Coast Salish languages

Coast Salish
Strait of Georgia (British Columbia, Canada) and Puget Sound (Washington state)
Linguistic classification: Salishan
Central Coast 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 Strait of Georgia and Washington state around Puget Sound. The term "Coast Salish" also refers to the cultures in British Columbia and Washington who speak one of these 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 BCE. What is now Seattle, for example, has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period (c. 8,000 BCE—10,000 years ago).[1]

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

  • Island Comox (Courtenay area, east coast, central Vancouver Island)—K'omox
  • Mainland Comox (Sliammon and Homalco), Powell River-Toba Inlet, BC South Coast
  • T'souke, Sooke. (southern Vancouver Island) —North Straits Salish
  • Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo, southeast Vancouver Island, north of the Saanich)—Hunquminum
  • Saanich (Victoria area and north, southeastern Vancouver Island; also north coast of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington)—North Straits Salish
  • Somena (Cowichan Valley, west and interior southern Vancouver Island, west of the Snuneymuxw)—Hunquminum

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.[3] 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.[4]

  • Duwamish, Dkhʷ'Duw'Absh and Xacuabš (metropolitan Seattle, central Puget Sound east to blend with the Sammamish) —Lushootseed
  • Smulkamish, Green River valley near Enumclaw (south central Puget Sound) —Lushootseed[5]
  • Sammamish, eastern Duwamish (central Puget Sound, east) —Lushootseed
  • Snoqualmie, Sduqʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie River, central Puget Sound, east hills)—Lushootseed
  • Stkehlmish sacakałəbš, treaty SK-tahl-mish (north central Puget Sound, east) —Lushootseed
  • Suquamish, Suqʷabš (Agate Pass, central Puget Sound, northwest) —Lushootseed
  • Nisqually, sqʷaliʼabš (Deschutes and Nisqually rivers, southern Puget Sound)—Lushootseed
  • Muckleshoot, bəpubšł, Inland Duwamish (Black, Green, and White rivers, southeast Puget Sound)—Lushootseed
  • Puyallup, Spuyaləqəlpubšut (Puyallup River, south southeast Puget Sound)—Lushootseed
  • Sahewamish, Sʼəhiwʼabš (southwest Puget Sound, west) —Lushootseed
  • Squaxin Island Tribe (Case Inlet, southern Puget Sound) —Lushootseed[6]

Southwest Washington

See also

  • Interior Salish
  • Tillamook (extinct Salishan language.)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Carlson, Keith Thor (ed.) (2001). A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre. pp. 6–18. ISBN 1-5505-4812-3. 
  2. ^ Following source (Bates, Hess, & Hilbert) does not cover.
  3. ^ Dassow of Bates, Hess, & Hilbert (1994), pp. vii–iix
  4. ^ Suttles & Lane (1990), pp. 486–7
  5. ^ Forsman and Lewarch, Archaeology of the White River Valley, White River Journal, April 2001.[1]
  6. ^ (1) Dassow in Bates, Hess & Hilbert (1994), p. iix
    (1.1) Clallam is used for Klallam.
    (1.2) This is linguistic, so Duwamish and Sammamish blend between them as well as their being closely related.
    (2) Suttles & Lane (1990), pp. 486–7
  7. ^ Following source (Suttles & Lane) does not cover.


Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coast Salish — refers to a cultural or ethnographic designation of a subgroup of the First Nations or Native American cultures in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon who speak one of the Coast Salish languages. Although the Nuxalk (Bella Coola) are… …   Wikipedia

  • Coast Salish art — Photograph of a Musqueam (Xwemetskiwyam) house post. Coast Salish art is an art unique to the Pacific Northwest Coast among the Coast Salish peoples. Coast Salish are peoples from the Pacific Northwest Coast made up of many different languages… …   Wikipedia

  • Coast Salish peoples — For details of the language group, see Coast Salish languages. Coast Salish refers to a cultural or ethnographic designation of a subgroup of the First Nations in British Columbia, Canada and Native American cultures in Washington and Oregon in… …   Wikipedia

  • Interior Salish languages — Interior Salish is one of the two main subgroups of the Salishan language family, the other being Coast Salish, but can also refer to First Nations/Native American cultures who speak the language. The language can be divided into Northern and… …   Wikipedia

  • North Straits Salish languages — North Straits Salish Spoken in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; Washington, USA Native speakers ≈ 20  (date missing) Language family Salishan Coast …   Wikipedia

  • Salish Sea — The Salish Sea is claimed to be the traditional name used by first nations peoples for the inland waterway stretching from Tumwater, Washington to before the Johnstone Strait, British Columbia. Its first known use was in 1988, marine biolgoist… …   Wikipedia

  • Salish — /say lish/, n. a member of any of various North American Indian peoples speaking a Salishan language. [ < Southern Interior Salish séliš Flatheads] * * * ▪ people  linguistic grouping of North American Indian tribes speaking related languages and …   Universalium

  • Languages of the United States — Official language(s) none Main language(s) English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo European 3.8%, Asian …   Wikipedia

  • Salish — [ seɪlɪʃ] noun (plural same) 1》 a member of a group of American Indian peoples inhabiting areas of the north western US and the west coast of Canada. 2》 the group of related languages spoken by the Salish. Derivatives Salishan adjective Origin a… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast — This article is about the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. For other indigenous peoples see Indigenous peoples (disambiguation) Chief Anotklosh of the Taku Tribe of the Tlingit people, ca. 1913 The Indigenous peoples of the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.