Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Nations Reserve, Tsawwassen

The name, "Tsawwassen" is a Halkomelem word which means “looking towards the sea.” It fits; the Tsawwassen band occupies a strip along the southeast Delta shoreline, straddling the highway to the ferry landing. About 500 people live there, almost half of them non-native, many in a large, modern condominium at the foot of English Bluff, overlooking the quiet waters of the Strait of Georgia.

We followed the coastline down, crossing the reserve north to south. In the older part, we stopped at the church and its graveyard.

Church on the shore. With boat.

1879 1979
Centennial Heritage Site
Tsawwassen Indian Reserve

Established in 1878 for Delta's first settlers this 600 acre reserve was home to a thriving group of families who lived in community longhouses. They harpooned and trapped Fraser river salmon, small animals, and picked local berries for food.
The church of the Holy Ghost was built in 1904.

Side view of the church.

Small totem in the graveyard.

An even smaller "totem pole"; actually, a carved 4x4 stud. I'd never seen one like this before.

Both totems, for size comparison.

"William George, Aged 80, Died March, 1925." An iron cross, now tumbled on the grass.

On the balcony of a house. The longer you look at this, the more faces you see. Salmon, orca, owl? and human?


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post weeta, I really luved it...I never knew all that info either on the reserve and the church...cheers.


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