Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Settlements, 1775-1920
484 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Sep 2012

Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Settlements, 1775-1920

A Geographical Analysis and Gazetteer

UBC Press

The Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw, speakers of the Kwak'wala language, lived in northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland of British Columbia long before the arrival of non-Aboriginals. This important book, newly back in print, provides a geographic overview of the changing demography and settlement patterns of the Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw between 1775 and 1920 and is a reference guide to the location and use of Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw settlement sites. Robert Galois has utilized a vast quantity of unpublished archival data to show that much changed in the 150 years after contact, and he examines some of the consequences of the interaction of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

This book is an invaluable resource tool for anyone investigating documentary sources dealing with Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia and elsewhere. In places as environmentally diverse as British Columbia, such detailed regional analyses are essential in order to unravel the complexities of the contact process.

While many titles promise more than the book delivers, this one is much more than its title claims. Hidden in Galois’s gazette entries is a major contribution to the understanding of Aboriginal history, geography, and Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations ... Galois has done the most detailed demographic reconstruction of a single West Coast cultural group yet in print. As a work of historical geography, a tour de force. John Lutz, The Canadian Historical Review
Robert Galois has produced a highly detailed reference guide summarizing the dynamic settlement history of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw. Galois does a remarkable job of portraying Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw geography during the period under study. He deftly structures complex sequences of land settlement patterns among more than thirty distinct Kwak’wala-speaking groups living along the Queen Charlotte Strait. Overall, I found Galois’ book to be informative and well crafted. Kwakwaka’wakw Settlements, 1775-1920 will serve as an important example to other scholars hoping to organize and publish materials relating to historical native occupancy of particular landscapes. It merits a place on the reference shelf of anyone doing in-depth research in Native American ethnogeography. Many such projects could profit by using this book as a model. Randy J. Bertolas, American Indian Culture and Research Journal
This book is a terribly important work ... a book that is extraordinary on its own terms. Douglas Cole, BC Studies
Robert Galois is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. He has worked extensively with Aboriginal groups in British Columbia.

Maps, Tables, and Figures


Part 1: Language, Territory, and Settlements: Perspectives on the Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw

Introductory Statement / Gloria Granmer

Webster Geography, Ethnogeography, and the Perspective of the Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw / Gloria Cranmer Webster and Jay Powell

The Kwak'wala Language / Jay Powell

Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Settlement Patterns, 1775-1920 / Robert Galois

Part 2: Gazetteer of Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Settlement Sites (Including Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Origin Narratives)

Introduction to the Gazetteer


Gilford Island Tribes

Knight Inlet Tribes

Kwakiutl Tribes

Lekwiltok Tribes

Nahwitti Tribes

Nimpkish Tribes

Northern Tribes Quatsino

Sound Tribes


1. Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Population Data

2. Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw and Salish Territory, 1792: The Voyages of Vancouver and Galiano

3. The Nahwitti Incidents of 1850 and 1851

4. Salmon Canneries Operating Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Territory, 1881-1929

5. Index of Kwakwa̲ka̲'wakw Place-names in U'mista Cultural Centre




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