Saanich people

The Saanich or WSÁNEĆ ( " emergent, arising country," " emerging, newly developing nation " ) as they themselves and call their traditional tribal area, are a five First Nations comprehensive Canadian tribal group - which once areas of the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. State of Washington in the south to the north, including the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, the Saanich Peninsula, the south end of Vancouver Iceland and the south of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia inhabited.

They are culturally and linguistically from the coastal Salish the Northwest Coast culture of the Pacific and their language, SENĆOŦEN / Sənčaθən or Saanich, is a dialect of Northern Straits Salish, one of the largest dialect groups within the Central Coast Salish (Central Coast Salish ) the Salish language family.

In addition to the WSÁNEĆ ( Saanich ) also SENĆOŦEN / Sənčaθən speak the neighboring, but not belonging to this ethnic tribal group, Scia'new ( Beecher Bay) ( WĆIÁNEW of them called ), ( called by them SEMYOME ) Semiahmoo and Esquimalt ( dining whoy - malth ) ( of them SXIME Ƚ e Ƚ called ).

Today (September 2013) include the five WSÁNEĆ First Nations - the Malahat ( MÁLEXE Ƚ ) ( 313 people), Pauquachin ( BOḰEĆEN ) ( 393 people), Tsartlip ( WJO Ƚ E Ƚ P) (about 900 people), Tsawout (S Ⱦ ÁUTW ) ( 855 people) and Tseycum ( WSIḴEM ) (181 people) - a combined total of about 2650 registered tribesmen.


The WSÁNEĆ ( Saanich ) consisted of five residential house groups or " families " together, which now refer to themselves as First Nations: the as South Saanich (South Saanich ) designated Malahat ( MÁLEXE Ƚ ) and Pauquachin ( BOḰEĆEN ) ( between Gordon Head and Cowichan Head ) and the Tsawout (S Ⱦ ÁUTW ) (at the Saanichton Bay), the Tseycum ( WSIḴEM ) (at the Patricia Bay) and the Tsartlip ( WJO Ƚ e Ƚ P) ( at the Brentwood Bay).

Early History

Between about 500 and 1000 AD, an outstanding feature of the South Salish groups around Victoria is a large number of rock piles ( cairns) that served as burial sites. Therefore they are also called " burial mounds ". Alone in the Rocky Point Area west of Victoria can be detected around 400 of Cairns, with probably hundreds have gone thus lost that one has tried using loose large stones to secure the coast against storm surges. A large number of mounds can also be found at Metchosin.

Like the other tribes on Vancouver Iceland, such as the Nuu- chah- nulth, the company announced in three strictly separated from each class, an upper ( siem ), a lower class ( stesem ) and slaves ( skeyes ). Thus, they differed in principle only slightly from the European societies of the time.

The first Europeans

The first Spanish and British ships headed for Esquimalt 1790 and 1792. Don Manuel Quimper in 1790 anchored in the port of Esquimalt, and called the place " Puerto de Cordova ". Even James Cook admired the cultivated landscape of the Indians to the later Victoria. The future head of the Hudson 's Bay Company saw in the landscape of the region, with its park-like appearance, open grass areas, etc., is an ideal settlement area, "a perfect Elysium in point of climate and scenery ."

Fitted with European muskets Kwakwaka'wakw pressed after 1800 increasingly the southern tribes living that came together in 1840 to a large tribal coalition and defeated the invaders at the Battle of Maple Bay. This coalition also attacked in 1843 at Fort Victoria, after a dispute over grazing cattle on Indian land had dreamed up, but it came after negotiations to settle the dispute.

1852 joined James Douglas two (out of a total of 14 contracts) the so-called Douglas Treaties and the Saanich, with the southern Saanich on February 6, 1852 - signed by Whut -say mullet and nine other people - and on February 11, with the northern Saanich - signed by Hotutstun and 117 other people. Against 386 blankets this contract was the basis to take their land, much like in 1850 the Songhees. In remembrance of Saanich contracts were not living as " treaties " ( contracts) but as " James Douglas ' Words" further than James Douglas ' words or promises.

