Tsawout First Nation

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Home About Tsawout First Nation
About Tsawout First Nation

Community Information

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The Tsawout First Nation is one of five bands that constitute the Saanich Nation. The other bands of the Saanich Nation are Tsartlip, Tseycum, Malahat and Pauquachin.

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East Saanich IR No. 2, the Tsawout First Nation main village, is about 15 minutes north of the City of Victoria and lies on the east side of the Saanich Peninsula. The village (“reserve”)  can be accessed via Highway 17 - Pat Bay Highway. We have a population of 1600 people living in Tsawout (year 2006 est.) with approximately 1/3 of the population being registered band members, and others being residents who are leasing lands from landowners.

East Saanich IR No. 2 is approximately 241hectares in size (595 acres) total area. There are single family residential,  and leased modular homes, band administration and commercial developments. The commercial developments include motels, restaurants, offices and gas stations.  We have  a community water and sewer system in place.  Our water system is supplied by the Peninsula Water Commision, and Tsawout has its own sewage treatment facility.



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 The Beliefs of the WSANEC Peoples


  • It is the belief of the Saanich people that XALS put us here on this world and gave us a language of our own called SENCOTEN.


Saanichton Bay

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Saanichton Bay has historically been, and continues to be significant to the Saanich peoples of Tsawout.  The bay provided shelter from the prevailing southeast gales of winter, a year-round source of food, as well as playing an integral role in the Tsawout economic, societal, social, and spiritual life.  Because of these reasons Saanichton Bay was one of the main winter village sites of the Saanich peoples, and that is why Tsawout “Indian Reserve” is located there today


Douglas Treaty

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The following information has been povided by Nick Claxton. (2007)

Beginning in 1850, the Hudson’s Bay Company was appointed authority by the colonial office in London to establish a colony on Vancouver Island.  The significance of indigenous peoples relationship to their lands and resources was completely disregarded, and all the newcomers could see was an empty land that harboured boundless wealth for the taking.  In the four years following, Douglas completed fourteen purchase agreements with Vancouver Island indigenous nations.


Run for Justice

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Gitksan-Wet-suwet’un Run for Justice
Hazleton to Victoria – September 29 – Oct 30, 1988

The Run for Justice was sponsored by Project North (B.C.), an inter-church coalition from 1975 to 2000, which sought to stand with First Peoples in their struggle for aboriginal rights and title, and to encourage understanding and participation of the general population. The Run for Justice also raised funds for the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations who were engaged in the Delgamuukw case in the Supreme Court of B.C. At that time the Government of British Columbia refused to recognize aboriginal title and rights.

The Run for Justice Team:

Jack Thornburgh, Sidney, long-distance runner committed to the principle of justice for aboriginal peoples, Steve Underwood, Tsawout First Nation, marathon experience and first-hand knowledge of injustice; ran for friendship, Jim Williams, Victoria, provided and drove escort vehicle, and Rena Dulay, Tsawout First Nation, massage therapist and assistant driver