Make your own free website on


Alternative BC First Nations Names

There has been a lot of confusion created around First Nations by the early explorers and government officials who made little attempt to find out what the proper names for native peoples.

For example, the Nootka Nation (now Nuu-chah-nulth) were incorrectly named by Captain James Cook. Nootka actually means to look out for submerged rocks.

Often recorders were only familiar with the sounds of English and could not recognize the phenomenes of the foreign language they were recording, while others did not even attempt a native name and merely assigned an English name.
bullet Atlin is now Taku Tlingit
bullet Bella Bella is now Heiltsuk
bullet Bella Coola is now Nuxalk
bullet Canyon City Band is now Gitwinksihlkw Band
bullet Clayoquot is now Tla-o-qui-aht
bullet Fraser Lake Indian Band is now Nadleh Whuten
bullet Hope Band is now Chawathil Band
bullet Ingenika is now Tsay Kay Dene
bullet Kitwancool is now Gitanyow
bullet Kootenay is now Kutenai
bullet Kwakiutl is now Kwak-waka-wakw
bullet Necoslie is now Nak'azdli
bullet Niska and Nishga are now Nisga'a
bullet Nitinat is now Ditidaht
bullet Nootka is now Nuu-chah-nulth
bullet Shuswap is now Secwepemc
bullet Stuart Trembleur Band is now Tl'azt'en Nation