GalGael hold fast to our community roots, having been founded by members of the community in the 1990s.

From the outset we were about reconvening what it means to be a people – rather than simply establishing a campaign or a charity. This guided our choice of name.

The GalGael – or the Gaelic spelling, Gal Gaidheal – were an ethnic mix of peoples living in Scotland. By the 9th Century this mix of people had become so settled, they became known as the GalGael – the ‘Gall’ being the foreigner and the ‘Gael’ being the heartland people.

The name GalGael is our way of re-rooting notions of identity and belonging in ways that are inclusive not exclusive – recognising there is both a bit of the stranger and a bit of the native in us all. The Gal Gaidheal of history were associated with the iconic Hebridean galley or birlinn, which became our emblem.

We quickly realised we could achieve many of our social, cultural and ecological aims by involving the community in building boats. For us boats are both a metaphor for transformation – as we journey from one place to another – and tools for achieving our purpose.