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Indigenous Naming conventions and categories

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: British Columbiamap
Surnames/tags: First Nations Canada british_columbia
Profile manager: Peggy Watkins private message [send private message]
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Draft Proposal : Work in progress!

Important Note

Work on this topic is continuing here: First Peoples of Canada categories. Please look at this page for further developments!


This is a page for exploring new naming conventions and categories for the Indigenous people of British Columbia.

This page is a working space of the British Columbia Team. If you have any questions, please ask!

Here are the current British Columbia First Nations categories.

See also:
First Peoples Canada Sticker


Note: We cannot use the word Nation in the category because then it appears twice in the sticker.
Update: There is a workaround for this. Use the name in the sticker and add the category separately. Discussion on the use of the word Nation in progress.
Watkins-7379 21:40, 15 August 2021 (UTC)

Level one

BC First Nations may be nested:

Current category Proposed new category Notes Sub-categories Sub-categories Sub-categories Sub-categories Sub-categories
Coast Salishcreated new category and sub-categories added (30 Sep 2021)Should Coast Salish nest under Salish? Musqueam added 16 DecMusqueamSts'ailes BandTla'amin NationTsleil-WaututhSquamish
Dakelhcreated new category (15 Aug 2021)https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/carrierUlkatcho
noneGitxsanNotesGitanmaax BandGlen Vowell Indian Band
Haida Nationconsidering removing "Nation", see note about the sticker.History of the Haida NationSkidegateMassett
Haisla Nationconsidering removing "Nation", see note about the stickerAbout the Haisla
Heiltsukcreated new category (15 Aug 2021) Heiltsuk Culturenone
noneKaska DenaKaska Dena council historyDaylu Dena CouncilDease River First Nation
KootenaiKtunaxa (Kootenay) create new category; existing category is for Washington State. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/kootenay
Kwakwaka'wakwKwakwaka'wakwspace removed and added sub-categories (Aug 24)Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw NationsWe Wai Kai Nation
Nisga'aNisga'a retain current category
noneNlaka’pamuxNotesColdwater Indian BandLytton First Nation
noneNuu-chah-nulthNotesAhousaht First NationMowachaht-Muchalaht First NationsTla-o-qui-aht First Nations
Nuxalk (Bella Coola)category created 24 Feb 2022http://www.nuxalk.net
SalishSalishoverlaps with Washington StateLil'wat First NationLower Nicola Indian Band
noneSecwépemc (Shuswap)https://shuswapnation.org/about/bands/Bonaparte Indian BandSkeetchestn Indian Band
Sekaniretain existing categoryPossibly rename to Ts'kheneKwadachaMcLeod LakeTsay Keh Dene
noneSt'át'imcLillooetDouglas First NationN'Quatqua First NationSeton Lake BandXaxli'p First Nation
noneStó:loStó:lo will need to be spelled Stólo to avoid coding problemsSeabird Island Band

