* Coast Salish First Nations (W̱SÁNEĆ Indigenous people)


The Southern Gulf Islands of Pender, Saturna, Mayne and Galiano (in BC, Canada) are part of the unceded traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ Indigenous people.  They lived here beginning 10,000 or more years ago, whereas the settlers who came after have only lived on these islands for about 150 years.

The W̱SÁNEĆ people are also known as being part of the Coast Salish First Nations (subgroup Straits Salish), including the Tsawout, Tseycum, Tsartlip, Pauquachin, Penelakut, Lyackson and others.

Most of their Indigenous governments and people are now on the Saanich Peninsula or other parts of Vancouver Island, and other Gulf Islanders are trying to reach out and cooperate in meaningful ways (including through the new Gulf Islands Food Co-op).

This includes the Co-op’s educational events for Honouring Indigenous Food Creation and Practices – March 9, 2019 on Pender, and March 30, 2019 on Saturna.

The Gulf Islands Food Co-op is also grateful to be a supporting partner of the upcoming Feed the People – Indigenous Venison/Deer Workshop – September 26 & 27, 2020 on Galiano (taught by Penelakut Elders).

In addition, you can see key Indigenous Food Resources for books on Indigenous food and culture (available on Amazon and elsewhere), and other resources.

In our quest for greater sustainability and resilience, our island communities have much we could learn from the Indigenous communities and cultures here long before us (e.g. see Thirteen Moon Calendar below).

We are so grateful to live on such beautiful islands, with sensitive coastal environments, in warm communities with unique island culture and activities, and many sources of amazing nature and healthy local foods! (as our Coast Salish sisters and brothers have long understood).


Thirteen Moon Calendar of key W̱SÁNEĆ Indigenous foods (painting by Briony Penn)


Chief Harvey Underwood and Tsawout Youth Coordinator receiving food & monetary donations
from Gulf Islands Food Co-op’s March, 2019 Honouring Indigenous Foods events