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This page needs a lot of work. Many of the claims made in the last section are unsubstaniated, unclear, and irrelevant. It would be great if someone familiar with the details of the Tsimshian culture could help to make this more specific and accurate or rewrite the whole section. Dan Lesh 07:08, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Notes for later on dialects[edit]

Came across Gitgaat Community Language page, which is about the small community of Hartley Bay, British Columbia, which was in the news lately re the Queen of the North sinking. Quoted from that webpage for later writers of this page:

The Gitga’at originally spoke Sguuks or Sguumxs (Southern Tsimshian), but adopted the more widely spoken Sm’algyax (Coast Tsimshian) during their stay with missionary William Duncan in Metlakatla. Sm’algyax literally means ‘the Real Language’ or ‘Real Talk’. The Sm’algyax name for Hartley Bay is Txalgiu. Sm’algyax was historically an oral language. Christian missionaries were the first to write the language when they completed translations of the Bible. English is presently the predominant language of the Gitga’at community in Hartley Bay, although many elders remain fluent in Sm’algyax and the village school continues traditional language programs.Skookum1 01:45, 17 May 2006 (UTC)


Hello, could somebody possibly add something on Proto-Tsimshian, regular phonological and morphological correspondences between the individual Tsimshian languages and the reconstructed proto-language itself? Thank you very much in advance! :-) --Pet'usek [petr dot hrubis at gmail dot com] 23:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

That should have to be a different article; if it's not created it could be in Tsimshian language or Sm’algyax (some BC languages use the English form, others such as St'at'imcets and Kwak'wala use the native form); and proto-Tsimshian might qualify as its own article; according to standards emergent in the WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America, this article should be ethnographic/cutlural and government and language and separate community/reserve articles should be made separately, and belong to different categories.Skookum1 21:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Currently the word "Proto-Tsimshian" is only used by John A. Dunn, whose reconstruction is based mostly on Coast Tsimshian. On the other hand, I have been working for years on the reconstruction of "Proto-Tsimshianic", based on all 4 varieties of the Tsimshianic family. According to this work, Southern Tsimshian is closest to the proto-language, especially for the vowels and the initial consonants, followed by Nisqa'a for the final consonants. In terms of consonants, Coast Tsimshian appears to have diverged the most from the proto-language, which is why it is unreliable as the main basis for reconstruction. I have used my Proto-Tsimshianic reconstructions (still in progress) as the basis of comparison of the Tsimshianic and Penutian languages. Slight resemblances between Tsimshianic and Indo-European are mentioned in my article "Tsimshianic and Penutian" (see reference under "Penutian languages" - those languages struck Edward Sapir as having some IE characteristics, without leading him to postulate a true relationship).

Penutgirl 20:48, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Re separate Tsimshian language article[edit]

Hi; I just found Coast Tsimshian which as this article notes is an obsolete terminology; it's also about the language, i.e. it's a language article and so needs to be differently titled anyway. Please see Talk:Coast Tsimshian for more on this; basically Tsimshian language currently redirects here but it should be a separate language article. I'm posting this notice and will wait a week or so for input/discussion before going ahead and converting the Tsimshian language redirect into a language article, which will have redirects from Sm'algyax etc.; Coast Tsimshian probably would do best as a dab page because of people still looking for either the language or the people under that name. And can someone here name for me any tribal councils in addition to band governments, as the Tsimshian Tribal Council no longer exists (but should have an article as a historical entity anyway).Skookum1 22:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


Unless I'm somehow reading it wrong, this globe&mail article claims Iona Campagnolo has a native Tsimsean name, "Person Who Sits High." She isn't Tsimshian is she? Anyone have any idea where this came from? - TheMightyQuill 18:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

[1] Oh, forget it, it's honourary Though according to the encyclopedia, person who sits high is her haida name, not tsimshian. - TheMightyQuill 18:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

"related groups" info removed from infobox[edit]

For dedicated editors of this page: The "Related Groups" info was removed from all {{Infobox Ethnic group}} infoboxes. Comments may be left on the Ethnic groups talk page. Ling.Nut 20:18, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Looking for names[edit]

One of my great grandfathers was allegedly the chief of the Tsimshian nation until 1887 when he was lead by Willian Duncan with several tribes members to Annette Island, Alaska. I'm trying to find out his name and more about my family and ancestry. If anyone can help, please contact me at Thank you very much.

