Our Local First Nations

  • Today, there are approximately 200,000 Indigenous people in British Columbia. They include First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • There are 198 distinct First Nations in B.C., each with their own unique traditions and history.
  • First Nations are grouped culturally and linguistically. The Coast Salish is a large, loose grouping of many nations with numerous distinct cultures and related Coast Salish languages.
  • The Stz’uminus First Nation is a Coast Salish people, speaking a Coast Salish language (Hul’qumi’num).
  • Territory claimed by Coast Salish peoples span from the northern limit of the Salish Sea on the inside of Vancouver Island  and covers most of southern Vancouver Island, all of the Lower Mainland and most of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula (except for territories of the now-extinct Chemakum people).
  • Stz’uminus First Nation lands today constitute 1200 hectares on four separate reserves. Ladysmith residents are most familiar with two of them: Oyster Bay 12 where the Stz’uminus First Nation administrative offices and the commercial development of Oyster Bay Village are located, and Chemainus 13 – Thuqmin containing the communities of Kulleet Bay and Shell Beach and where the community hub comprised of a community centre, daycare, primary and secondary school and the Health and Elders centre is located.
  • For more information about the Stz’uminus First nation visit https://www.stzuminus.com/


Coast Salish First Nations on south eastern Vancouver Island


Stz’uminus First Nation Traditional Territory


Compiled by Quentin Goodbody