Kuper Island belongs to the
Penelakut First Nation and is located in
the southern Gulf
Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland Pacific coast of British
Kuper has a population of about 300 members of the Penelakut Band.
The island has an area of 8.66 km². There is frequent car and passenger ferry
service to Kuper from Chemainus on Vancouver Island.
A Mediterranean climate of mild winters and warm, dry summers
supports a unique ecosystem and an ideal living environment.
Island is in the rain shadow of Vancouver
Island, with an annual rainfall of about 850 mm.
There is a Roman Catholic
, but no commercial establishments on the island. From
, the Catholic
Church had a Residential School
on the island. Because it is an Indian
, property is not available for purchase.
British sailors surveying the area in 1851 cruised into a tiny group of five unnamed islands
in the Strait of
Georgia, naming the two largest Kuper and Thetis, after their Captain Augustus Leopold Kuper R.N.
) and his
, a 36-gun Royal Navy
frigate on the Pacific Station between 1851
On April 20
British gunboat HMS
attacked the native village on Kuper Island.
captain believed that the village harboured individuals involved in
two recent assaults in the Gulf Islands in which three Europeans had been murdered.
The gunboat fired on the village but was repulsed with casualties
after a fierce battle with a handful of warriors. Following this defeat,
the colonial government responded with one of the largest military
operations in British
which took place on the east coast of Vancouver Island and extended throughout the waters and islands of
Pass, Trincomali Channel and Stuart
Channel. In the end, the government publicly hanged
four natives in Victoria.