PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

February 4, 2008

In passing…

Filed under: Ramblings — Jocko @ 5:12 pm

Photo: Jocko

Looking northerly toward Mortimer Spit from the bridge over the canal. South Pender is in the near right and North Pender, the near left and distance.

XELISEN. First Nation peoples lived here from 6000 to 2000 years ago. They call it Xelisen (Helisen) meaning “lying between” for the ithmus that connected North and South Pender Islands. It was an encampment used for harvesting the food resources of nearby waters and beaches. Archeologists have recorded information from sites on both sides of the isthmus. It is a Provincial Heritage Site. (courtesy of the Pender Islands Museum Society, 1993)

Another plaque at the same site states: Pender Island Portage. Near this point passed an ancient trail over which indians [sic] portaged their canoes between Browning and Bedwell harbours. Across this neck of land, Pioneer settlers later dragged their boats on skids for visits between the scattered island families or to shorten the journey to Sidney by sail and row-boat. In 1903, at local request, the federal government constructed the nearby canal dividing Pender Island. (Province of British Columbia, 1972)

See “Interesting Islander Profile No. 1” in the Arts and Entertainment category regarding Gwen and her store at the Driftwood Centre and her reflections on being Native.

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