These people are a mixture of Anishinabe and Salishan. The whites have forced the Anishinabek to lose their Anishinabe identity among this group of people which probably includes a small percentage of Chinese people. Historically, prophecy driven Anishinabe soldiers forced their way westwards about 1,000 to 1,300 years ago, after becoming aware of the Seven Fires Prophecy which told them to search for a turtle shaped island and food that grew on water, and if they did not move they would be destroyed by a race of people who would be of light complexion. After invading the British Columbia-Washington region, Anishinabe soldiers quickly subdued the Indians of that region. In fact, many of those Indians native to the British-Columbia-Washington region probably joined with Anishinabe soldiers when they commenced their invasion into Asia or Siberia. By the 17th century, the Cowichan Tribes had made their first contacts with the evil white race, and that is likely when the first disease epidemics hit them.
By the late 18th century, the whites were visiting the Vancouver Island region more frequently and that did upset the Anishinabe ogimak (leaders) who knew from prophecy that the whites were there to steal Indian land and destroy Indian Nations if they had the chance. Through treaty agreements, Anishinabe ogimak allowed the whites to trade with them and the tribes they subjugated. It took little time for them to learn that soon after the exchange of the merchandice, they became sick and started dropping dead as a result of the sickness. The whites were allowed to establish trading posts in Cowichan Territory including one at Victoria. The whites had no intentions of using the trading posts at Victoria or any other Cowichan location to trade with the Cowichan people. They intended to use the trading posts only to later on bring large numbers of illegal white settlers to live in them. As in many other cases the first white settlers to arrive at the trading posts were traders and Christian Missionaries. They are the ones who launched the first plague warfare assaults on the innocent Indians.
In 1853 and 1856, the whites under the leadership of Sir James Douglas, invaded Cowichan land in force. The Cowichan population had already been decimated by the use of plague warfare and white leaders knew they could invade their land and defeat them. The whites had the revolver at the time. In 1862, Douglas led 100 white settlers to invade the Cowichan Valley and also launched more plague warfare assaults on the Indians living there and also throughout the rest of what is now British Columbia. They estimate around two thirds of the Indian population of British Columbia was killed in 1862 alone. Douglas supposedly told Anishinabe ogimak that they would be paid for the loss of their land in the Cowichan Valley but that is a misconception. Anishinabe ogimak did not cede their land to the whites. Maybe other non Anishinabe leaders ceded Anishinabe land to the whites but that land was a part of the vast empire of the powerful Anishinabe Nation.
Anishinabe and Salishan soldiers in the Cowichan Valley and the surrounding region, did fight the whites in the 1850s and in 1862 but were easily defeated by the whites who had the revolver and possibly the machine gun (gatlin gun) by 1862. These Anishinabe-Salishan people never ceded their land to the whites. White leaders forced them to relocate to certain areas where they established new settlements and took away their right to fish, hunt, and trap on their own land. They then forced the Anishinabe children into Christian run schools in order to rob them of their Anishinabe identity. They did that by forcing them to not speak in their native language. Today, the Cowichan people live on Vancouver Island in 7 villages. They are: Kwamutsun; Qwumyiqun; Hwulqwselu; Samuna; Lumlumuluts; Hinupsum; and Tlulpalus. I will not give the size of the Reserves because they never ceded Anishinabe controlled land to the whites. Of course, I'm referring to the Cowichan Valley and Cowichan Lake. The Cowichan are the largest Indian band in British Columbia. However, with a population of under 4,000, that tells you just how devastating their contact with the evil white race has been in British Columbia.
The Province, Corporations, and people continue to steal, sell, buy shares on lands that belong to our children of Cowichan. Cowichan People want Justice!! Stop the Theft and Violence toward Native Peoples of Cowichan. Aboriginal Peoples have Human Rights!