Chehalis Tribe

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Chehalis Indians. Chehalis actually refers to two distinct peoples. One group of tribes residing on the Chehalis River in Washington, another tribe, a sub-tribe of the Cowichan First Nation residing along the Harrison River in British Columbia. We provide both below.

Chehalis of Washington

A collective name for several Salishan tribes on Chehalis River and its affluents, and on Grays Harbor, Washington. Gibbs states that it belongs strictly to a village at the entrance of Grays Harbor, and signifies ‘sand.’ There were five principal villages on the river and seven on the north and eight on the south side of the bay; there were also a few villages on the North end of Shoalwater Bay. By many writers they are divided into Upper Chehalis or Kwaiailk, dwelling above Satsop River and the Lower Chehalis from that point down

In 1806 Lewis and Clark assigned to them a population of 700 in 38 lodges. In 1904 there were 147 Chehalis and 21 Humptulips under the Pullyallup school superintendent, Washington.

Chehalis Subdivisions

The following subdivisions are mentioned, some of which are single villages, while others probably embraced people living in several:

  • Chikilsilkh
  • Cloquallum
  • Hoquiam
  • Hooshkal
  • Humptulips
  • Kishkallen
  • Klimmim
  • Klumaitumsh
  • Koalekt
  • Nickomin
  • Nooachuhummilh
  • Noohooultch
  • Nookalthu
  • Noosiatsks
  • Nooskoh
  • Satsop
  • Wenatchi
  • Whiskah

The Satsop subdivision speak a dialect distinct from the others.

Chehalis of British Columbia

Chehalis Indians, Chehalis First Nation: A Cowichan tribe living along the middle course of Harrison River, British Columbia. Chehalis and Koalekt were their villages. Population (of tribe or village) 112 in 1902.

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 15 December 2014. - Last updated on Feb 11th, 2012

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