Snuneymuxw First Nation

( Also written Snunéymuxw ) The Snuneymuxw or Nanaimo are one of the Canadian First Nations in the province of British Columbia. They belong to the group of coastal Salish and live in the south-east of Iceland Vancouver to Nanaimo. Of the 1,598 recognized tribesmen (March 2010) lived nearly two-thirds outside the four reserves to Nanaimo Harbour and Nanaimo River on.

They speak a dialect of the coastal Salish, the Hul'qumi'num. Their traditional territory covers approximately 980 km ², in addition to around 1040 km ², which overlap with the territories of other First Nations. The area extends from a point north of Neck Point in the north to Boat Harbour in the south. There are also Gabriola Iceland and some smaller islands as well as areas along the Nanaimo River. The anglicised form of the tribal name has given the city of Nanaimo her name.


The Snunéymuxw lived around 1840 in five villages. A study in 1987 identified ten shell middens, several cave burial sites and petroglyphs. In Mudge Iceland there were at least seven other archaeological sites. In the Departure Bay an archaeological excavation was carried out in 1992, the oldest finds are around 2000 years old. They stand with the Marpole culture in context. Most important archaeological site was discovered here in 1962, the False Narrows site. 1966, there was 402 artifacts and 18 tombs, in 1967 there was a further excavation. Together they were the remains of 86 individuals and 2,194 artifacts. David Burley examined the findings in 1989 again and was the oldest in the 1st century BC date (False Narrows I mean Marpole phase). The finds have a high cultural continuity, they also indicate pronounced social differentiation. Since August 2007, 15 more graves were discovered in the Departure Bay.

Reserves, proselytizing, smallpox

The first trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company was established in the early 19th century in today's Nanaimo. 1849 reported chief Ki -et -sa -kun of the Company coal reserves. 1853 established the HBC fort, the Nanaimo Bastion.

1850 and 1854, Governor James Douglas negotiated 14 treaties with the Indian tribes on Vancouver Iceland from the so-called Douglas Treaties. Nine of them were 1850 negotiated with tribes to Victoria, Metchosin and T'sou - ke, two in 1851 for the Ft. Rupert region, two in the following year for the Saanich Peninsula. The final agreement was reached with the Nanaimo. They contain provisions to about 3 % of the area of the island. The Nanaimo had to exchange them for 668 covers their country. But 1853 found Douglas that there was opposition to the land cession. The smallpox epidemic of 1862, brought in from San Francisco, led, as almost the entire Canadian West to dramatic mortality rates.

Early 1860s, the Methodist missionary church here. She was so successful that 30 years later it was considered that any among the Indians, was the Methodist, was also a member of the Snunéymuxw. 1892 were still 178 of them.

End of the 19th century the number of Indians had fallen drastically. Most continued to live in their villages, with two to three families shared a house. At least one man was working in 1891 as a porter in one of the hotels.

Robert Dunsmuir, owned the largest coal mines, also operated several coal mines in the former tribal area.

Indian policy until the mid 20th century

As from 1913, the McKenna - McBride Commission visited the reserves, she suggested that the reserve of the " Nanaimo Tribe ", " No.1- Nanaimo City, 47.00 acres; No.2 - Nanaimo River, 128.00 acres; No.3 - Nanaimo River, 260.00 acres; No.4 - Nanaimo River, 200.00 acres; No.5 fishing station, 2.5 acres; No.6 - Burial Ground " (there was a small island with a graveyard whose area the Commission was unknown) should remain. Legal force received by the Commission until 1923 proposals.

As in all of Canada and the Snunéymuxw of compulsory education were subjected, they had to complete it in so-called residential schools, in which the obligation was conducted in English. So they tried to in the seventies to force integration.

Protection of cultural, economic participation

After all that, in 1948 to ensure that the outstanding works of art Snunéymuxw and also other tribes in the Petroglyph Provincial Park are protected. There you will find mainly sandstone work that has been made ​​by numerous tribes.

The Snuneymuxw First Nation is one of the members of the Naut'sa Mawt Tribal Council, representing together the tribes of the Burrard, Chemainus First Nation, the Halalt, Homalco, the Klahoose First Nation, the Sliammon and the Tsawwassen First Nation to the government. In 1993, the Snunéymuxw into the contract process with the Canadian government and the provincial government. 2003 was signed with the Government an agreement- in -principle, a kind of basic agreement. After that the Indians should receive 74.4 million CAD ​​in cash, as well as land and a building in Nanaimo. The area would thus increase from 300 to 5,000 ha. In addition, the band would no longer be subject to the Indian Act. There are also exclusive rights to commercial fishing, logging and coal mining. On the other hand, the usual exemption would be eliminated.

2006 signed 43 tribes in British Columbia signed a contract with each other, which defines six points as a prerequisite for further negotiations. These points are therefore to clarify positive before each new contract: reliability, the constitutional status of the treaty country, self-governance, co-management of land and resources, taxes and fishing rights.

In September 2007, the provincial government and the City of Nanaimo entered into an agreement with the Snunéymuxw for joint management of the Newcastle Iceland Marine Provincial Park, which is under protection for almost 50 years.

In March 2010 1.598 people were registered as members of the tribe, of which 567 lived on the reserve, 113 in other reserves and 917 outside.