Vancouver Island Peaks
Highlighting those with Indigenous names
This interactive map displays almost all of the peaks on Vancouver Island higher than 1000m and some which are lower. Elevation and lat/long coordinates are given for each of the 430+ peaks, as well as the gazetted and/or unofficial name and, most significantly, the Indigenous name if one is known.
Click to open a full sized version of the map. When open use the Search icon at the top, the pull down menus on the left side, or click any map icon to access mountain information.
Peaks with Indigenous names are split into three main language groups or geographical areas: Coast Salish (red), Kwakwaka’wakw (violet) and Nuu-chah-nulth (gold). Meanings and links are given when known and pronunciation when necessary. The camera icon indicates that one or more photo is included. The small blue circles are peaks that have no known Indigenous names – so far.
Since time immemorial the people of Vancouver Island’s many First Nations have looked up and named the peaks that surround them. This map attempts to show some of the meaning and diversity behind the names.
The map is a work in progress. It is hosted by the Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver Island Section. The original idea came from Madelaine Pepenel and her class of third-graders at Ecole Victor Brodeur in Esquimalt. They contacted the ACC-VI Section for assistance. Lindsay Elms provided the names, elevations and coordinates for all the peaks; Geoff Bennett researched the Indigenous names and combined all the data in a spreadsheet; Mary Sanseverino generated the map.
We are gradually contacting First Nations councils and cultural centres for additional information. However, everyone is welcome to contribute. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can offer any of the following:
- Indigenous names of peaks
- Meanings of Indigenous names
- Photos of peaks with Indigenous names
- Any corrections to data on the map
Maps, especially colonial ones, have often been used to apportion and divide – we hope this map will be used to build knowledge and foster understanding.