First Nations have lived on and stewarded these lands for thousands of years. In their voice: “The Snuneymuxw are a vibrant First Nation of the Coast Salish People, located in the centre of Coast Salish territory on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Fraser River in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The Voices of the Snuneymuxw Virtual Museum highlights the unique language and dialect of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Island Hul’q’umin’um. This site also brings together, for the first time in one place, some Snuneymuxw artifacts that are currently being held in museum collections around the world. It is the intent of the Snuneymuxw First Nation to one day repatriate or bring these objects home.”

Other First Nations

Gabriola and its surrounding islands have traditionally been home and provided resources to the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and the lands remain unceded. Other First Nations also made seasonal use of Gabriola and its resources and have overlapping claims. You can learn more about treaty negotiations and land claims at the BC Treaty Commission website.


Reconciliation is a complex process that must involve both First Nations and settlers. If you want to learn more, these links may be helpful.

  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (includes Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports)
  • Reconciliation Canada provides resources for dialogue.
  • Our Home On Native Land An excellent resource, this site has an interactive map showing whose lands you live on, with links to more information about those peoples and cultures.
  • Beyond 94: CBC resources on reconciliation, including an immersive website that tracks progress on the report’s Calls to Action.
  • Indigenous Canada: open online course from the University of Alberta; the course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.

Other links

Recommended reading

Plants, People, and Places: The Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond, by Nancy Turner