Saanich

Feature Type:District Municipality (1) - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a district municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Pronounced: SAN-itch
Relative Location: Just N of City of Victoria, Victoria Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 48°27'24''N, 123°22'24''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92B/6
Related Maps: 92B/11
92B/6

Origin Notes and History:

Incorporated 1 March 1906 as The Corporation of the District of Saanich. "Saanich (Municipal District)" adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924, as labelled on BC map 2A, 1914. Re-approved 6 November 1934 on National Defence sheet 1449, Saanich.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Our word Wsanec in Saanich means 'raised up'. If you go offshore to the east and look [back] you will see why. You'll see what it looks like in the distance compared to the surrounding land. It is 'raised up'." (Saltwater People, as told by David Elliott Sr., ed. Janet Poth; a resource book for the Saanich Native Studies program, School District 63, 1990). Elsewhere in the publication, Wsanec is identified as the name for Saanich Peninsula, meaning 'emerging people', where the name Wsanec comes from the name of the Saanich people (ibid, p.26).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

From the Saanich (Straits Salish) word meaning 'elevated' or 'upraised'. The word describes what Mount Newton looked like to the Indians approaching by sea from the east - someone lying down with his rump up. Another explanation is that Saanich refers to the appearance of the peninsula when seen through a mirage on a warm summer day. Under such conditions, it indeed looks 'elevated' or 'upraised.'

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997

"I have had repeated requests during the past few years and although we have made every endeavor to trace the meaning, we have not been successful. All we know is that the word designates a local tribe of Indians." (John Hosie, Provincial Librarian, 19 March 1934, file 1008386/34275s). "Indians I have talked with say that "Fair-land" as used by Victoria Publicity Bureau is not right, yet they do not know the meaning themselves." (H.J. McIntyre, Saanich Peninsula & Gulf Islands Review (file 1007898/34275a).

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions