Malahat First Nation

The Malahat are one of the living on Vancouver Iceland First Nations of the Pacific coast of Canada. They are living at Victoria Saanich, more precisely, together with the Pauquachin to the southern Saanich.

Thus they belong to the group of North Straits Salish or Lekwungaynung speaking tribal group to which the Saanich, the Songhees and the T'sou - ke First Nation include. This in turn belong to the coastal Salish. The Malahat are members of the Te'Mexw Treaty Association, leading the contract negotiations with the governments of Canada and British Columbia for several tribes. This includes the members of the Beecher Bay, Nanoose, Songhees and T'sou - ke.

The houses of the 262 government-recognized Malahat (August 2009) are between Gordon Head and Cowichan Head. They are one of five residential house groups or " families " of Saanich, which in addition to the two mentioned Tsawout (at the Saanichton Bay), the Tseycum (at the Patricia Bay) and the Tsarlip ( at the Brentwood Bay) belong.

Malahat means "the place where you can find bait", but this version is already the anglicized.


The Malahat live on the west side of the Saanich Inlet. According to them, the 356 m high Malahat Mountain is named. At the top there is YOS, one of the most important holy places in the south of Vancouver Island. This is the home of the Thunder bird is (Thunderbird ), is therefore at the top of a totem pole with the thunder bird and a bear.

Contract with the Hudson 's Bay Company

1852 joined the Governor James Douglas, two of the 14 contracts with Indian tribes with the Saanich. He completed the one with the southern Saanich, ie with Pauquachin and Malahat, on February 6, 1852 - signed by Whut -say mullet and nine other people - the other on February 11 with the northern Saanich. Against several hundred blankets this contract was the basis to take their land, just as in 1850 the neighboring Songhees.

In 1911, the requirement for a paved road at the Malahat Mountain was created by large-scale explosions, which is now used by more than 20,000 vehicles per day. A cement factory was 1913-1980, more companies changed the landscape so much that the Malahat the basis for the ritual and spiritual life of their community look at risk, but also their economy. Therefore, it always came back to conflict.

1913 insisted Aleck Peter as chief of the Malahat against the Department of Indian Affairs that he wanted to keep the land for all time.

Reserves and recognized tribesmen

The Malahat First Nation lives in two reserves on the west shore of Saanich Inlet south of Mill Bay and Gold Stream and Highland District at the southern end of Finlayson Arm and at the mouth of Goldstream River. Among them were exactly 262 people in August 2009. In the reserve of the Malahat this lived 106 tribesmen in other reserves 45, 111 more were living outside the reserves.

Current Situation

1995 was found by officials that the decades-long conversion of the region around the Saanich Inlet had caused massive destruction. Similar presented in 1997 an inquiry into the cultural development firm. These studies were related to the Bamberton Town Development Project, adjacent to the territory of the Malahat, a project with far-reaching ecological and thus cultural impact.

Under the auspices of the Environmental Assessment Office, a project was developed, which should take into account the demands of the six affected tribes, so the Malahat, Tsartlip, Pauquachin, Tseycum and Tsawout bands, and the Cowichan Tribes. The report outlined the traditional and current use practices of the country concerned. The experience from this led to the protection of various areas in the city was rebuilt in 1998 and resulted in the involvement of the Indians in the development of marine protected areas, such as Race Rocks.

Name reception

In 1967, the still existing Canadian literary magazine named after them: The Malahat Review.