Qayqayt First Nation

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Traditional land of the Musqueam First Nation
New Westminster photographed in 1865. The native canoe in the foreground is offshore from the site of the village of Qayqayt.

The Qayqayt First Nation (qiqéyt) (pronounced Key-Kayt), also known as the New Westminster Indian Band, is a band government located at New Westminster, British Columbia. The Qayqayt First Nation historically spoke the Downriver Dialect of Halkomelem called hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, a Coast Salish language.[1] The qiqéyt reserve was created for the Musqueam First Nation in what is now New Westminster. The Qayqayt First Nation is one of the smallest First Nations in Canada and the only one registered without a land base.[2]


qiqéyt is a traditional Musqueam and Kwantlen village. First surveyed in 1861, qiqéyt and confirmed as Musqueam Indian Reserve #1 by the Joint Indian Reserve Commission, 1878-1880. A reserve for the “Langley Indians” (Kwantlen First Nation) was established adjacent to qiqéyt. In 1879, the federal government allocated three reserves as general reserves for “All Coastal Indians.” These reserves were established on traditional Musqueam village sites, including 104 acres (0.42 km2) of the South Westminster Reserve, 22 acres (89,000 m2) on the North Arm of the Fraser River and 27 acres (110,000 m2) on Poplar Island.[2]

On September 4, 1913 George Roberts “of the New Westminster Band of Indians” met with commissioners of the British Columbia, Royal Commission on Indian Affairs. In his interview Roberts acknowledged Musqueam “Chief Charlie”chief of Musqueam and “New Westminster” Indians.[3] Musqueam continued to live at qiqéyt into the 1930s. In 1959 this reserve was sold to pay for a water systems on Musqueam's I.R. #2. qiqéyt continues to be important to Musqueam and we continue to fish in the waters around this important village site.

In Musqueam issued their Declaration which states Musqueam’s rights and title to their unceded traditional territory and countersigned by the community at the time. qiqéyt is site #32.[4]

Kwantlen First Nation recognizes qiqeyt as a very significant part of their unceded traditional territory.


First Nation number: 566 [1]
Number of Band Members: 12 [1]

Chief and Councillors[edit]

Chief Rhonda Larrabee[2]

Treaty Process[edit]

Qayqayt are not officially involved in the British Columbia Treaty Process[2]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "New Westminster". Executive Council of British Columbia. 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Uncovering her roots". Canwest News Service. New Westminster Record. June 6, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ British Columbia, Royal Commission on Indian Affairs, Evidence Submitted to the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia: New Westminster Agency Transcripts.
  4. ^

External links[edit]