(From the Te'mexw Treaty Association website) The Scia'new First Nations, now located mainly on the shores of Beecher Bay, have inhabited the shores of Vancouver Island for millenia. The word "Scia'new" (pronounced CHEA-nuh) translates from the Klallum language as "the place of the big fish", indicating the richness of the sea life in the region that sustains the Scia'new and neighbouring First Nation communities with food, shelter, medicine and clothing.
Part of the The Scia'new trace their ancestry to people who spoke four different languages. The community recognizes all four languages although they are not all currently spoken. The predominant language still spoken within the community is Hul'q'umi'num', a part of the large Salish family of languages. As with other First Nation names in the region, the place name "Scia'new" identifies what the inhabitants needed to know about the locale. For example, nearby Race Rocks was called Xwayen, or the place of Swift Water.
The Scia'new First Nations' main community is on Beecher Bay, in East Sooke, 30 km southwest of Victoria. The Scia'new lands also include Fraser Island, Lamb Island, Long-neck Island, Twin Island, Village Island, and Whale Island. Today, the Scia'new community continues to apply their long knowledge of environmental management in sharing their land and marine resources. Both the Scia'new marina and campground are community-managed. As well, Scia'new youth and elders are working together to create a cultural renaissance, partaking in inter-tribal games and 'big canoe' tribal journeys.
Scia'new First Nation is party to the Douglas Treaties and is negotiating a modern treaty as a member of the Te'mexw treaty nations through the BC treaty process.
Scia'new First Nation is governed by a chief and two councillors and also incorporates traditional leadership components including elders and the hereditary chief. Elections are held every two years in October on odd-numbered years.