Ian Gill, a writer, filmmaker and conservationist, has spent fifteen years as
head of Ecotrust Canada, one of North America’s leading conservation and
community development organizations.
Ian traces his love of words to his upbringing in Australia, where his
mother recited Shakespeare at every opportunity and his father produced
an endless supply of bad jokes. A favorite family photo is of Ian’s mother
sitting by a campfire in the Coorong, in South Australia, reading excerpts
from Portnoy’s Complaint to Ian and his sister, Heather. Ian was about fourteen
years old at the time.
After extensive travel and wide-ranging experiences, Ian began work at
rural newspapers, specializing in agricultural economics and politics. His
travels through rural Australia put him frequently in contact with aboriginal
peoples, whose rights to their lands were always in contention. In the
early 1980s, he moved to Vancouver where he joined the Vancouver Sun as
a reporter and editor. After a brief spell studying in France, he returned to
Vancouver and joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a television
At the CBC, Ian specialized in documentaries about resource development
and First Nations. He was one of the few reporters to put native people
regularly on television, understanding that theirs were important voices
to hear in Canada. As it happens, Ian’s first serious camping expedition in
Canada was in Haida Gwaii more than 25 years ago. He’s been going back
ever since, drawn by unforgettable experiences exploring its lands and
waters, and by the richness of the Haida’s history and cultural life.
Ian Gill has an ear for good stories, and finds them among people whose
voices are often drowned out in the clamorous exchanges of contemporary
society. As an Aussie, he can tend towards the jocular, which disguises
a thoroughly serious and tireless commitment to social change, which is
what drew him to the story of the Haida Nation in All That We Say Is Ours.