History of Lake Cowichan First Nation Native people have lived around the shores of Cowichan Lake for millennia, long prior to the arrival of Euro–‐Canadians. Lake Cowichan First Nation have always made their primary home on Cowichan Lake.
The Lake Cowichan people have used a wide range of resources throughout their traditional territory, encompassing the land surrounding Cowichan Lake, inland along the creeks entering the lake, the small lakes in the vicinity, and the uppermost portion of Cowichan River. Historic sources clearly indicate that family territories were owned and defended.
These traditional uses of resources throughout the territory have continued into modern times. Genealogical study of the Livingstone family demonstrates that the Lake Cowichan First Nation can be traced directly to the residents of the lake in the mid–‐nineteenth century.
The families whose rights on the lake were recognized by the allocation of the reserve in 1887 were the direct ancestors of the Livingstone family today.
Today Lake Cowichan First Nation has approximately 30 people residing on its reserve and many more wanting to come back home. Hereditary Chief Sha e’ lum (Cyril Livingstone) has spent the last 20 years doing whatever he can to provide for his community including actively pursuing treaty negotiations, economic development, and providing housing for his people.
Although small in size, Lake Cowichan First Nation is embarking on following the communities voices that were shared during their economic development plan and are looking at putting themselves on the map and ensuring that everyone knows who the Lake Cowichan First Nation are.