Shawnigan District
The Shawnigan District surrounds Shawnigan Lake, which is located about 48 km north of Victoria. This despatch reports that the Shawnigan, Comiaken, Quamichan and Somenos districts make up the Cowichan Region.
Shawnigan is an anglicization of the Hul'qumi'num name for the area, “Shaanii'us”.1 The Hul'qumi'num used the area for cedar harvesting and salal gathering, as well as hunting and spiritual bathing.2
The Shawnigan 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 becoming scarce, so Douglas took prospective farmers upcoast to Cowichan Bay aboard the Hecate to give them the opportunity to stake land in the Somenos, Shawnigan and Quamichan districts.3 According to the British Colonist, in compensation for the land, the government gave the Indigenous people two blankets per person for the land that they surrendered.4
Mentions of this place in the documents