Haida Gwaii, informally but commonly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Charlottes, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Approximately half of its population is of the Haida people.
The islands are separated from the British Columbia mainland to the east by Hecate Strait. Vancouver Island lies to the south, across Queen Charlotte Sound, while the U.S. state of Alaska is to the north, across the disputed Dixon Entrance.
Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of 10,180 km2 (3,931 sq mi). Other major islands include Anthony, Langara, Louise, Lyell, Burnaby, and Kunghit Islands. A parallel name to «Queen Charlotte Islands» used by American traders, who frequented the islands in the days of the marine fur trade and considered the islands part of the US-claimed Oregon Country, was Washington's Isles.
Some of the islands are protected under federal legislation as Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, which is mostly Moresby Island (Gwaii Haanas in Haida) and adjoining islands and islets. Also protected, but under provincial legislation, are several provincial parks, the largest of which is Naikoon Provincial Park on northeastern Graham Island. The islands are home to an abundance of wildlife, including the largest subspecies of black bear, and also the smallest subspecies (Ursus americanus carlottae) and the subspecies of stoat Mustela erminea haidarum. Black-tailed deer and raccoon are introduced species that have become abundant.
On June 3, 2010, the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act officially renamed the islands Haida Gwaii as part of a reconciliation protocol between British Columbia and the Haida people.