In 1844 Chief Tzouhalem led a historically documented attack on Fort Victoria. Chief Tzouhalem was angry that the colonial authorities had tried to collect damages from him for some cows that had been killed by his people, on his lands.
The Coast Salish Indians were unacquainted with domestic animals, and Chief Tzouhalem refused to acknowledge that the white settlers cattle had any special status. As one of the Chiefs of Cowichan, Chief Tzouhalem was very vocal with his belief that within Indian Land; Indian rights came first. His verbal response to the demands for him to pay compensation was:
"The Indian law is this: The animals which walk on our lands belong to those who have the skill to kill them." Chief Tzouhalem.
Conflicts were frequent between the Salish Indians and the Colonists in the mid to late 1800’s; as the settlers began claiming, and fencing in the traditional hunting and gathering grounds for the use of their domesticated animals and crops.
Because of Chief Tzouhalemís rebellious nature towards the white settlers who were continuously encroaching in the traditional Cowichan territory, and the amount of attention that he was generating with the occupants of Fort Victoria, for the protection of his village Chief Tzouhalem retreated to the isolation and refuge of a cave in the side of the Mountain that now bears his him.
Tzouhalem Mountain North of Cowichan Bay is named after the most legendary war chief of the Cowichan Coast Salish.