FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA


This map is designed to illustrate the rich diversity of the First Nations Peoples of British Columbia. Like all maps, it is a rendition - a best attempt at reflecting a current reality, recognizing that "the map is not the territory".

A variety of sources have been used as guides, including the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs June 1993 map entitles "Sovereign Indigenous Nations Territorial Boundaries", and the map entitled "Traditional Territories of British Columbia First Nations as set out by Statements of Intent accepted by the B.C. Treaty Commission". The boundaries between territories are deliberately shown as blending into one another, in recognition of the complex territorial relationships involved. Many boundary overlaps are currently being negotiated by the First Nations as part of the B.C. Treaty Process. Names and pronunciations used on this map are as close as possible to those currently used by the First Nations (*please note the explanation for Coast Salish).

This map is intended to be an educational tool. Educators and First Nations people are encouraged to work together in interpreting the map, and incorporating new information to it.

Ordering Information can be found at the Crown Publication's website.

Larger map - (JPEG, 700KB), will take a minute or two to download.

A Basic Guide to Names*

Listed below are the First Nations Peoples as they are generally known today with a phonetic guide to common pronunciation. Newcomers to these phonetic pronunciations may still find a huge gap between what they say and what they hear a native speaker saying. The best way to learn these name is to listen closely when in the presence of someone more familiar, and perhaps even ask for a quick lesson. Also included here are name formerly given these groups, and the language families to which they belong.

People Pronunciation Have Been Called Language Family
Haida Hydah Haida Haida
Ktunaxa Tun-ah-hah Kootenay Ktunaxa
Tsimshian Sim-she-an Tsimshian Tsimshian
Gitxsan Git-k-san Tsimshian Tsimshian
Nisga'a Nis-gaa Tsimshian Tsimshian
Haisla Hyzlah Kitimat Wakashan
Heiltsuk Hel-sic Bella Bella Wakashan
Oweekeno O-wik-en-o Kwakiutl Wakashan
Kwakwaka'wakw Kwak-wak-ya-wak Kwakiutl Wakashan
Nuu-chah-nulth New-chaa-nulth Nootka Wakashan
Tsilhqot'in Chil-co-teen Chilcotin Athapaskan
Dakelh Ka-kelh Carrier Athapaskan
Wet'suwet'en Wet-so-wet-en Carrier Athapaskan
Sekani Sik-an-ee Sekani Athapaskan
Dunne-za De-ney-za Beaver Athapaskan
Dene-thah De-ney-ta Slave(y) Athapaskan
Tahltan Tall-ten Tahltan Athapaskan
Kaska Kas-ka Kaska Athapaskan
Tagish Ta-gish Tagish Athapaskan
Tutchone Tuchon-ee Tuchone Athapaskan
Nuxalk Nu-halk Bella Coola Coast Salish
Coast Salish**
Coast Salish Coast Salish
Stl'atl'imc Stat-liem Lillooet Interior Salish
Nlaka'pamux Ing-khla-kap-muh Thompson/Couteau Interior Salish
Okanagan O-kan-a-gan Okanagan Interior Salish
Secwepemc She-whep-m Shuswap Interior Salish
Tlingit Kling-kit Tlingit Tlingit

* Adapted from Cheryl Coull's "A Traveller's Guide to Aboriginal B.C." with permission of the publisher, Whitecap Books

** Although Coast Salish is not the traditional First Nations name for the people occupying this region, this term is used to encompass a number of First Nations Peoples including Klahoose, Homalco, Sliammon, Sechelth, Squamish, Halq'emeylem, Ostlq'emeylem, Hul'qumi'num, Pentlatch, Straits.