Hul’q’umi’num’ stories of Tth’asiyetun: The last Coast Salish warrior chief

Harvey George

About me
I am a language teacher for Cowichan Valley School District 79, and I completed the MA in Linguistics of a First Nations Language Program at SFU. I serve as a language mentor in the SFU Hul’q’umi’num’ Language Academy.

My project
This paper is about the life and times of the Coast Salish chief Tth’asiyetun, a hereditary leader of the T’eet’qe’ village, on Valdes Island, British Columbia. Tth’asiyetun was a key figure in the establishment of Fort Langley, center of the northwest fur trade, and he was the lead warrior chief at the historic battle at Maple Bay, a decisive victory over the Yuqwulhte’x raiders from the north. His descendants have since experienced their loss of land, loss of language, loss of history, and loss of dignity. The purpose of my research is to take my family’s oral histories, together with some corroborating research, and create a set of stories in our Hul’q’umi’num’ language that relate the events from a Coast Salish perspective. I offer this work as a homage to my grandmother, who taught me the importance of keeping our language strong, and to the future generations of language

Keywords: Tth’asiyetun; Coast Salish; Hul’q’umi’num’ language; Battle at Maple Bay; Fort Langley