Cowichan Tribes have places of cultural signifigance all along the Cowichan river; cowichan river provincial park users and nearby residents support preservation of age old cultural practices
Cowichan First Nations have been active along the river since time immemorial. Resource gathering, spiritual activities, and the development of Cowichan culture all occurred along the river. Large permanent villages were located along the lower river and have been continuously inhabited to the present. Named places of cultural significance are found along the entire course of the river, and speak to a deep and abiding relationship with this feature of the landscape.
"every bend had a name, every hill a story, every dark pool a tradition."
The Cowichan River is first and foremost the traditional territory of the Cowichan First Nation. They have lived on its banks, plied its waters, used and cared for its resources for thousands of years. This reciprocal relationship between Cowichan people and their River is an enduring one. The Cowichan people are recognized as having relied heavily on the salmonid populations that exist in the river, as well as a variety of other fish species, plants, and animals associated with the river and near shore marine environment. They are notable for having traditional weir sites along the river (Rozen 1977, 1978; Marshall 1999; HTG 2005) Once Europeans The Cowichan Valley Regional District Page 25 of 56 CHRS 10 Year Monitoring Report December, 2013 moved to the area, the Cowichan River became internationally renowned for sport fishing and canoeing. Cowichan Tribes still uses the river as a food fishery, and the sport fishery remains very active. Catalyst’s paper mill in Crofton is also licensed to draw water from the Cowichan River, and maintains the weir at the head of the river
( p. 3 of Robert Brown.) The Cowichan River was designated a Canadian Heritage River based on the following cultural heritage values outlined in the document “Managing the Cowichan River as a Canadian Heritage River” (2003), supplemented with descriptions from the original nomination document: Resource Harvesting. (The Cowichan Valley Regional District Page 25 of 56 CHRS 10 Year Monitoring Report),