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Coast Salish Heritage Route

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This is an ambitious route in progress that will be developed over the next few years. It envisions departing from Nanaimo, Ladysmith or Chemainus and utlizing First Nations services along a historically vibrant coastal area. This is reflected in locations such as Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) and Penelakut Tribe's Tent Island.

Other features and services will be added on the coming years, such as a yurt project on Valdes Island that may become a part of this trail system.

The intent of the trail is to promote recognition and understanding of Coast Salish traditional territory in the Salish Sea and to provide a basis for economic benefits to the participating Coast Salish communities while attracting visitors drawn to the cultural opportunities (petroglyphs, historic sites and interpretive components).

An example of the history is the battle fought on Penelakut Island between the community and the Royal Navy at Lamalchi Bay. A sailor was killed, and the result was the closest thing to war on the British Columbia coast as the Navy set Lamalchi Bay to flames and pursued Lamalchi residents throughout the Gulf Islands. It was an embarrassment to the Royal Navy, though, as the Lamalchi make a mockery of the Royal Navy by being able to simply paddle away from the slower steamships. 

The exact route of the future Coast Salish Heritage Route is not yet established, but the general focus is the interior sea bounded by Valdes, Gabiola and Salt Spring islands and along the Vancouver Island shore. A shorter version would involve the interior waters only, while an expanded route could loop around the outside waters of Valdes and Gabriola islands reaching Nanaimo at the western extent, then returning by the inland waters. 


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