Quamichan District
The Quamichan District is located in southwestern Duncan. The district is named after the Kw'amutsun village in the area.1 According to historians Akrigg and Akrigg, the village was named Kw'amutsun, which is the Halkomelem word for humped back, because the shape of the hill behind the village reminded the people of a hunchbacked old man.2
The Quamichan District was mapped as part of Pemberton's surveys of the southern Vancouver Island during the 1850s, which can be seen on this map and another, both from 1859.
In 1862 the amount of arable land around Victoria was limited, so Douglas took prospective farmers upcoast to Cowichan Bay aboard the Hecate to give them the opportunity to take out land in the Somenos, Shawnigan and Quamichan districts.3 According to the British Colonist, the government gave the Indigenous people two blankets per person to compensate for the land that they surrendered.4
The official Cowichan Tribes website notes that the Quamichan District, along with the Somenos and Comiaken districts, were three of seven traditional villages that were separated into districts and later forced to amalgamate into one Cowichan “band” under the Indian Act.5
  • 1. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Place Names (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997), 291.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Chronicle, 1788-1846 (Victoria: Discovery Press, 1975), 255.
  • 4. The Cowichan Expedition, British Colonist, August 22, 1862.
  • 5. Cowichan Tribes Overview, Cowichan Tribes Overview.
Mentions of this place in the documents