At the time of European contact, Pender Island was inhabited by Coast Salish peoples speaking the North Straits Salish language. There is a Native reserve at Hay Point on South Pender Island, which is home to members of the Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations. Carbon dating of artifacts in shell middens near Belden Cove identify a Native village site that has been more or less continuously inhabited for five millennia. The Poets Cove Resort was built on an ancient First Nations village site. The provincial government's 2007 settlement with theTsawwassen First Nation included hunting and fishing rights on and around Pender Island—an arrangement to which the Sencot'en Alliance objected, saying those rights are theirs under the 1852 Douglas Treaty.
A Spanish expedition led by Francisco de Eliza visited Pender in 1791, naming it "Ysla de San Eusevio". The islands, along with Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast, were given their current name by Captain Richards for Staff Commander, later Captain, Daniel Pender, RN who surveyed the coast of British Columbia aboard HMS Plumper, HMS Hecate and the Beaver from 1857 to 1870. The first permanent resident of European descent arrived on South Pender Island in 1886.
Pender Island (Saanich: st̕ey̕əs is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island is approximately 34 km2 (13 sq mi) in area and is home to about 2,250 permanent residents, as well as a large seasonal population. Like most of the rest of the Southern Gulf Islands, Pender Island enjoys a sub-Mediterranean climate and features open farmland, rolling forested hills, several lakes and small mountains, as well as many coves and beaches.
Pender Island consists of two islands, North Pender and South Pender, which are separated by a narrow canal originally dredged in 1903. In 1955 the islands were connected by a one lane bridge, as it remains today.
Most of the population and services reside on North Pender Island, with the highest concentration surrounding Magic Lake. South Pender Island is generally more rural.
Places to See
If you like the great outdoors then this is your place. We offer some of the world's best kayaking, awesome hiking, world-class scuba diving, the best disc golf in BC and a fun, challenging 9-hole golf course. After you've played all day, join us for a cool one on the Pub deck overlooking Browning Harbour, or dance the night away to live music every Saturday (June through September).