Level two

Current category Proposed new category Nest under Notes/Sources Website
Ahousaht First NationAhousaht First NationNuu-chah-nulth NationAhousaht or Ahousaht First Nation could be usedhttps://www.ahousaht.ca
Bonaparte Indian BandBonaparte First NationSecwépemc (Shuswap)Noteshttps://www.bonaparteindianband.com
Coldwater Indian BandC’eletkwmx (Coldwater People) First NationNlaka’pamux PeopleNoteshttps://www.coldwaterband.com
Douglas First NationXa'xtsa (Douglas) First NationSt'at'imc or Lower Stl'atl'imxNoteshttps://www.xaxtsa.ca
Gitanmaax BandGitanmaax First NationGitxsanhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/north-coast/gitanmaaxhttps://www.gitanmaax.com
Glen Vowell Indian BandSik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell) First NationGitxsanhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/north-coast/glen-vowellhttp://sik-e-dakh.com/wordpress/
Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw NationsGwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First NationKwakwaka'wakwhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/vancouver-island-coast/gwasala-nakwaxdaxw-bandhttps://www.gwanaknations.ca
Haida Nationsee Level 1
In-SHUCK-ch NationThis should be deleted. This group no longer exists.If retained it should nest under Sto:lo
Kwakwaka'wakwKwakwaka'wakw Nationsee Level 1
KootenaiKtunaxa (Kootenay) Nation see Level 1
Lil'wat First NationRetain existing category or merge with T'it'q'et First NationSalishpart of Interior Salishhttps://lilwat.ca
Lower Nicola Indian BandNłeʔkepmxc (Lower Nicola) NationSalishpart of Interior Salishhttps://www.lnib.net/history-culture/
Lytton First NationRetain existing categoryNlaka'pamuxBC Govt.https://lyttonfirstnations.ca/about-us/
Mowachaht-Muchalaht First NationsRetain existing categoryNuu-chah-nulthhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/vancouver-island-coast/mowachahtmuchalahthttps://www.yuquot.ca
MusqueamNew category added 16 DecCoast Salishhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musqueam_Indian_Bandhttps://www.musqueam.bc.ca/our-story/
N'Quatqua First NationRetain existing categorySt'át'imc Nationhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/lower-mainland-southwest/nquatquahttps://www.nquatqua.ca
Nisga'asee Level 1
Penelakut TribeRetain existing category or Penelakut First Nation Nest?https://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/vancouver-island-coast/penelakut-tribehttps://penelakut.ca/about/
Salishsee Level 1
Seabird Island BandRetain existing category or Seabird Island First NationSto:lohttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/lower-mainland-southwest/seabird-islandhttps://www.seabirdisland.ca
Seton Lake BandTsal’alh (Seton Lake) First NationSt'at'imchttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/lower-mainland-southwest/seton-lakehttp://tsalalh.net
Skatin First NationsSkatin Nations (Skookumchuck) or Skatin (Skookumchuck) First Nation?https://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/lower-mainland-southwest/skatin-nations-skookumchuckhttp://skatin.ca/about/
Skeetchestn Indian BandSkeetchestn First NationSecwépemc (Shuswap)https://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/thompson-okanagan/skeetchestnhttp://www.skeetchestn.ca/about
Skidegate Band CouncilSkidegate First NationHaidaalready nested under Haida
SquamishSquamish First NationCoast Salishhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/lower-mainland-southwest/squamishhttps://www.squamish.net/about-our-nation/
Sts'ailes BandSts'ailes First NationCoast SalishNoteshttps://www.stsailes.com
T'it'q'et First NationMerge with Lil'wat First Nation?(Interior) Salishhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T'it'q'et_First_Nationhttp://www.titqet.org
Tla'amin NationTla'amin First NationCoast Salishhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/vancouver-island-coast/tlaaminhttps://www.tlaaminnation.com
Tla-o-qui-aht First NationsRetain existing category or remove s from NationsNuu-chah-nulthhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tla-o-qui-aht_First_Nationshttps://www.tla-o-qui-aht.org
Tsleil-WaututhRetain existing categoryCoast SalishAnother category exists: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:British_Columbia_First_Nations_Tsleil-Waututhhttps://twnation.ca
UlkatchoCreate a new categoryDakelhhttps://www.bcafn.ca/first-nations-bc/cariboo/ulkatcho-indian-band
Upper Nicola BandUpper Nicola First NationSyilx or Okanaganneed more imputhttps://uppernicola.com/about/about-upper-nicola-band/
We Wai Kai NationWe Wai Kai First Nationprobably Kwakwaka'wakwNoteshttps://wewaikai.com
Xaxli'p First NationRetain existing categorySt'át'imchttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xaxli%27p_First_Nationhttp://xaxlip.ca/about-us/history-background/
Xwchíyò:m (Cheam) First NationNeeds a new categoryStó:loBC govthttps://cheam.ca

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Comments: 1

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So pleased to see you are still working on this! I have had so many personal issues that I haven't put in any time. Anyway, looking great. A few comments:

Current category -- maybe a date so we know what 'current' is referring to? Maybe a column for "Historic name/ identity" or something like that, for reference; anyone looking for these earlier names might find this useful? All Current Categories that refer to Salish - Coast Salish, Interior Salish - my experience is that no one except anthropologists still use these. Also note with Salish "overlaps with Washington State, yes, many of the communities close to the border do overlap; perhaps a note 'for further info?" St'at'emc - what does the note Lillooet? mean .. some of the communities are near Lillooet, but continuing to use the name of this town does create confusion if it is not explained. St'at'emc - there are 11 bands/ First Nations, the four you have listed are correct; I will put together a list of all of them Skatin First Nation, which is listed next on the chart is NOT a Sto:lo -- it is Stl'atl'imx or Lower Stl'atl'imx (same as Xa'xtsa (Douglas) First Nation Much lower down -- In-SHUCK-ch Nation - was actually a treaty-making group, no longer exists so Delete is the best approach. If it must be retained (in a Historic Identity???) it was never Sto:lo -- actually Stl'atl'imx - but please, lets just delete it. Lil'wat First Nation - Historic identity was Interior Salish, but not really relevant in any other context. For info only: although geographically in the Stl'atl'imx or St'at'emc areas, it is independent of them, and as far as i know, doesn't belong to the Tribal Council for either. Salish - note see Level 1, retain existing - as suggested, if the term is used, need to be clear that this is a Historic identity, seldom used by the bands and nations today. Skatin First Nation - yes, Skatin Nations is how they refer to themselves. Skookumchuk would fit nicely under Historic Identity column. They were never Sto:lo ; currently Stl'atl'imx or Lower Stl'atl'imx T'it'q'et First Nation - no, not with Lil'wat First Nation. T'it'q'et First Nation is St'at'emc (formerly sometimes referred to as Lillooet Band - Historic?? but seems it is more confusing to include that detail) Xaxli'p First Nation - yes this is part of St'at'imc, subcategory I think. Formerly/ historically referred to as Fountain Band.

Hope some of this is useful. It is great that you keep working on this. Do you have any target date when the old Current Categories will be removed? if still needed, perhaps they could be in a Historic Identity column, for anyone looking for them.

Some of the proposal still needs tweaking, but I suggest making the changes as soon as feasible, and then editing if necessary. Thanks again Peggy for persisting.

posted by Sharon Runolfsson