Language: Tsimshian
Family: Tsimshian
Stock: Chinookan
Phylum: Macro-Penutian
Macro-Culture: Northwestern
Speakers 750   (2002 Poser)  
      The Tsimshian were a sedentary coastal hunter nation that relied heavily on fishing and were active traders. They occupied the lower course of the Skeena River and the neighboring coast with their most important location being Metlakatla. They suffered from the White influx. The tribe ultimately divided over Anglican religious views.
Aboriginal Locations (Villages)
BC     Kilutsai, Kinagingeeg, Kinuhtoiah, Kishpachlaots, Kitklaqhta, Kitlani, Kitsalthlal, Kittizoo, Kitunto, Kitwilgioks, Kitwilksheba, Kitzeesh, Kitzilas, Kitzimgaylum
Present Locations
AK    Annette Island Reserve, Metlakatla, Port Chester
BC    Hartley Bay, Hartley Bay
         Kitasoo First Nation, Klemtu
         Kitkatla First Nation, Kitkatla
         Kitselas Indian Band, Terrace
         Kitsumkalum Band, Terrace
         Lax Kw'alaams Indian Band, Prince Rupert
         Metlakatla Band, Prince Rupert
Year History
Formerly lived inland, pushed down to the Pacific in relatively late times, possibly displacing Tlingit
1787 Visited by Charles Duncan and James Colnett
1793 Area charted by Capt. George Vancouver
1831 Fort Simpson established
1835 Fort Essington established
1857 Anglican mission established at Metlakatla by Duncan ended who wrongly claimed to have ended ritual cannibalism
1862 Smallpox epidemic
187X Minor Skeena gold rush
1876 Cannery established at Skeena
1887 Duncan removed over differences with his superiors, he and many Indians removed to Annette Island
1898 Klondike gold rush
Year Population AK BC   Source
1700 8,500   8,500   NAHDB calculation
1800 8,500   8,500   NAHDB calculation
1835 8,500       Duff estimate
1885 4,500       CDIA
1895 3,550       CDIA
1900 465       Alaska
1900 4,000 500 3,500   NAHDB calculation
1963 6,475       CDIA
1980 9,494       CDIA
2000 8,300 1,300 7,000   NAHDB calculation
2001 7,201   7201   Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
2004 1,370 1,370     Alaska State Demographer
Other speakers of the same language:
Gitsan, Niska
Tsimshian Tribe Sites:
Argument Making in Riverine Tsimshian
Coast Tsimshian Language
Coast Tsimshian Language
Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian
Hartley Bay
Helin, Bill, Artist
Helin, Leeanne
Kitasoo First Nation
Kitkatla Photos
Lax Kw'alaams
Literature, Myths and Traditions of the Tsimshian
Thunderbird's Proud Heritage
Tsimshian Authors
Tsimshian First Nation Treaty
Tsimshian, Gitsan & Niska
Tsimshian Language
Tsimshian Language
Tsimshian Language
Tsimshian Language
Tsimshian Legends
Tsimshian Linguistic Lineage
Tsimshian Nation
Tsimshian Tribal Council
Tsinshian Tribe History

Last updated 11/06/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press