The story of the Seabird Island Band began in 1879 when the Indian Reserve Commission allocated the island known as Sq’éwqel as a reserve for seven First Nations bands. The fertile land would help these communities sustain themselves through agriculture. The Halq’eméylem name Sq’éwqel translates to “Turn in the River.” The English name Seabird Island originates from a 1858 incident where a paddle steamer called the Sea Bird ran aground near the island.
Over the last 140+ years, Seabird Island has grown tremendously as an independent First Nation. The community now provides a wide array of programs and services to its members including education, healthcare, housing, infrastructure, economic development and more. Seabird Island speaks a mix of Halq’eméylem and Thompson languages and works to preserve Indigenous culture and heritage. The First Nation is governed by a Chief and Council who represent Seabird Island’s interests locally, provincially and nationally.
Seabird Island continues to invest in creating new opportunities for its people to prosper. Initiatives like sustainable housing, technology access, language revitalization and sustainable community planning aim to build a healthy, self-sufficient future for generations to come. The community hosts an annual festival celebrating First Nations diversity and culture. Seabird Island walks hand-in-hand with its members to uplift current and future generations.