Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge that we live, work and play on the unceded and traditional territory of the Quw’utsun, Malahat, Ts’uubaa-asatx, Halalt, Penelakut, Stz’uminus, Lyackson, Pauquachin, Ditidaht & Pacheedaht Peoples.⁠⁠

Many of the First Nations communities in the Cowichan region are Hul’q’umi’num peoples, who speak the Hul’q’umi’num language, within a larger First Nations group referred to as the Coast Salish People. Additionally, there are two First Nations part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth peoples who speak Ditidaht.

‘Uy’ kw’unus ‘i lumnamu

“It is good to see you” – most Indigenous communities in the Cowichan region speak a dialect of Hul’qumi’num.  

You might recognize the world famous, handknit Cowichan Sweaters – this is just one facet of the Quw’utsun peoples. Throughout history, the Quw’ustun Nation has modernized but still practices many traditions and ceremonies such as carving, singing, dancing and food preparation.

More on the Quw’utsun First Nation

The Malahat people still practice many traditions today. Additionally, they are keen on community and economic development for their people. One major project that has arisen, is the Malahat Skywalk.

More on the Malahat First Nation

The Ts’uubaa-asatx Nation may be small in size, but they are strong stewards and strive for a healthy growth in their economy. They are located on Cowichan Lake – visit their traditional territory with Kaatza Adventures.

More on the Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation

Currently, the Halalt peoples are located on the lower Chemainus River. Historically and according to oral history, they were located along the Cowichan River with forefathers originating from this site.

More on the Halalt First Nation

The peoples of Penelakut Tribe, have a strong community that practices traditions and cultural customs. They have an active local economy with many community facilities, programs and services.

More on the Penelakut First Nation

Stz’uminus people’s traditional territory is located along the Salish Sea and Ladysmith Harbour. They have strong and progressive economic development. Stay at the Microtel by Wyndam, or visit the Oyster Bay Store for Indigenous merchandise.

More on the Stz’uminus First Nation

The Lyackson community stems from four main groups of ancestors – Thi’Xvulece , Swin’yleth , Swute’se’Dick , and Shulqvilum. These ancestors resided in winter villages throughout Valdes Island –  T’a’at’ka7 (Shingle Point) , Th’a’ x el (Cardale Point) and Th’ x we’ksen (Porlier Pass).

More on the Lyackson First Nation

Located along the Saanich Peninsula, the Pauquachin peoples traditionally lived in 100-foot-long houses that housed several families. Today, they are working hard on economic development and being independent.

More on the Pauquachin First Nation

A majority of the indigenous communities in the Cowichan region are Coast Salish peoples, who speak a dialect of Hul’qumi’num. However, the Ditidaht First Nations are part of a larger group, Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. The Ditidaht people speak a dialect from the Wakashan Language Family, called Ditidaht.

More on the Ditidaht First Nation

Similar to Ditidaht, the Pacheedaht are part of the larger group, Nuu-chah-nulth and also speak Ditidaht. However, they are not a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

More on the Pacheedaht First Nation

 Cowichan Knitters

Made carefully with warmth and love by a group of dedicated knitters here in Cowichan – the iconic Cowichan Sweater is wooly and thick, often featuring classis Coast Salish motifs seen on totem poles like bears, ravens, thunderbirds and whales.


This local landmark originally named “Shkewetsen” (“warming in the sun”) by the local people was renamed after Quamichan Chief Ts’uwxilum who was banished to the mountain by his own people. 

Duncan Totems 

44 hand-carved and colourfully painted totem poles are spread throughout downtown Duncan. Typically carved from red cedar, these totem poles hold great cultural significance and each tells a compelling story.

Indigenous Culture 

Each First Nations community in Cowichan offers different things such as browsing traditional art and culture, or enjoying unspoilt lands. 

Kaatza Adventures

 Sharing traditional knowledge and history on Lake Cowichan. 

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Coast Salish Journey 

Check out Herb Rice and other artists’ beautiful wood carvings.

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Nitinaht Campsite 

Camp in untouched beauty, and enjoy hiking, kite or windsurfing.

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Along with the authentic Indigenous culture Cowichan offers, check out what other quirky and unexpected things there are.

Explore Cowichan