Comox people

The Comox or K'ómoks are one of the Canadian First Nations in British Columbia. They belong to the Salish language group and lived around the Puntledge River on Vancouver Iceland and also on the eastern side of the Strait of Georgia. They are, like the Pentlatch and the Sechelt the group of northern coastal Salish. The name Comox is the anglicized form of K'ómoks and is also the name of the present town of Comox.

According to the Aboriginal Canada Portal, there were 2008 273 Comox.



When Joseph McKay, the area around the present site Comox visited in 1852, he reported his client James Douglas, the prairies were of " Sanetch " ( Saanich ), park -like meadows interspersed. In addition, natural harbors and good soil allowed agriculture, where previously Camas and potatoes grew.

Camas ( Camassia quamash ) and the recently imported potatoes played an important role for the tribes of Pentlatch, K ' ómoks and Kwakwaka'wakw. The Camas Meadows and occurring only in America's north-west of oak formed beyond a kind of healing garden for the Indians. The meadows were burned periodically, which increased their fertility, and at the same time prevented the overgrazing by other species. It was also operated with the big Camas - fruit trade, especially with the Nuu- chah- nulth.

Another commodity the tomato were added, was included in the region 1800-1815. So built the Haida on tomatoes and sold them over several decades of passing by ships, but also in Fort Simpson. In this way, living in the northern Vancouver Iceland tribes found a small replacement for the fur trade, which almost led to the extinction of otters and beavers. Maybe the K ' ómoks potato cultivation by people of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC ) have taken over in Fort Langley, possibly even earlier by traditional trade.

First contact with Europeans

Although took George Vancouver and other explorers to contact this group, but they were of no interest to the fur trade in the absence of otters. The drastic changes in society that produced this commercial for the Nuu- chah- nulth on the west coast of Vancouver Iceland, but also in the north and south of the island, reached the Comox with a significant delay.

The Battle of Hwtlupnuts ( Maple Bay ) in 1840

During first smallpox epidemics as early as 1775 and 1782 weakened the southern tribes, the Kwakwaka'wakw were spared long in the north. They took the opportunity to rob and catch slaves. It benefited them muskets, which they acquired in a roundabout way through the fur trade with the Europeans. But the settlements of the HBC soon brought even guns in the hands of the southern tribes, such as the Comox. The Comox allied themselves even with the invaders from the north. But the rest of the tribes of the region, Nanaimo, Saanich, Songhees, Esquimalt, Musqueam and Squamish allied themselves against the invaders, in this case, the Lekwiltok. In the Maple Bay lured them, disguised as women, the enemy into a trap. The largest tribal alliance of the island's history was for the Comox, who had been standing on the side of Lekwiltok, a disaster. The tribal coalition was incidentally also the Fort Victoria 1843 attack, when they declared himself willing also to a peace agreement. Tzouhalem, chief of the Cowichans had led them.

White settlers

George Drabble, 1862 on behalf of the province visited the area, nor recorded villages on the coast and the Pentlatch village on Tsolum in his cards. Shortly thereafter, on October 2, 1862, displaced settlers who purchased the land for one dollar per acre, the Indians. The camas meadows were abandoned, the oaks like Kartoffelacker soon dominated the country, to cattle. The land management of the Indians was not even recognized as agriculture.

The K'ómoks, its economic foundations robbed, had to hire themselves out for low wages with the settlers: cutting trees, canoe transport, road and field work. The women mostly worked in the potato fields.

As from 1913, the McKenna - McBride Commission visited the reserves, she suggested that. Both of the reserves of the " Comox Tribe ", "No 1 - Comox, "stick around, while" 155.00 acres Pentledge No Reserve. 2 should be " withdrawn. For this, a cemetery was on Goose Spit of 14 Acre area, which was also confirmed. Legal force received these proposals to the Commission until 1923.

Current situation

In 1967, counted 783 Comox. They are represented in the Kwakiutl District Council, comprising ten First Nations. Council to include not only the Comox also the tribes of Campbell River, Cape Mudge to the that Da'naxda'xw First Nation, the Gwa'Sala - Nakwaxda'xw, the Kwakiutl First Nation, the Kwiakah that Mamalilikulla - Qwe'Qwa ' Sot'Em, the Quatsino and Tlatlasikwala. The Comox own a total of four reserves today. Comox 1, 2 and Pentledge Goose Spit 3 are located near the town of Comox, Salmon River 1 is further north to find on the Queen Charlotte Strait.