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Bellacoola Indians of Canada

Bellacoola. A name applied by the Kwakiutl; significance unknown. Phonetic form of name Bī┤lxula. Also called:

Tallion Nation, from the name of a town, in early reports of the Canadian Indian Office.

Connections. They are an isolated body of Indians belonging to the Salishan linguistic family.

Location. On North Bentinck Arm, South Bentinck Arm, Dean Channel and River, and Bella Coola River, B. C.

Subdivisions

At the present time there are but two bodies of Bellacoola: The Kimsquit, on Dean Inlet; and the Bella Coola, at the mouth of Bella Coola River. Older writers speak of the Nuhalk, which was the name of Bella Coola Valley; Taliomk, at the head of South Bentinck Arm, abandoned about 20 years ago; and the Noothlakamish, reported by Tolmie and Dawson (1884) on North Bentinck Arm.

Villages
(as given by McIlwraith)

Aimats, north of Ahutskwakstl near the Peisela River.
Aketi, on the south side of Dean River about 1 mile from the sea.
Anutlitlk, near the mouth of Dean River, still occupied.
Anutskwakstl, an eastern extension of Tlokotl.
Aseik, on a stream flowing a bay at the southwest end of South Bentinck Arm.
Asenane, on the shore of a bay on the south side of Bella Coola River.
Asktlta, at Salmon House on Upper Dean River.
Atlklaktl, near the south bank of Peisela River about ╝-mile from the sea.
Ikwink, on Dean River 28 miles from the sea.
Kadis, on the east side of South Bentinck Arm, about ╝-mile from Nuik River.
Kameik, on the west bank of Necleetsconnay about ż-mile from the sea.
Kantkilsk, on the east side of South Bentinck Arm "slightly north of the island opposite the hot springs on the west
                  side of the fiord."
Koapk, on the east side of the mouth of a creek entering the head of South Bentinck Arm from the south.
Komkutis, the upper (eastern) continuation of Stskeitl.
Kwiliutl, on the north side of the Atnarko a few hundred yards above the forks. Nuekmak, near some stagnant pools
  on the north side of BellaCoola River a short distance above Sno÷nikwilk.
Nuhwilst, on the shore of Dean Channel six miles from Satsk.
Nuiku, on a raised mound on South Bentinck Arm south of the mouth of Nuik River.
Nukaakmats, on the north shore of Bella Coola River about a mile above Tsilkt.
Nukits, on the south side of Bella Coola River 11╝ miles from the sea.
Nuskapts, on the south bank of Dean River about 25 miles from the sea.
Nuskek, on the shore of North Bentinck east of the creek that flows into it at Green Bay.
Nuskelst, on the north side of Bella Coola River opposite the mountain of the same name.
Nutal, on the bank of Dean River at the bottom of the canyon.
Nutltleik, 200 yards from Bella Coola River on a creek flowing in from the north and about 31 miles from the sea.
Nutskwatlt, on the south side of Dean River about 1╝-miles from the sea.
Okmikimik, at the present village of Hagensburg 11 miles from the sea.
Ososkpimk, on the north shore of Bella Coola River about Ż-mile above Aimats.
Satsk, at the mouth of the Kimsquit River.
Senktl, on the south side of Bella Coola River opposite Tciktciktelpats.
Setlia, on the east side of South Bentinck Arm about ╝-mile from its junction with North Bentinck.
Siwalos, on the north side of Dean River about 85 miles from the sea, where the trail to the interior left the river 
  valley.
Skomeltl, on the south side of Bells Coola River about 3 miles from the sea.
Sno÷nikwilk, on a curving promontory on the south bank of Bella Coola River about 4 miles from the sea.
Snutele, on the south bank of Bella Coola River above Nukaakmats.
Snutlelelatl, on the north side of the Atnarko about 10 miles from the forks.
Stskeitl, on the south bank of Bella Coola River about ╝-mile from the sea.
Stuik, on the point between the Atnarko and Whitewater Rivers, which join to form the Bella Coola.
Talio, on the west side of the mouth of the river, last location, which was frequently changed.
Tasaltlimk, on the shore of North Bentinck Arm west and north of the mouth of the Necleetsconnay.
Tciktciktelpats, some distance from the north bank of the Bella Coola River, the river course having changed.
Tlokotl, above Atlkaktl on Peisela River.
Tsaotltmem, on the east side of South Bentinck Arm about 4 miles from Kankilst.
Tsilkt, on the north shore of Bella Coola River above Tsomootl.
Tsomootl, the upper continuation of Skomeltl.

     Boas (1898) gives also the following names, most of which are probably synonyms for some of the above: Koatlna, Nusatsem, Osmakmiketlp, Peisela, Sakta, Selkuta, Slaaktl, Sotstl, Tkeiktskune, Tskoakkane.

History. Alexander Mackenzie entered the country of the Bellacoola after crossing the Rocky Mountains in 1793 at about the same time that they began to have dealings with vessels of European explorers and traders. The rest of their history has been the usual one of modification in customs, missionization, supervision by Indian Office officials, and at least temporary decline.

Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that there were 1,400 Bellacoola in 1780; in 1902 only 311 were returned.

Connection in which they have become noted. The Bellacoola are noted particularly for their isolated position, a Salishan island among Kwakiutl Indians, for their peculiar cosmologic system recorded by Boas (1897), and as having given their name to Bella Coola River.

The Indian Tribes of North of America, by John Swanton, 1953

Canadian Indians


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