Pender Island
Pender Island is part of the southern Gulf Islands, located east of Saltspring Island, between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island.1 Originally a single island, it is now divided into North Pender Island and South Pender Island: the two islands are separated by a man made canal, dredged in 1911.2 A single-lane bridge was built between the islands in 1955.3
The Island's name has changed from an Indigenous place name, to a Spanish name and, finally, to its contemporary British name. The WSÁNEĆ (Saanich) name, in SENĆOŦEN, for Pender Island is sťéyəs.4 In 1791, Juan Pantoja y Arriaga, an officer aboard the San Carlos, named the Island Isla de Zayas, in honour of the explorer Juan Martínez y Zayas.5 Scott notes that it is thought that the commander of the San Carlo, Francisco Eliza, then changed the name to Isla San Eusebio.6 Captain George Richards, of HMS Plumper, later named the island after his senior survey officer, Second Master Daniel Pender, in 1859.7
Numerous archeological sites across sťéyəs are indicative of the rich Coast Salish Indigenous life that has persisted on the island for over 6000 years;8 portions of Pender Island are part of Parks Canada's Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and is the site of the largest archaeological excavation in the Gulf Islands.9 Tourism threatens many archaeological sites with development.10 As noted in BC Archaeological News, industrial activities have disrupted several shell middens and burial sites.11 The island has one reservation, located at Hays Point, the traditional territory of the Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations.12 Today, some residents of Pender Island have begun a reconciliatory process with the local Indigenous people.13
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Pender, Daniel

Richards, George Henry

Vessels in this document

HMS Plumper, 1848-1865

Places in this document

British Columbia

Gulf Islands

Saltspring Island

Vancouver Island