WSANEC: <i>Emerging Land</i> or <i>Emerging People</i>

  • Jack Horne
Keywords: WSANEC, Douglas Treaty, Coast Salish


The WSANEC Nation has been located on what is now known as the Saanich Peninsula on southern Vancouver Island since time immemorial. Remarkably little has been written about this Nation, which was divided by the Oregon Treaty in 1846 into Canadian/American sides of the border. In Canada the WSANEC Nation was then further divided into 4 separate reserves. This article examines the WSANEC Nation’s relationship with its traditional territories, the effects of colonization on this relationship, and ongoing resistance to continued colonization from both internal and external forces. WSANEC history is examined through the documentation in the Nation’s oral traditions, using the Douglas Treaties, the landmark Saanich Bay Marina Case, and James Island development as examples.


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