Camosun College serves the communities of southern Vancouver Island and the south Gulf Islands that are located in the traditional territories (large image 700 KB) of the Esquimalt, Lkwungen, Malahat, Pacheedaht, Pauquachin (W̱SÁNEĆ), Scia'new, Tsartlip (W̱SÁNEĆ), Tsawout (W̱SÁNEĆ), Tseycum (W̱SÁNEĆ), and T’Sou-ke Nations.
Camosun College campuses are located on land that is the traditional territory of the Lkwungen, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here.
The college was established in 1970 and in 1971 the college councilors voted on a name change. “Camosun” (pronounced Cam-O-sun) was chosen, as it was an early name for Victoria. It is originally a Lkwungen (Songhees) name for an area of Victoria where different waters meet and are transformed.
The Legend of Camossung
Story printed with permission of Cheryl Bryce
After the flood, the transformer, Haylas, was travelling with Raven and Mink teaching the people how things were to be done.
They found a young girl, named Camossung and her grandfather. She was crying, so Haylas asked her why. She answered, “My Father is angry with me and will not give me anything to eat.”
Haylas asked her if she liked sturgeon, and when she answered “no” he threw the sturgeon to the Fraser River. That is why there are sturgeons there and not here. He asked her if she liked cranberries and when she answered “no” he threw them into the Shawnigan Lake. That is why there are cranberries there now.
She refused many things but duck, herring, coho, and oyster she accepted, and that is why these were plentiful on the Gorge waterway. Because she was greedy, Haylas told her she would look after the food resources for her people and he turned her and her grandfather into stone.
Note: Camossung is still a guardian and sits in the Gorge near what is now Tillicum Road. Photograph of Camossung in the Gorge Waterway, from the personal collection of Grant Keddie, Curator of Archaeology at the Royal BC Museum. Image published with permission. (photograph date: 09/27/90)
Last updated: October 23, 2012 4:00 pm