Pacheedaht territory includes the lands and waters along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island between Bonilla Point and Sheringham Point (see Map). The name “Pacheedaht” translates to English as “Children of the Sea Foam” .
The Pacheedaht language is similar to that of our neighbours and relatives amongst the Ditidaht First Nation and also with the Makah people across the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State. The Pacheedaht language is also similar to the language spoken by the various Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations further to the north and west along Vancouver Island’s coast. Pacheedaht people are related by kinship, language and culture to several other First Nations on Vancouver Island and to the Makah. The Pacheedaht have many relatives and friends amongst neighbouring communities.
Example of a Village Similar to the Traditional Pacheedaht First NationsExample of a Traditional Village
In fact, according to traditional history, long ago Pacheedaht and Ditidaht ancestors lived together as one tribe at an origin village located on the river whose native name is Diitiida. If you look for the name Diitiida on a map today, you won’t find it, since most of the Pacheedaht names for places have been replaced by English place names. The river the Pacheedaht call Diitiida is marked as “Jordan River” on modern maps.
Before the diseases came to our territory, brought by white explorers, traders and settlers, some estimates say that the Pacheedaht numbered 1,500 people or more. Pacheedaht ancestors followed a seasonal round that included moving residence to several places throughout an average year in order to take advantage of seasonally abundant resources. Pacheedaht villages and camps were spread throughout the territory, especially along the coastline and on the banks and mouths of larger rivers. A typical Pacheedaht house would be occupied by four to six families with each having its own fireplace inside the house.