Esquimalt's name is derived from a local First Nations expression "Es-whoy-malth," which means the place of gradually shoaling water.
The Township of Esquimalt acknowledges with respect that we are within the Traditional Territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.
Esquimalt council values the relationship with First Nations and has included working with Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations to support economic, cultural, social and environmental opportunities as part of 2019-2023's strategic priorities and goals.
- June 15, 2021: The First Peoples’ Cultural Council Launches New, Interactive First Peoples’ Map of B.C.—the only online platform showcasing Indigenous languages, arts and cultures.
- Learn about the mural on the side of Esquimalt hall: Re-emergence of the Lifebringers
- Explore Songhees cultural tourism
Council passed the following resolution on November 6, 2017:
WHEREAS: in 2008 the Federal Government and the members of the Indian
Residential Schools Settlement Agreement established the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission as part of a comprehensive response to the abuses inflicted upon
Indigenous Peoples through the residential school system;
AND WHEREAS: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report
in December of 2015 along with 94 Calls to Action to further the possibilities of
healing between parties (Indigenous Peoples and Settlers) through acts of
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Township of Esquimalt explore the Calls
to Action in partnership with both the Esquimalt First Nation and the Songhees First
Nation in a dialogue of mutual respect so that the Township can honour the spirit of
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in actions;
AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that out of the dialogue with both
the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nation we can enact actions that truly foster
healing based on actions that come out of that dialogue.