While we are now a modern society, our rich traditions and culture remain woven throughout our culture. Some of our traditional customs and practices have changed – historically imposed but now increasingly by choice.
We are adapting to new realities, and attitudes towards our traditions and teachings vary among our members. Some have maintained our customs throughout their lives, others are coming back to it, and still others say 'no thanks'. However, most of us do not want to stop being Cowichan.
We still engage in many of our traditional rites and ceremonies. We still have a strong tradition of community. We have many artists who have carried on the tradition of carving, canoe building, singing, and dancing. Other Cowichan artists capture our history and traditions in their artwork. Our Elders are actively involved in passing on the teachings of our ancestors through telling stories. We still fish by spear, although we also employ modern equipment as well. We still harvest traditional foods and plants for food and ceremonial purposes. We smoke or cure salmon and prepare other foods in the traditional way.
Language is the cornerstone of our culture. Hul’qumi’num, as with any language, embodies all our thoughts, beliefs, myths and institutions. Within it is reflected everything we have produced and contributed to the world. It is of paramount concern that we preserve our language.