Tribes of Canada
Hydah Indians of Canada
Hudson Bay Territory
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Tsetsaut. Name given them by
the Niska and signifying "people of the interior."
Connections. The Tsetsaut belonged to the Athapascan stock
and were usually considered as a Nahane tribe. Their dialect is said
to be similar to Tahltan, yet they are reported to have branched off
from the Kaska.
Location. According to Teit, "their [the Tsetsaut's] country
lay in a strip from near Bradfield canal and the Iskut across the
streams flowing into Behm Canal perhaps to about the head of Boca de
Quadra. They occupied all of the upper part of Portland Canal around
Stewart, and Salmon and Bear Rivers. They may have come down the
canal as far as Maple Bay. They occupied all the White River and
Meziadin Lake basins and one of their original headquarters,
especially for salmon fishing, was at Meziadin Lake. They stretched
across the head of the Skeena River above Kuldo River over to Bear
and Sustut lakes" (Teit's Note in D. Jenness, 1932).
History. Once a large tribe they were almost exterminated by
the Lakweip and Tlingit about 1830. They once lived further down
Behm Canal and were friendly with the Sanya Tlingit until they
discovered that the latter had determined to kill them and enslave
their women and children, when they emigrated to Portland Canal and,
becoming reduced in numbers, fell under the control of the Niska,
among whom the last of them found homes.
Population. About 1830 the Tsetsaut numbered 500; in 1895
they were reduced to 12.
The Indian Tribes of North of America, by
John Swanton, 1953