Klahoose First Nation History
Occupying traditional territories that span from Cortes Island to Toba Inlet, the Klahoose Nation has existed since time before memory. KFN primary village site, Squirrel Cove, is home to approximately seventy-five full-time residents who live and work on Cortes Island and in the surrounding areas. The remaining three hundred and nine members reside off reserve in coastal communities in the lower mainland and in Washington State.
Our territories are rich in resources, both on land and in the waters that surround us. This abundance helped sustain our ancestors who carefully managed fish and wildlife to ensure future generations would have access to these vital resources. In the 1800's Indian Agents and government surveyors allocated our peoples to ten reserves, limiting our ability to survive and thrive as our communities had done since time immemorial.
As Canada opened its doors to early settlers and explores, first peoples across the country, including those at Klahoose, were marginalized. Restrictive legislation prohibiting cultural ceremonies like the Potlatch coupled with mandatory attendance at Residential Schools, alienated generations from one another. The legacy of this devastating period in our shared history continues to linger.
Today Klahoose is rediscovering the beauty of the traditions which have historically defined our peoples. Members who are eager to reconnect the threads of the past to the present, host culture nights and language programs in the Multipurpose Building.
Business is once again thriving at Klahoose. Leadership has worked to find the balance between protecting our resources with managing community economic development opportunities. We have established vital partnerships to help encourage community economic activities and are open to explore evolving possibilities.
In total our Nation is comprised of 10 Reserves allocated in the early 1800's by Indian Agents and surveyors. Our territories span from Cortes Island to Toba Inlet in proximity to our neighbours of the Homalco and Tla'amin Nations