Before the Swan River Colony was established in 1829, the whole of the south-west of Western Australia was occupied by the Noongar people. Initially, relations between the British settlers and the Aboriginal people were amiable. When misunderstandings arose, the Noongars, led by Yagan, fought back. Yagan was killed in 1833. The area around Heirisson Island was known as Matagarup, because the river was "one leg deep." The Yagan statue was erected in 1984. The Swan River is of symbolic importance to the Noongar people. They believe it was created by the Wagyl, a dreamtime serpent. The statue of Yagan on Heirisson Island is in a bushland setting, just off the Causeway connecting East Perth and Victoria Park.