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Dike Trail Officially Named after Historic Cowichan Village
February 19, 2021
(North Cowichan, BC) – North Cowichan’s Council has renamed a portion of the trail on the dike, which connects the S’amunu/Somenos Marsh Conservation Area through to Tzouhalem Road, to S’amunu Trail (S’amunu – pronounced “S-amahnah”). The name was chosen in collaboration with the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society and Cowichan Tribes.
Since time immemorial, Cowichan Tribes has had a connection to the Somenos Marsh, Lake, and Creek. Before the epidemics of the mid-1800s, 7,000 people lived at two Cowichan villages associated with the Marsh – S’amunu and Kwa’mutsun. The Village of S’amunu lined the west side of Somenos Lake, including the present location of the Forest Discovery Centre.
“North Cowichan is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Cowichan Tribes and the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society to give this portion of trail a significant and historical name,” said Mayor Al Siebring. “Building a relationship with Cowichan Tribes is deeply important to North Cowichan. Giving this portion of the trail a name that pays homage to the S’amunu village is a step forward on this important and ongoing journey of reconciliation.”
“Cowichan Tribes has a long history of settlement here with a large village extending from the Cowichan River to Somenos Lake and beyond. I am pleased to see our Quw’utsun Village name used for the name of the S’amunu Trail. It is important for people to know our place names as well as our history and present-day connection to them,” said William Seymour, Cowichan Tribes’ Chief.
“The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is very pleased to see the naming of the S’amunu Trail along the dike that borders the S’amunu/Somenos Conservation Area, as the name reflects and honours Quw’utsun occupancy of the area for many thousands of years. We look forward to working with Cowichan Tribes and the Municipality of North Cowichan to develop relevant informational signage and other amenities to enhance the S’amunu experience,” said Paul Fletcher, Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society President.
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For more information:
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan