Haida Gwaii ("Islands of the Haida people") is an archipelago approximately 45-60 km (30-40 mi) off the northern Pacific coast of Canada. Part of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the islands were formerly and are still commonly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. They are separated from the mainland to the east by the Hecate Strait. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to the south, with Vancouver Island beyond. To the north, the disputed Dixon Entrance separates Haida Gwaii from the Alexander Archipelago in the U.S. state of Alaska.
The islands are the heartland of the Haida Nation. Haida people have lived on the islands for 13,000 years, and currently make up approximately half of the population.
Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham or North 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 Island, Burnaby Island, Alder Island, and Kunghit Island.
Some of the islands are protected under federal legislation as Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, which includes the southernmost part of Moresby Island and several adjoining islands and islets. Also protected, but under provincial jurisdiction, 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 of stoat. Black-tailed deer and raccoon are introduced species that have become abundant.