AUGUST 17, 2009


Born on August 29, 1947, in Campbell River, British Columbia (B.C.), Vi Wyse made history by becoming the first female chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.  Her knowledge and experience gained from her work with Department of Indian Affairs for 20 years, and band administrator for Snuneymuxw First Nation and Stz’uminus First Nation, gave her the insight to move through a bureaucratic system that often impedes First Nations communities.  In 2002, she was elected councilor of Snuneymuxw First Nation, Nanaimo, B.C.  In 2006, she ran for and was elected chief.  During her three years of chiefdom, the Snuneymuxw built 39 hew homes when none had been built in the prior 16 years.  She brought more water and sewer infrastructure onto the reserves in Cedar, B.C. and entered several important protocol agreements with local governments for service agreements.  Wyse was a strong supporter of education and training, good governance, and a progressive administration.   

Source:  Derek Spalding, “Snuneymuxw mourns loss of pioneering leader, Pressreader:  Times Colonist, 8/20/2009.  Retrieved 7/10/2019,
Map: Nikater, 11/12/2007.  Map of traditional Snuneymuxw tribal territory. This image is in the public domain because it was released by the copyright holder. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this map since it is based on free of copyright. This applies worldwide.  In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so, the holder has granted anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.  Source:

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