Cowichan Tribes

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Cowichan girl

The Cowichan Tribes First Nations government, located in and around the Cowichan Valley and Duncan, British Columbia, is the single largest band government in British Columbia.

When the band was created pursuant to the Indian Act, seven nearby peoples were forced to amalgamate into one "band." The Quamichan/Kw’amutsun are the largest cultural group, but the nation also includes Clemclemaluts (L’uml’umuluts), Comiaken (Qwum’yiqun’), Khenipsen (Hinupsum), Kilpahlas (Tl’ulpalus), Koksilah (Hwulqwselu), and Somena (S’amuna’).

There are over 4,000 registered members; about half currently live on the Reserve.[1]

Tribal area[edit]

Qumutsun Village, 1912, Photo: Edward Curtis

The traditional territory of the Cowichan people covered the entire Cowichan Valley, the surrounding region around Cowichan Lake, Shawnigan Lake, and extended into the Gulf Islands.

The lower reaches of the Cowichan Valley, particularly the area stretching from the present location of Duncan down to Cowichan Bay (and including the lower Koksilah River), was heavily settled by the various Cowichan tribes.[2]

Today, the total reserve area is currently 24 square kilometres (5,900 acres), made up of nine Reserves, with Core Traditional Territory is approximately 1,750 square kilometres (100,000 acres). The tribe comprises seven traditional villages (Kw’amutsun, Qwum’yiqun’, Hwulqwselu, S’amuna’, L’uml’umuluts, Hinupsum, Tl’ulpalus).[1]


Governed by a Chief and 12 Councillors, within the framework of the Indian Act, Part of the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group. In Stage 4 (Agreement in Principle) of the Treaty Process. Tribes is also responsible for providing social programmes for Children and Families, Education, Health, Housing, and Social Development.

Tribal Owned Business[edit]

Cowichan Tribes currently owns and operates Khowutzun Development Corporation (KDC) group of companies, which includes the following subisdarys:

  • Khowutzun Mustimuhw Contractors Limited Partnership (KMCLP)
  • Khowutzun Forest Services Limited Partnership (KFCLP)
  • Khowutzun millwork & Joinery Limited Partnership (KMJLP)
  • Quw’utsun Cultural and Conference Centre (QCCC)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cowichan Tribes Cowichan Tribes Overview.
  2. ^ "Cowichan Tribes". 

External links[edit]