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Queen Charlotte Islands (Russian America)

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Province of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Королевско-Шарлоттская губернияQueen Charlotte Islands Map

Governorate of Alaska
Timeline: Russian America

OTL equivalent: Haida Gwaii
Flag of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Russian America)
Flag of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Location of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Russian America)
Location of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Capital Skidegate
Other cities Masset, Port Clements, Sandspit
Language
  official
 
English and Russian
  others Finnish, Haida, Norwegian
Religion
  main
 
Baptists and Lutherans
  others Eastern Orthodox, Shamanic
Ethnic groups
  main
 
English and Haidas
  others Finns, Norwegians, Russians
Demonym Charlottean
Legislature Provincial Assembly
Area 13,145 km²
(11,550 кв. в.
Population 1,088,973 (2007 Census) 
Admission 1940s
Time zone IST (UTC-9)
  summer IDT (UTC-8)
Abbreviations AK-QC, QCI, ОКШ

The Province of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Russian: Королевско-Шарлоттская губерния, Korolevsko-Sharlottskaya guberniya), colloquially known as the Queen Charlotte Islands (Острова Королевы Шарлотты, Ostrova Korolevy Sharlotty), and affectionately known as the Charlottes (Шарлотты, Sharlotty); is one of the 18 governorates of Alaska. The insular governorate is located roughly 100 kilometers off the coast of New Caledonia.

Queen Charlotte Islands Map

Queen Charlotte Islands.

Prior to contact with Europeans, the islands were dominated by the Haida people. Though the islands were claimed by several powers, it was the United Kingdom which was able to secure the islands (which named them after the reigning Queen). The discovery of gold in the 1850s further prompted the British colonization and fortification of the islands, which were later solidified following Russia's defeat in the Crimean War. Despite these early successes, the Russian Empire would acquire the colony as part of the Columbia Purchase of 1871 (along with Columbia and Vancouver Island).

As with the rest of the former British colonies, the Queen Charlotte Islands retained much of their original English population under Russian rule. During the Alaskan Wars of the early 20th Century, the islands came under the control of the Doug-controlled Commonwealth of Columbia (with the full backing of the islands' citizens). Despite Columbia's admission into the Alaskan Democratic Federative Republic in 1935, it wouldn't be until the 1940s that the islands were formally organized into their own governorate.

Haida Houses

Houses and totem poles located in Skidegate (circa 1878).

The majority of the governorate's population is comprised of those of English and Haida descent. Those of Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Scottish, and Swedish ancestry currently form the largest minority groups. Christians make up the majority of the population, with Protestants making up the largest group. Along with Columbia and Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands officially recognizes two languages: English and Russian. Most of the population is bilingual, though Russian has seen a steady rise over the past few decades. Politically, the Movement for Peace and Freedom (the main center-left political party) has noted support among the Charlotteans.

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