"To provide and manage a range of housing options for the residents of Daajing Giids.”
Statement of Values
The Staff and Directors of the Societies value:
Dedication to duty
History and Background
The Daajing Giids Heritage Housing Society (DGHHS) and the Daajing Giids Housing Development Society (DGHDS) are sister societies in Daajing Giids, Haida Gwaii.
They have been providing subsidized and affordable housing in the community for many years. The Daajing Giids Heritage Housing Society (DGHHS), a non-profit Society, was incorporated in 1982. Sister society to DGHHS is the Daajing Giids Housing Development Society, DGHDC, which owns and operates Martin Manor, and was incorporated in 2005.
The mandate of both societies, who share the same Board of Directors, is to provide affordable housing for seniors, people with disabilities and those with low-incomes in Daajing Giids, Haida Gwaii.
In addition to a small, dedicated staff, the Societies are operated by a recently re-invigorated Board of Directors, which includes people with a variety of skills. They are long time members of the community with a wealth of knowledge of the health care system, construction, non-profit process, government workings and other skills invaluable for running a housing society. The Boards are hard-working volunteers. There is also a contracted administrator/bookkeeper in charge of day to day operations. Maintenance on all buildings is done by a contracted maintenance person. One of the Heritage House tenants takes care of the gardening and janitorial services at Heritage House.
Board of Directors
Greg Martin, President
Since 1970 Greg has been a full-time resident of Haida Gwaii, as well as a community activist and part time volunteer for a wide variety of community organizations. These ranged from food Co-ops to Boy Scouts to School Board to health care. Greg has also been active in community governance since 1988, having first served under the Regional District system. Greg was actively involved in the process to incorporate Daajing Giids as a municipality, and spent 13 years on Daajing Giids Village Council, the last four years as Mayor. Greg holds a Masters Degree in Education from SFU and joined the housing society in 2017. He understands the importance of safe, stable housing and food as being the fundamental basics for the success of our most challenged members of society. Greg currently serves the Societies as president.
Debby Gardiner, Vice President
Debby become a director on the Housing Society in 2017, and currently serves as the vice president. She is committed to providing low income housing for those in need and for finding solutions to homelessness. Another one of her volunteer projects is the Christmas Food Hamper Program, which provides for those in need during the holiday season.
As an artist Debby is very involved in the arts community in Haida Gwaii, organizing exhibitions, teaching, promoting the arts, and encouraging and supporting young people to be creative.
Debby moved to Haida Gwaii in 1981 and spent her career working in resource management. She retired from Parks Canada in 2017. Boating, kayaking, exploring the intertidal area and watching the ebb and flow of the tides continue to be favourite pastimes.
Debra Uliana, Treasurer
Debra joined the Daajing Giids Heritage Housing Society as a board member in Oct. 2002. She has served as the Treasurer for both the Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society and Queen Charlotte Housing Development Society since 2007.
Debra has worked in finance since 1971, starting with the Royal Bank. In 1988 she moved to Daajing Giids (then Queen Charlotte City) and worked for Northern Savings Credit Union. In 1990 she established her own bookkeeping practice and had many small business clients. She also developed and taught a beginning bookkeeping course for small business owners. In 2001, she began working full time for the Queen Charlotte/Skidegate Landing Management Committee and was awarded the position of Financial Officer when the community incorporated in 2005 as The Village of Queen Charlotte. In that position she was responsible for all budgets, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, grant applications and financial reporting, reserve funds for the municipality and all financial reporting requirements to the Province of British Columbia. She continued her training, attended annual Provincial Financial Officer Conferences and obtained a Certificate in Local Government Administration from Capilano University. She retired from that position in 2016 and is now semi-retired and living in White Rock, B.C. She has continued to act as the Treasurer for the housing societies, attending meetings by telephone. She also works part time for the “Seniors Come Share Society,” a non-profit society that provides seniors day programs and other outreach services. Non-profit work continues to be a passion for Debra and she is very excited about the current housing projects in Daajing Giids.
Aggie Cangardel, Director
Aggie has lived on Haida Gwaii since 2013, first in Masset and later in Daajing Giids. Up until 2019, that time was spent without secure housing. This was one of the main reasons for joining the board, because having gone through the process of endlessly searching for somewhere suitable and long term, she would like to help other people in a similar situation. A scientist by education, she has worked in environmental science in various capacities since 2011 after completing a degree in Marine Biology and a postgraduate in molecular genetics in the UK. Upon her arrival to Haida Gwaii, she worked as the shellfish biologist and lead SCUBA diver for the Council of the Haida Nation, before moving to Laskeek Bay Conservation Society as the Executive Director. During this time, she has also worked remotely as a researcher for patents and market research. In 2020, Aggie opened up Tempest Flowers, a florist in Daajing Giids, where she can supply flowers to the island year-round.
Outside of florals, Aggie enjoys gardening, mushroom hunting, hiking, and cycling.
Aggie considers Daajing Giids to be her forever-home as it is an incredible place to raise her daughter, in the forest and on the beaches.
Barb Rowsell, Executive Director
Barb has been a resident of Haida Gwaii since 1975. Since then she has gained considerable experience working in both the business and non-profit sectors and has engaged in strategic planning exercises in both domains. Barb has initiated business and non-profit enterprises in tourism, environmental and industrial areas. Her strengths include strong organizational and communication skills, leadership, an understanding of small business regulations as well as working with government agencies.
The housing sector is relatively new to Barb’s portfolio. She previously worked where she could indulge her passion for exploring the natural beauty of these islands. Barb has found it to be a great privilege and challenge to help maintain and grow housing opportunities for our island residents.
The shared love of Haida Gwaii provides a strong foundation of common purpose and trust for partnering with the public, tenants, contactors, staff and funders in improving our lives here.