Talk:Lil'wat First Nation
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Lil'wat and Lillooet
Had to reverse your addition, Quill, it's not right; aboriginal leaders themselves chose the name, it wasn't colonists who applied it to the people; it was teh town of Cayoosh Flat that the c olonists renamed Lillooet, and the permission of the chiefs was obtained; it was the chiefs who decided that the transplanted name would be used for all St'at['imcets speaking peoples, including those on the Lakes (Lexalexamux, today the Seton and N'Quatqua groups) and those on the Lower Lillooet River (who are not Lil'wat). I don't have my copy ofEdwards where she gives the period account, but whatevert latter-day politicized histories say the name was treated with sensitivity by teh coloniists, which is why they asked for the right to adopt it. Even so it was only the name of the town; it was the native leraders' own choice to consolidate all their different communities into one nation (later cum-tyribal council); their only commonality was St'at'imcets, and even that had dialect changes within the terirtory; Teit says that prior to Contactc there was no collective name for these pepole, and they were called Slatlemuk by their neighbours to the East - people of Slatl/Setl, one of the placenames associated with the great fishing grounds where the Bridge meets the Fraser. Pauline Johnson noted, by the way, that there was a distinct ethnic difference between the Upper and Lower Lillooet; they share a language but have differnt inheritances. As for the naming of the town the logic is that the Lillooet Trail was so named because it passed through the country of the Lil'wat, and so in llooking for a "more euphonious name" the burghers of the time liked the sounds of Lil'wat/Lillooet (Littlewhite, Liluet, and countless other variations) and it made halfway wsense as being the terminus of the trail which mostly had been through Lil'wat turf. The depredations of recent wars and of the effects of the gold rush had weakened teh chieftaincies/communities, and the leaders decided to unite and form one nation, the Stl'atl'imx chiefs (Upper Stl'atl'imx that is) made the pronouncement "we are all Liluet-ul now". Because of the history of suffering in times not longer before (wars) there's a certain tragic ring to that - as in "we are all Jews". Needless to sday the transplantation of the name to the Fraser has caused endless confusion, with no one understanding why the town of Lillooet isn't on the Lillooet River, and the "real Lillooet" (Pemberton-Mt Currie) isn't in what people today consider the Lillooet Country. The only worse name confusion in historical BC is when "Vancouver" clearly was a reference to Vancouver Island only.....Skookum1 (talk) 20:22, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
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