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Place-names of the Island Halkomelem Indian people Rozen, David Lewis

Abstract

The Island Halkomelem Indian people live on the southeastern part of Vancouver Island and on some of the southern Gulf Islands in British Columbia. A total of three hundred two (302) place-names are known to these people today, in their Coast Salish language. Each of these names is transcribed in a practical writing system, corresponding to the pronunciation of the Indian words by some of the thirteen elderly Island Halkomelem people who collaborated on this study. For each geographical name, information regarding its traditional and present utilization by the Indians is given. This data is derived from interviews with the Indian people conducted by the author over a ten year period and also includes all the available information on each place-name from the pertinent ethnographic, linguistic and historical literature. After the information on the place-names is presented a brief analysis of the Indian names is attempted, focusing on a preliminary typology of the names derived from the use, English translations and etymologies of each name. A complete and detailed series of maps is included. The study concludes with some statements about how the Indian geographical toponymy reflects Island Halkomelem culture.

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