The southern tip of Vancouver Island (including Victoria and Langford), the San Juan, and the Gulf Islands are the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Lekwungen) peoples. Where IPS is located was an area rich with resources shared with the neighbouring relations of Schian’exw (Beecher Bay), Ts’ouke (Sooke), Elwa Klallam and Makah.
Lkwungen means “Place to smoke herring”, Lkwung means “to smoke herring” and Lkwungen’athun refers to the language of the land. Lkwungen traditionally and still to-date unites the Esquimalt and Songhees peoples as one family.
We acknowledge and thank the Lkwungen People, also known as the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations communities – past, present, and future – for their stewardship, care, and leadership on these lands. As an urban Indigenous organization, we acknowledge that we are guests on these lands. We also give thanks to the ancestors, supernatural ones, leaders and matriarchs, creatures big and small for looking after the rich resources and cultural teachings of this beautiful land.