Cowichan Tribes Territory and Ownership

Cowichan Tribes was part of the Cowichan Nation before the arrival of the Europeans. A people with territory through the shores of the Salish Sea, including the lower Fraser River, the Cowichan Nations was broken up by the government with the creation of the reserve system and imposition of the Indian Act.

The present-day Cowichan Tribes is the primary successor community to the historic Cowichan Nation. The present-day Stz'uminus (Chemainus), Penelakut, Halalt, Lyackson, and Hwlitsum are also successors to the historic Cowichan Nation.

Now Cowichan Tribes specifically refers to those Cowichan Nation communities who trace their ancestry back to the communities with winter villages on the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers and Cowichan Bay.


The Cowichan people are unique among the Salish tribes in the possession of an ancestor myth, which purports to account for the origin of the race.

Legends play an important part in Native culture.  They intertwine a mixture of magic, supernatural beings, speaking animals, and fantastic feats performed by mythical ancestors.  The Cowichan found an intuitive way to ensure the continuity of their culture, history, and customs.