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Lillooet. Signifying "wild
onion." The name seems to have been given originally to a part of
the Lower Lillooet. Also called:
Stla´tlium H, own name, applied properly to
the Upper Lillooet.
Connections. The Lillooet belong to the interior division of
the Salishan linguistic family, their nearest relatives being the
Shuswap and Ntlakyapamuk.
Location. On the upper part of Harrison Lake, Lillooet River,
Bridge River, and part of Fraser River above and below the mouth of
the latter stream and between the Shuswap and Ntlakyapamuk, and on
the heads of some of the streams flowing into the Gulf of Georgia.
The Lillooet are divided primarily into the Lower
Lillooet and the Upper Lillooet, each consisting of two principal
bands as follows:
|Lillooet River or Douglas (on Little
Harrison Lake and the lower Lillooet River up to Lower or
Little Lillooet Lake),
|Pemberton (on Lillooet Lake, Pemberton
Meadows, Pole River,
|Upper Lillooet River, Green
Lake, etc.).Upper Lillooet: Lake (on Anderson and Seaton
Lakes, Cayuse River to
|Duffey Lake and westerly to the headwaters
of the streams flowing into Jervis Inlet and the northwest
sources of Bridge River), Fraser River (from about 5 miles
below the mouth of Cayuse Creek to a few miles below the
mouth of Pavilion Creek, a few miles up Cayuse Creek, in
Three Lake Valley and on the neighboring hills between the
Fraser River and Hat Creek, lower Bridge River and northwest
to near the head of Big Creek).
|Hahtsa or (by Whites) Douglas, on Little
Harrison Lake, about 4 miles from Tipella on Great Harrison
Kwehalaten, on Little Lillooet Lake.
Lalakhen, on Lower Lillooet River, 10 miles above Douglas.
Samakum, on Lower Lillooet River about 25 miles above
Sektcin or (by Whites) Warm Springs, near Lower Lillooet
River about 23 miles from Douglas.
Shomeliks, near Lower Lillooet River, 10 miles above
Skatin or (by Whites) Skookum Chuck, on Lower Lillooet River
about 17 or 18 miles above Douglas.
Smemits, a short distance above Lalakhen.
|Hazilkwa, at head of slough, 1 mile above
Lakemitc, less than 1 mile above Hazilkwa.
Nkimsh, on Upper Lillooet River, a little above the head of
Stlalek or Stlaluk or (by Whites) Pemberton, near the big
bridge across Upper Lillooet River, about 1 mile
|Sulpauthltin, on Upper Lillooet River, about
2 miles above Stlalek.
|Heselten, about one-third up Seaton Lake on
the north side.
Nkaiot, at the foot of Anderson Lake.
Nkuatkwa, at the head of Anderson Lake.
Skemkain, at the foot of Seaton Lake, about 4 miles from
Slaus, at the head of Seaton Lake.
Tcalethl, about two-thirds up Seaton Lake on the north side.
|Hahalep or Fountain, on the east side of
Fraser River near Fountain Creek and about 9 miles above
Nhoisten, on the upper side of the mouth of Bridge River,
about 4 miles above Setl.
Setl or Lillooet village, just west of Lillooet town, on the
west side of Fraser River.
Skakethl, on the west side of Fraser River about 3 ˝ miles
Skulewas or Skulewes, on the south side of the mouth of
Tseut, on the east side of Fraser River about 2 miles above
History. The first white man to penetrate the
country of the Lillooet was probably Simon Fraser in 1809. Contact
with traders was practically continuous from that time forward and
with the miners from 1858. The Lillooet suffered more than any other
tribe from the great smallpox epidemic of 1863.
Population. Mooney's (1928) estimate of Lillooet population
as of the year 1780 is 4,000, perhaps copied from that of Teit
(1900). The report of the Canadian Office of Indian Affairs of 1904
seems to give 978 Lillooet, but there are probably omissions, as
Teit's estimate of about the same time is 900 Lower Lillooet and 700
Upper Lillooet, a total of 1,600.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Lillooet have
given their name to Lillooet Lakes and Lillooet River.
The Indian Tribes of North of America, by
John Swanton, 1953