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Seechelt Indians of Canada

Seechelt. From their own name Siciatl (c=sh). Also called:

Niciatl, Comox name.

Connections. The Seechelt constituted a distinct dialectic group of the coastal division of the Salishan linguistic family.

Location. On Jervis and Seechelt Inlets, Nelson Island, and the southern part of Texada Island, B. C.


Anciently there were four divisions or septs of the Seechelt, as follows:

Kunechin, at the head of Queen's Reach, Jervis Inlet. Skaiakos, with no fixed abode.
Tsonai, at Deserted Bay at the junction of Queen's Reach and Princess Royal Reach, Jervis Inlet.
Tuwanek, at the head of Narrow's Arm, Seechelt Inlet.
The Kunechin and Tsonai are said to be descended from Kwakiutl from Fort Rupert. Later all Seechelt came to live
  in one town called Chatelech, on Trail Bay, at the neck of Seechelt Peninsula.

History. As above noted, two of the original four septs of the Seechelt trace their origin to Kwakiutl Indians from Fort Rupert. On physical grounds Hill-Tout (1902) thought them to be related to the Lillooet. Their history after the coming of Europeans has been similar to that of their neighbors. They were converted to Roman Catholicism by Bishop Durieu.

Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that there were 1,000 Seechelt in 1780. In 1902 Hill-Tout gave a population of 325 but the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs only 236. The latter authority has 244 in 1909.

Connection in which they have become noted. The Seechelt have given their name to Seechelt Inlet.

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

Canadian Indians

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