Coast Salish

Coast Salish

Coast Salish: see Salish.

Coast Salish languages are a subgroup of the Salishan language family. These languages are spoken by First Nations or Native American peoples inhabiting the territory that is now the southwest coast of British Columbia around the Georgia Strait and the state of Washington around Puget Sound. The term "Coast Salish" also refers to the cultures in British Columbia and Washington who speak one of these many languages or dialects.


The Coast Salish languages are spoken around most of the Georgia and Puget Sound Basins, an area that encompasses the sites of the modern-day cities of Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle, Washington, and others. Archeological evidence indicates that Coast Salish peoples may have inhabited the area as far back as 9000 B.C.E. What is now Seattle, for example, has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period (c. 8,000 B.C.E.—10,000 years ago).

In the past, the Nuxálk (or Bella Coola) of British Columbia's Central Coast have also been considered Coast Salish. This language shares at least one phonological change with Coast Salish (the merger of the Proto-Salish pharyngeal approximants with the uvular fricatives), but it also displays certain similarities to the Interior Salish languages. If it is indeed a member of the Coast Salish branch, it was the first to split off from the rest.

Language group: Peoples speaking a Coast Salish language

Listings are from north to south. Peoples generally inhabited the mentioned watershed and the shores if a body of water is mentioned, as well as further environs. Adjacent tribes or nations often shared adjacent resources and other practices, so boundaries were seldom distinct.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound

Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, are categorized north to south but otherwise are alphabetical. Northern Lushootseed is spoken around northern Puget Sound, Southern Lushootseed around central and south Sound. Before treaties of 1854–1855, more than fifty named tribes existed, each with one or more winter villages and several summer camps as well as traditionally-allocated resource sites.

Southwest Washington

See also

Notes and references


  • Bates, Dawn; Hess, Thom; Hilbert, Vi; map by Dassow, Laura (1994). Lushootseed dictionary. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. ISBN (alk. paper).
    Completely reformatted, greatly revised and expanded update of Hess, Thom, Dictionary of Puget Salish (University of Washington Press, 1976).
  • Boyd, Robert (1999). The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline Among Northwest Coast Indians,. Seattle and Vancouver: University of Washington Press and University of British Columbia Press. ISBN (alk. paper), ISBN.
  • Cole, Douglas and Chaikin, Ira (1990). An iron hand upon the people: the law against the potlatch on the Northwest coast. Vancouver and Seattle: Douglas & McIntyre and University of Washington Press. ISBN (acid-free paper).
  • Czaykowska-Higgins, Ewa and M. Dale Kinkade (1998) "Salish languages and linguistics" in ibid. (eds.) Salish Languages and Linguistics: Theoretical and Descriptive Perspectives. New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 1-71.
  • Dailey, Tom "Duwamish-Seattle". "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound". Retrieved on 2006-04-21..
    Page links to Village Descriptions Duwamish-Seattle section
    Dailey referenced "Puget Sound Geography" by T. T. Waterman. Washington DC: National Anthropological Archives, mss. [n.d.] [ref. 2];
    Duwamish et al vs. United States of America, F-275. Washington DC: US Court of Claims, 1927. [ref. 5];
    "Indian Lake Washington" by David Buerge in the Seattle Weekly, 1-7 August 1984 [ref. 8];
    "Seattle Before Seattle" by David Buerge in the Seattle Weekly, 17-23 December 1980. [ref. 9];
    The Puyallup-Nisqually by Marian W. Smith. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940. [ref. 10].
    Recommended start is "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound"
  • Kroeber, Paul D. (1999) The Salish Language Family: Reconstructing Syntax. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Lange, Greg "Smallpox Epidemic of 1862 among Northwest Coast and Puget Sound Indians". Essay 5171. Retrieved on 2006-07-21..
    Lange referenced a very extensive list.
    Summary article
  • Seattle (Si'al). In Encyclopedia of North American Indians (1996). Houghton Mifflin. ISBN. Retrieved on 2006-05-21..
  • "The people and their land". "Puget Sound Native Art and Culture". Seattle Art Museum. Retrieved on 2006-04-21..
  • South Coast Salish. In Handbook of North American Indians (7. Northwest coast, p. 491). Smithsonian Institution. ISBN (v. 7). Retrieved on 2006-08-06..
  • Talbert, Paul "SkEba'kst: The Lake People and Seward Park". The History of Seward Park. Retrieved on 2006-06-06..
  • Languages. In Handbook of North American Indians (7. Northwest coast, pp. 30-51). Smithsonian Institution. ISBN (v. 7). Retrieved on 2006-08-06..
    Wayne Suttles (ed.)

Further reading

External links

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