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Tsilkotin Tribe

Tsilkotin Indians, Tsilkotin People, Tsilkotin First Nation (‘people of young-man’s river’). An Athapascan tribe of British Columbia, occupying a territory lying chiefly in the valley of Chilcotin River at about lat. 52°. Their nearest relatives are the Takulli, or Carriers, whose territory is adjacent on the north, and who are the only Athapascan people with whom they come in contact. Toward the west a pass leads through the Coast range to Bellacoola, and intercourse with the tribe of that name, which was formerly frequent1 is still kept up to some extent. In early days there was also some communication with the Kwakiutl of Knights Inlet on the south west. On the east the Tsilkotin are separated from the Shuswap by Fraser river, and do not hold very intimate relations with that people. In earlier times the two tribes were constantly at war, the Tsilkotin invading their country and penetrating as far as Similkarneen Valley, whose inhabitants are descended from the invaders, who compelled the Salish to make peace and permit intermarriage. Even today there is a decided undercurrent of suspicion between the Tsilkotin and the Shuswap. Toward the south their nearest neighbors are the Lillooet, but contact between the two tribes is slight. In former times, and down to about 1865, the center of territory and population of the Tsilkotin was Anahem Lake; and from here they covered a considerable extent of country, the principal points of gathering being Tatlah, Puntze, and Chizäikut lakes. They ranged as far south as Chilco Lake, and at the time of salmon fishing were accustomed to move in large numbers down to Chilcotin River, to...

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