McKenna - McBride Commission

When the McKenna - McBride Commission in 1913, the reserves of British Columbia visited, she suggested that the reserves of the " Saanich Tribe ", "No. 1- South Saanich, 483.00 acres "," No. 2- East Saanich, 605.00 acres "," No. 3- Cole Bay, 705.00 acres " and" no. 4- Union Bay, North Saanich District, 71.00 acres, " as well as " no. 5 - Fulford Harbour, 43.00 acres; No. 6- Mayne Iceland, 323.00 acres; No. 7- Saturna Iceland, 360.00 acres, and No. 8- Pender Iceland, 8.00 acres should remain ", but should by no. Are two indented by 8.76 acre in favor of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway and a road. Also, were "no. 11- Malahut, 586.00 acres "," No. 12 - Hatch Point, 92.00 acres "," No. 13 - Goldstream, 12.00 acres " confirmed during " No. 10 - Senanus Iceland, 3.90 acres, "which had originally comprised four acres, was reduced in favor of a lighthouse to the Navy. Originally, the reserve should be fully retracted, but the Navy had apparently very little demand.

Legal force received by the Commission until 1923 proposals.


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.

The Pauguachin spread over three reserves, where Cole Bay 3 with 284.7 ha is by far the largest. Hatch Point and Goldstream comprise only 36.8 and 4.8 ha and are located on the western shore of Saanich Inlet and at the south end of Finlayson Arm and at the mouth of Goldstream River. A total of 374 people are among the Pauguachin.

The Tsawout First Nation has six reserves, two larger - East Saanich ( 237.7 ha) and Saturna Iceland ( 145.7 ha) - and four small ( 3 Fulford Harbour, Pender Iceland, Iceland Bare, which consists of Mandarte Iceland, and Goldstream 13, together with barely 36 ha). In total, there are nearly 420 ha This group includes 766 people.

The Tseycum mainly live on Saturna Iceland ( 145.7 ha), plus 28 ha on the Saanich Inlet ( Union Bay 4) and smaller areas on Pender and Mandarte Iceland and again at the mouth of Goldstream River. As a registered Tseycum 162 people apply.

The Tsartlip included 2006 784 people. They live on the reservations Goldstream 13, Mayne Iceland 6, 10 Senanus Iceland and South Saanich 1

Revival of the language

Today's Ƚ AU, WELṈEW Tribal School ( Lau, WELNEW - " refuge ", name of their sacred mountain ) taught in 2013 around 279 students from four WSÁNEĆ First Nations - the Malahat ( MÁLEXE Ƚ ) excluded. This is surprising, as the language of WSÁNEĆ ( Saanich ) was practically extinct. Like all Indian languages, their language was virtually eradicated by state education regulations. In the Indian schools in the use of language was strictly forbidden.

Dave Elliott, a 1910 -born Tsartlip Reserve Fischer, still dominated the Sencofen. As Elliott increasingly arthritis was unable to work, he started as a janitor at the Tsartlip Indian Day School. Given the increasing ignorance, he began to record his language phonetically. But that he came up against limits, so he developed a font from 1977, when accurate for every sound was a sign that Dave Elliott Sencofen alphabet. But Elliott died in 1985, so that Earl Claxton continued his work to publish a dictionary.

Current Situation

Three WSÁNEĆ ( Saanich ) First Nations of the Saanich Peninsula - the Tsartlip, Tsawout and Pauquachin - as well as the Semiahmoo to Sencot'en ​​Alliance joined forces to negotiate land claims and sovereignty with the Province of British Columbia and the federal government in Ottawa. They claim this - and this is partly in conflict with other First Nations, in particular the Tsawwassen First Nation - the Southern Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, Point Roberts and the adjacent mainland Coquitlam River along and the whole area to the south of the Fraser River including Seattle.

The Malahat ( MÁLEXE Ƚ ) joined for the contract negotiations with the First Nations of Scia'new ( Beecher Bay), Nanoose ( Sna - Naw- As), Songhees ( Lkwungen or Lekwungen ) and T'sou - ke in the Te'Mexw Treaty Association together.

The Tsartlip First Nation is currently trying to maintain their sovereignty most vigorously. This includes the economic independence, including the Arbutus project was launched. This resort will be completed after five years of construction. Could announce Allan Claxton of the Tsawout First Nation in March 2007 that, following a vote in which 232 for, 70 voted against the project, and two votes were invalid, can be a return of land rights and the administration. To ensure that all areas of the Indian Act ( Indian Act ) concerned the ground Administration be repealed and used an autonomous administration.