Q’ul-lhanumutsun - a Hul’q’umi’num word meaning Killer Whale - was chosen as a name for our society by a group of elders from each of the six communities that QARS serves. This name was chosen after William Seymour of Stz’uminus First Nation shared the the transformation story below.
"There was a man, who was always fascinated with the Q’ul-lhanumutsun (killer whale). He would watch them swim to one place, and dive, all together – but they would never come up. Other whales would come by, they would see them while they were using their cod traps, again to the same place, and dive. The man peered down there, and he could see a reef. He dove into the water, and as he swam, saw a cave, but it was too far, he had to go back up for air. After this, he began to secretly practice his diving. He told no one. One day he saw the whales come again, and dive in the same spot. He quickly paddled there in his canoe, and dived in after them. It took him three tries, diving down, before he reached the cave – and like a draft, he was sucked in. There was a reef inside the reef. He could see whale bodies, and separate from them, he could see Elders, women, children - the Q’ul-lhanumutsun walked as mustiimuhw (people), and they were speaking Hul’q’umi’num to each other. He watched them, and an Elder stood, and said “there is a stranger here”. They saw him, and called him over to join them. They told him, “You can’t tell anyone. We are going to help you. Anytime you fish – we will bring you whatever fish you need, as long as you tell no one.” He would never be able to transform like them, but they would give him a song to sing, and when he sang it, they would bring fish to him. So, he went out, and sang the song they gave him, and speared all the fish that arrived from them. He brought the fish back to the village, and gave it to the people, bringing it from house to house. Many fishers asked to go fishing with him, share his secrets with them. He never told anyone about the sacredness of what he witnessed until his dying day – he told his grandson. We are all related to the killer whale. This is our truth. This is what made our fishermen great."
– William Seymour