Vancouver Island’s First People
The original inhabitants of Vancouver Island chose this region because of the abundance of life, natural resources, and the temperate climate. Learn about local culture and traditions of the Kwakwaka‘wakw, Coast Salish, and Nuu-chah-nulth communities while elders practice the old ways, sharing their knowledge and skills with the next generation and helping to create a respectful relationship with the world around us.
Learn about the unique culture and history of the Island’s First Nations people as you listen to one of the many stories in the Living Languages interactive exhibition at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Or learn about the Island’s First Nations Peoples’ role in local stewardship, conservation, and development, as well as their history, culture, and way of life as you paddle a traditional dugout through the waters of the Pacific Rim with a guide from the Nuu-chah-nulth community.
Dine on freshly caught Dungeness crab or salmon with the Ucluth First Nation, near Tofino, and then head up Island to take refuge, watching the pink salmon gather where the Cluxewe River joins the Broughton Strait before heading upstream to spawn. In Courtenay, discover the beauty of locally carved masks, jewellery, and woven cedar baskets, or wander through Thunderbird Park in Victoria to see one of the world’s finest collections of authentic totem poles.
The First Nations communities of Vancouver Island continue to play a vital role in the development of the communities and industries throughout the region.