Through the centuries, nature has shaped the people and the history of the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. Presentation of this fascinating story, where the rainforest meets the sea, is the mission of the Sooke Region Museum.
It is a people's history, set in a land where a rainforest of infinite majesty matches the awesome grandeur of the Pacific Ocean breaking upon the western shore.
For the T'Sou-ke First Nations Peoples at the Sooke Harbour and the Sooke River at our eastern boundary to the Pacheedaht Peoples at the San Juan River Valley in the western region, it was the forest and the sea that sustained and sheltered them.
In the late eighteenth century it was the search for the famed northwest passage that brought Spanish exploration, followed in the mid-nineteenth century by the arrival of hardy immigrant settlers, some arriving by ship from the British Isles, some overland across the continent from the French settlements in eastern Canada.
The ongoing saga of the pioneer families as the new society developed, the intercultural relationships, the neighbourly spirit that was nurtured throughout the region, and the natural resources that built the economy, are all reflected in the history of Sooke, East Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew.
For more information please go to the Sooke Region Museum website.
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© 2013 Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI).