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Lillooet Indians of Canada

Lillooet. Signifying "wild onion." The name seems to have been given originally to a part of the Lower Lillooet. Also called:

  Stla´tlium H, own name, applied properly to the Upper Lillooet.

Connections. The Lillooet belong to the interior division of the Salishan linguistic family, their nearest relatives being the Shuswap and Ntlakyapamuk.

Location. On the upper part of Harrison Lake, Lillooet River, Bridge River, and part of Fraser River above and below the mouth of the latter stream and between the Shuswap and Ntlakyapamuk, and on the heads of some of the streams flowing into the Gulf of Georgia.

Subdivisions

The Lillooet are divided primarily into the Lower Lillooet and the Upper Lillooet, each consisting of two principal bands as follows:

Lower Lillooet:
Lillooet River or Douglas (on Little Harrison Lake and the lower Lillooet River up to Lower or Little Lillooet Lake),
  Pemberton (on Lillooet Lake, Pemberton Meadows, Pole River,
Upper Lillooet River, Green Lake, etc.).Upper Lillooet: Lake (on Anderson and Seaton Lakes, Cayuse River to
  Duffey Lake and westerly to the headwaters of the streams flowing into Jervis Inlet and the northwest sources of Bridge River), Fraser River (from about 5 miles below the mouth of Cayuse Creek to a few miles below the mouth of Pavilion Creek, a few miles up Cayuse Creek, in Three Lake Valley and on the neighboring hills between the Fraser River and Hat Creek, lower Bridge River and northwest to near the head of Big Creek).

Villages

Lillooet River:
  Hahtsa or (by Whites) Douglas, on Little Harrison Lake, about 4 miles from Tipella on Great Harrison Lake.
Kwehalaten, on Little Lillooet Lake.
Lalakhen, on Lower Lillooet River, 10 miles above Douglas.
Samakum, on Lower Lillooet River about 25 miles above Douglas.
Sektcin or (by Whites) Warm Springs, near Lower Lillooet River about 23 miles from Douglas.
Shomeliks, near Lower Lillooet River, 10 miles above Douglas.
Skatin or (by Whites) Skookum Chuck, on Lower Lillooet River about 17 or 18 miles above Douglas.
Smemits, a short distance above Lalakhen.
Pemberton:
  Hazilkwa, at head of slough, 1 mile above Nkimsh.
Lakemitc, less than 1 mile above Hazilkwa.
Nkimsh, on Upper Lillooet River, a little above the head of Lillooet Lake.
Stlalek or Stlaluk or (by Whites) Pemberton, near the big bridge across Upper Lillooet River, about 1 mile
        above Lakemitc.
  Sulpauthltin, on Upper Lillooet River, about 2 miles above Stlalek.
Lake:
  Heselten, about one-third up Seaton Lake on the north side.
Nkaiot, at the foot of Anderson Lake.
Nkuatkwa, at the head of Anderson Lake.
Skemkain, at the foot of Seaton Lake, about 4 miles from Lillooet.
Slaus, at the head of Seaton Lake.
Tcalethl, about two-thirds up Seaton Lake on the north side.
Fraser River:
  Hahalep or Fountain, on the east side of Fraser River near Fountain Creek and about 9 miles above Setl.
Nhoisten, on the upper side of the mouth of Bridge River, about 4 miles above Setl.
Setl or Lillooet village, just west of Lillooet town, on the west side of Fraser River.
Skakethl, on the west side of Fraser River about 3 ˝ miles above Setl.
Skulewas or Skulewes, on the south side of the mouth of Cayuse River.
Tseut, on the east side of Fraser River about 2 miles above Setl.

History. The first white man to penetrate the country of the Lillooet was probably Simon Fraser in 1809. Contact with traders was practically continuous from that time forward and with the miners from 1858. The Lillooet suffered more than any other tribe from the great smallpox epidemic of 1863.

Population. Mooney's (1928) estimate of Lillooet population as of the year 1780 is 4,000, perhaps copied from that of Teit (1900). The report of the Canadian Office of Indian Affairs of 1904 seems to give 978 Lillooet, but there are probably omissions, as Teit's estimate of about the same time is 900 Lower Lillooet and 700 Upper Lillooet, a total of 1,600.

Connection in which they have become noted. The Lillooet have given their name to Lillooet Lakes and Lillooet River.

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

Canadian Indians


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