The total area of Squamish Nation Traditional Territory is 6,732 square kilometers (673,200 hectares).
The Nation consists of 23 villages encompassing 28.28 square kilometers (2,828 hectares). These parcels of land are scattered from Vancouver to Gibson’s Landing to the area north of Howe Sound.
Squamish Nation traditional territory is located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. Prior to, and following the arrival of Europeans in the late 1700’s, the lands and waters we used and occupied either exclusively, or jointly with our First Nation neighbours, were as follows: from Point Grey on the south to Roberts Creek on the west; then north along the height of land to the Elaho River headwaters including all of the islands in Howe Sound and the entire Squamish valley and Howe Sound drainages; then southeast to the confluence of the Soo and Green Rivers north from Whistler; then south along the height of land to the Port Moody area including the entire Mamquam River and Indian Arm drainages; then west along the height of land to Point Grey.
This territory includes some of the present day cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, all of the cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, Port Moody and all of the District of Squamish and the Municipality of Whistler. These boundaries embrace all of Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and English Bay as well as the rivers and creeks that flow into these bodies of water. In addition, we used and occupied the various islands located in Howe Sound.
Our historical links to these lands and waters are numerous. Squamish place names exist throughout the territory. In many instances, a location has particular meaning to our people because of the existence of oral traditions that served to explain that place in the Squamish universe and in our relationship to the land. In addition, the land bears witness to the settlements, resource sites, and spiritual and ritual places of our ancestors, including villages, hunting camps, cedar bark gathering areas, rock quarries, clam processing camps, pictographs and cemeteries. Some of these village sites date back 3000 years.
Xay Temíxw (Sacred Land) Land Use Plan
In 2001, the Squamish Nation developed the Xay Temíxw (Sacred Land) Land Use Plan. The plan identifies four types of land use zones:
- forest stewardship zones;
- sensitive areas;
- restoration areas; and
- wild spirit places
Read about the Xay Temixw (Sacred Land) Land Use Plan.