#365 Indigenous: Terri-Lynn(Lalaxaaygans) Williams-Davidson
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson (Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay Lalaxaaygans) is a Haida musician, author, activist, artist, and lawyer who has dedicated herself to the continuation of Haida language and culture. Born and raised in Haida Gwaii, Williams-Davidson was given the name “Lalaxaaygans” – meaning “Beautiful Sound” – by her maternal great-grandmother Susan Williams, who was a song custodian.
Through her firm, White Raven Law, Williams-Davidson has represented the Haida Nation at all levels of court since 1995. Arguing based on the ‘cedar sisters’ story, upholding Haida legal frameworks for forest stewardship, her involvement in litigating the Haida Nation’s opposition to clearcut logging in their territory was groundbreaking in establishing consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal rights related to resource development. She has also helped win innovative interim agreements with British Columbia and Canada as counsel for the Haida Nations’ aboriginal title case.
Working in partnership with RAVEN, Williams-Davidson played a significant role as a member of the Haida Nation’s legal team in their litigation against the approval of the Enbridge Pipeline project. That case – for which RAVEN supporters worked to raise over a million dollars – ultimately led to the cancellation of the tar sands pipeline and tankers project.
The founder of EAGLE – Environmental- Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education – Williams-Davidson is also recipient of the People’s Choice Andrew Thompson award for her contributions in the fields of environmental and Aboriginal law.Williams-Davidson works tirelessly in the revitalization of Haida culture through her music. She has released three studio albums:
“Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound”,
“Grizzly Bear Town.”
She is also the author of two books based on oral Haida narratives: “Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii” and “Out of Concealment.” Hear her on RAVEN’s Podcast, S2 E8, “Cedar Sisters”. https://raventrust.com/podcast-cedar-sisters-with-terri-lynn-williams-davidson/