Leo Mitchell is a member of the Penelakut First Nation. The Penelakut First Nation accounts for about 13 percent of the Hul’qumi’num population. Historically, Penelakut villages were found on Kuper Island, Galiano Island, and on Vancouver Island near the mouth of the Chemainus River. Today, the Penelakut have reserves on Kuper Island, Tent Island, Galiano Island, and one small reserve on the lower reaches of the Chemainus River.
The term ‘Penelakut’ is used to refer to all the Hul’qumi’num people who, at one time or another, have lived on Kuper Island. Historically, there were three permanent winter villages on Kuper Island: at Penelakut Spit, Telegraph Harbour, and Lamalchi Bay. There were also villages atChemainus Harbour and on Galiano Island. Penelakut Spit extends off the northeast end of Kuper Island, and was the site of the largest Hul’qumi’num village on the Gulf Islands.
Leo is an accomplished carver who learned his trade from a number of artists, such as Richard Charlie and Alfred Robertson.
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