Hello “Camosun”

In January 1971, it was goodbye “Juan de Fuca” – and hello “Camosun.”  The college’s councillors vote instead to adopt the name “Camosun,” pronounced “Cam-O-sun,” a Lekwungen name for an area of Victoria meaning “where different waters meet and are transformed.”

Camosun College original logo
Camosun College’s original logo – 1971

The Legend of Camossung

After the flood, the transformer, Haylas, was travelling with Raven and Mink teaching the people how things were to be done. They found a young girl, named Camossung and her grandfather. She was crying, so Haylas asked her why. She answered, “My Father is angry with me and will not give me anything to eat.” Haylas asked her if she liked sturgeon, and when she answered “no” he threw the sturgeon to the Fraser River. That is why there are sturgeon there and not here. He asked her if she liked cranberries and when she answered “no” he threw them to Shawnigan Lake. That is why there are cranberries there now. She refused many things but duck, herring, coho, and oyster she accepted, and that is why these were plentiful on the Gorge waterway.

Because she was greedy, Haylas told her she would look after the food resources for her people and he turned her and her grandfather into stone. Camossung is still a guardian and sits in the Gorge near what is now Tillicum Road.

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