First Nation communities we serve
Within Vancouver Coastal Health boundaries there are 14 First Nation communities with approximately 27,000 members living on reserves and 21,000 Urban Aboriginal community members.
Below is a collection of histories and resources of the 14 Nation communities within the VCH boundaries. This information has been put together in collaboration with the nation's Elders, and Knowledge Keepers.
Nations - Urban centres
When we give land acknowledgements in Richmond, Vancouver, North Vancouver and Squamish, we recognize the three nations who share territories in this region – Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh. Indigenous people from all three nations have been living in the area between Richmond and Squamish for more than 10,000 years and share intricate kinship ties spanning millennia.
Nations - Coastal region
When we give land acknowledgements in the Coastal community of care we recognize that we are guests on the land of the First Nations who have lived in these territories since time immemorial. These include the communities of Sechelt, Bella Bella, Bella Coola and Powell River and we recognize the Coast Salish nations whose territories are in this region.
Nations - Sea-to-sky Region
When we give land acknowledgements in the Sea-to-Sky region, such as the communities of Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, we recognize that we are guests on the land of the First Nations who have lived in these territories since time immemorial. These include the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations of the Coast Salish Peoples and the N'Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin and Xa'xsta communities of the St'át'imc First Nation belong to the Interior Salish linguistic group.
Elder Seis'lom is a member of the St'át'imc Nation and he shares his teaching and knowledge of the importance of giving a land acknowledgment: “It was traditional practice whenever members of another Nation came onto your land they would bring gifts to the host Nation. The gift could be a woven blanket and was presented to the chief of the Nation upon arrival. The visiting Nation would then sit in ceremony with the host Nation and listen to whatever members of the host Nation had to say. This ceremony could last for many hours. Then you would share a meal. This was how you knew the visitors came in peace."