Cowichan Station lies within the E & N railway corridor where land was pre-empted* from First Nations in the late 1800’s. The governments of Canada and BC gave more than 800,000 hectares of land to the E&N Railway Company to help finance it. About one-third—almost 270,000 hectares—was Hul’qumi’num land, a vast section of southeastern Vancouver Island. For the Hul’qumi’num peoples, the deal marked the beginning of a gradual, unremitting decline in their economic, cultural and social well-being, in which they witnessed the loss of most of their land and resources—almost 85 percent.
Read more about this history in this document from the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group.
*Pre-emption was a method of acquiring provincial Crown land by claiming it for settlement and agricultural purposes. You can learn more here.