Saltspring Island, Southern Gulf Islands

Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The island has a detailed history because it was the first in British Columbia to allow settlers to acquire land through pre-emption: settlers could occupy and improve the land before purchasing for one dollar per acre. The island became a refuge from racism for African Americans who had resided in California, but left in 1858 after the state passed discriminatory legislation against blacks. During the 1960s, the island became a political refuge for United States citizens, this time for draft evaders during the Vietnam War. The island is now known for creative expression and a strong sense of place. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands.