K'omoks First Nation

K'omoks First Nation

komoks logokomoks estuaryFor thousands of years, Sathloot, Sasitla, Ieeksun, Puntledge, Cha'chae, and Tat'poos, the ancestors of the K'omoks people, lived on their lands along eastern Vancouver Island. In their language they called their home 'land of plenty'; a good name for an area that had plenty of fish, seafood, sea animals, wild game, birds, berries and natural medicines. Today, evidence of their ancestors' work can be seen in Comox Harbour where hundreds of wooden stakes used for tying fishing weirs protrude out of the mud along Dyke Road. These wooden stakes have stood the test of time and are evidence of the ingenuity of the people who harvested these waters for food and made their livelihood from the land and sea. These traditional territories continue to nurture and feed the K'omoks First Nation.

There are four reserves, which make up the K'omoks First Nation. Comox Indian reserve, number 1 is located next to the town of Comox and Puntledge reserve number 2 runs along the Puntledge River next to the city of Courtenay and reserve number 3 is located on Goose Spit by Comox Harbour and reserve number 4 is located near Sayward.

komoks bighouseToday there are 315 members and 112 live on-reserve. This includes 21 children and youth, aged18 and younger, 21 Elders who are 65+ and 14 Elders who are 64 to 55 who live on-reserve. K'omoks First Nation promotes partnerships with the greater community in the Comox Valley. They play an active role by hosting events, partnerships and business ventures; some of which are I-Hos gallery, Pentlatch Seafoods, Queneesh Developments, K'omoks Forestry Co. and Puntledge R.V. and Campground. K'omoks First Nation welcomes their families, friends and visitors when hosting I-Hos Arts Festival, National Aboriginal Day and the Multicultural Festival, which are events that take place every year on-reserve. 

I-Hos Gallery and the K'omoks First Nation administration building overlook the Comox harbor. Facilities include a hall for community gatherings, recreational and educational activities. KDC Health is also located in the back of this building. The band offers tutoring for students as well as summer employment and programs for youth that teach a variety of skills like hunting, fishing, komoks duckspreparing and preserving traditional foods. Fresh produce from the community garden and food fish is distributed to community members. The Health Centre offers K'omoks members a variety of services that focus on addiction, health education, disease and illness prevention, and promotion of health. A good example is the 10K training, which will bring together community members and train them for a 10K walk/run to promote healthy life-styles. Other services include Elders' lunch, foot and hand care, treadmill and exercise bike facilities, weekly exercise classes, and creative activities like scrapbooking. There are also education workshops that focus on topics ranging from HIV to head lice and Glo Germ hand-washing techniques. There is a CHR on staff and the mental health team and nurse visit the clinic on a regular basis. There is also a Big House for potlatch and ceremonial purposes located on reserve. 

Governance and administration tasks are carried out by the chief and four council members, who are elected every two years, and supported by four full time staff and two part-time staff for education and social development. There are four hereditary head chiefs who continue to lead the potlatch system of witnessing and validating the personal and collective history of the K'omoks First Nation, through songs, dances, giving of names and the distribution of gifts to ensure the continuation of their culture and relationship to the traditional lands and waters of the K'omoks First Nation. (Source: K'omoks First Nation)

 

komoks band-office

 

 For more info, please visit their website: www.comoxband.ca