Shishalh

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The Sechelt or Shishalh people, (in their language spelled Shishá7lh) are an indigenous people of Canada. At the time of the first European contact the Sechelt had a population of close to 26,000.[citation needed] Sechelt women were famous for their beautiful cedar woven baskets, which were made using materials such as cedar tree roots, cannery grass and birch bark.

The Sechelt First Nations settlement included four villages on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, two in Jervis Inlet, and one each on Pender Harbour and on Sechelt Inlet. As the Europeans settled in the region, the Sechelt people experienced numerous changes. Disease (especially smallpox) became rampant, and resulted in a severe decrease of the Sechelt population at their various traditional settlements.

The language of the Sechelt is called sháshíshálh. "Shashishalhem" is considered the most practical English spelling of this word. Sháshíshálh is part of the Coast Salish language group. As of 2014, the Coastal Corridor Consortium, "an entity made up of board members from First Nations and educational partners to improve aboriginal access to and performance in postsecondary education and training" has created a Sechelt Nation language certificate.[1]

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  1. ^ Wood, Stephanie (2014-01-22). "Despite limited resources, indigenous-language programs persevere in B.C.". Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 

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