Lyackson Mustimuhw - Our people

Lyackson Mustimuhw are a Central Coast Salish Hul’q’umi’num community of 200 members presently based in Chemainus, Vancouver Island.

Our Traditional Territory The Lyackson are part of the Hul’q’umi’num Mustimuhw. Which includes the Chemainus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation and Penelakut Tribe. The Hul’q’umi’num Core Territory covers 334,000 Hectares: North from Nanaimo River; South from Goldstream; East from Douglas Island and West from Tuck Lake.

The Lyackson Homeland is Valdes Island. Our community descends from four main ancestors – Thi’Xvulece , Swin’yleth , Swute’se’Dick , and Shulqvilum – who traditionally settled the winter villages of T’a’at’ka7 , Th’a’ x el and Th’ x we’ksen , – located, respectively, at Shingle Point, Cardale Point and Porlier Pass on Valdes Island.

Valdes Island is our ancestral territory and we currently manage three land reserves which comprise a third of Valdes Island, where we continue to engage traditional land-use practices on a seasonal basis.

Lyackson Homeland with place names Lyackson Homeland: Modern Land Use Map
Lyackson Map Valdes Island Modern land use

Our Language

Our People speak Island Hul’q’umi’num, of which there are 3 dialects (up river/down river/island). Out of 5700 Hul’q’umi’num people on Vancouver Island, about 100 fluent speakers of the Hul’q’umi’num language are alive.

The majority of these speakers are over 60, with many of the highly knowledgeable ones in their senior years. Several hundred individuals between 40 and 60 years old can speak the language, but do not have the full fluency of the elder master-speakers. In the younger generations, there is little fluency beyond words and phrases.