte Islands" adopted 15 October 1920 on Ottawa file OBF 0557, as identified on charts from 1790 onward. "Queen Charlotte Islands" and the approved French form "Îles de la Reine-Charlotte" identified as names of pan-Canadian significance per Treasury Board Circular 1983-58, 23 November 1983. To be officially renamed Haida Gwaii under provisions of a protocol agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Haida Nation that was announced 11 December 2009. Re-named Haida Gwaii per Bill 18: Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act, which legislation received Royal Assent 3 June 2010.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Called Haida Gwaii ("Islands of the People") by the Haida people since early-mid 1970's; Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai ("Islands at the Boundary of the World") is the oldest name.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"In May 1785 Richard Cadman Etches and other British traders entered into a commercial partnership, under the title of "The King George's Sound Company" for carrying on a fur trade from the western coast of America to China. ...[the company] purchased a ship of 320 tons and a snow of 200 tons; having thus a size and burden which Captain Cook, after adequate trials, recommended as the fitest for distant employments. Nathanial Portlock, RN, was appointed commander of the larger vessel, and of the expedition; and George Dixon of the smaller, both of them having accompanied Cook in his last voyage to the Pacific. ...the Secretary of the Treasury named the larger vessel "King George" and the President of the Royal Society called the smaller "Queen Charlotte". The vessels finally left England 17 September 1785... The Queen Charlotte Islands were named after the vessel by Captain Dixon in July 1787. In the "Queen Charlotte" during this month he sailed along the western shore of the islands, rounded Cape St. James and sailed up the eastern shore as far as Skidegate.... Captain Gray in the American sloop "Washington" named these islands in June 1789, under the impression it was one large island, Washington's Island, and thus it was for a long period always distinguished by the fur traders of the United States."
Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)
"The natives of the Queen Charlotte Islands were known as Haidas, which means in their language 'people' - this word is pronounced hada-i by the natives of Masset, and by the Skidegates haidai-gai."
Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)