The Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, adjacent to the city of Lantzville, situated between Parksville and Nanaimo, in Nanoose Bay. The Snaw-Naw-As name derives from the Halkomelem word “Naus,” meaning “inside looking out” reflecting the shape of Nanoose Bay. The traditional language is Hul’q’umi’num’, which is 1 of 3 branches of the Halkomelum dialect spoken from Nanoose to Oregon. The Snaw-Naw-As First Nation’s traditional territory included villages that dotted the areas in the mid-Island region of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The Snaw-Naw-As community, often known as the Nanoose First Nation, along with 18 other Nations in the Salish Sea, are Coast Salish people, and one of the northern Coast Salish Nations on the east side of Vancouver Island.

Number of Members

269 (as of March, 2020)