Shoshannah —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shoshannah Whiteraven (talkcontribs) 16:51, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation & IPA for English[edit]

I have a question about the {{pron-en}} IPA given here. I'm not expert on IPA but made a stab at rendering Tsimshian in IPA based on the OED and this page on FN pronunciations, before realizing there was already an IPA pronunciation here. There's a couple of differences between my attempt and the IPA here. My attempt: /sɪmˈʃiː.ən/. The IPA given here: /ˈsɪmʃiən/. A couple questions. First, the /i/ used here. On the WP:IPAEN page there is no /i/ listed. Isn't this the "ee" sound, as in flEEce, sEEd, etc? The IPAEN page gives /iː/ for that. Second, while the OED says the stress is on the first syllable, the BC FN pronunciation guide linked above accents the second syllable, sim-SHE-an. So I'm just wondering if anyone can shed any light on this for me. Thanks. Pfly (talk) 05:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

External Link[edit]

I added the external link of tismshian text but I was not logged in. So I am just informing everyone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tenklop (talkcontribs) 23:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Prominent Tsimshians[edit]

How about Janie Leask?RadioKAOS (talk) 23:29, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Redlinks from article[edit]

I'm placing these on the talk page just in case anyone wants to develop the articles. -Uyvsdi (talk) 00:26, 2 July 2013 (UTC)Uyvsdi

archival image from British Library collection at Commons[edit]

Not much to be done with it yet, it needs cropping and contrast-boosting, but nice picture

Tsimpsian tribe No 2010 (HS85-10-11581).jpg

.Skookum1 (talk) 08:39, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Tsimpsian Tribe (Nelson's Cornet Band of Port Simpson B.C.)[edit]

Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 00:03, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Chipewyan people which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 09:14, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move. As with other similar moves, we appear to have an emerging consensus that the people are the primary topic of "Tsimshian" and should be at the base name Cúchullain t/c 17:53, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Tsimshian peopleTsimshian – target is redirect to current title, created by Kwami on Jun 28 2011] with no regard for PRIMARYTOPIC or UNDAB or provably stand-alone use as is the norm. Skookum1 (talk) 05:48, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Oppose. We have policy that the people should go at "XXX people" and the language at "XXX language", with "XXX" being a dab page, see WP:NCL. If you don't like that, try to change the policy. --JorisvS (talk) 09:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I will because that policy is in violation of WP:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes) and also WP:UNDAB and also PRIMARYTOPIC; this redirect is unnecessary and the "policy" you cite was, though discussed on WP:NCLANG's talkpage, not fielded at all the affected WikiProjects (NorthAmNative and Ethnic Groups for starters). The language's name, also common in Canadian English like others that got changed by that same editor on his "anglicizing" kick, is Sm'algyax and should be considered re WP:ETHNICGROUPS. I note that the original title was Coast Tsimshian arbitrarily moved to "Coast Tsimshian language" by Kwami on Jun 8 2010 and then moved to "Coast Tsimshian dialect" by him on Oct 4 2013; I daresay per WP:ETHNICGROUP if you asked people up there what language they speak they'd consider it a language and all this "dialect" renaming is highly questionable on various grounds; they'd more likely say "Sma'lgyax" anyway, when speaking English, as would those who live around them. What a cabal of wiki-linguists obsessing their own self-derived-without-broad-discussion guideline is really quite irrelevant to the matter at hand; which is that Tsimshian needs no disambiguation as a people article per WP:ETHNICGROUP. Or do you have time to read any guidelines but the one you keep on citing, even though it's seriously flawed????Skookum1 (talk) 09:27, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose until the issue is addressed properly. These should be discussed at a centralized location.
There was a discussion once on whether the ethnicity should have precedence for the name, and it was decided it shouldn't. That could be revisited. But it really should be one discussion on the principle, not thousands of separate discussions at every ethnicity in the world over whether it should be at "X", "Xs", or "X people". — kwami (talk) 12:26, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
  • "These should be discussed at a centralized location." LOL that's funny I already tried that and got criticized for mis-procedure. Your pet guideline was never discussed at a central location nor even brought up with other affected/conflicting guidelines nor any relevant wikiprojects. And as for "There was a discussion once on whether the ethnicity should have precedence for the name, and it was decided it shouldn't" that's fine to say about a discussion that you presided over on an isolated guideline talkpage that you didn't invite anyone but your friends into..... WP:ETHNICGROUPS is clear on the variability of "X", "Xs", or "X people" and says nothing being people mandatorily added as you rewrote your guideline to promote/enact. It says quite the opposite; the CRITERIA page also says that prior consensus should be respected, and those who crafted it an attempt to contact them towards building a new consensus done; and calls for consistency within related topics which "we" long ago had devised the use of "FOO" and often "PREFERRED ENDONYM" (for Canada especially, where such terms are common English now and your pet terms are obsolete and in disuse and often of clearly racist origin e.g. Slavey people). The crafters of the ethnicities and tribes naming convention (which your guideline violates) clearly respected our collective decisions/consensus from long ago re both standalone names without "people/tribe/nation/peoples" unless absolutely necessary and also re the use of endonyms where available; but when I brought it up in the RMs of last year you insulted and baited me and still lost. Now you want a centralized discussion when you made no such effort yourself and were in fact dismissive about any such effort. Pfft. NCLANG fans like to pretend WP:OWNership on this issue, especially yourself as its author but that's a crock. The way to "address this issue properly" is to examine all of these, but bulk of them needless directs from then-long-standing titles moved by yourself, one by one as I was instructed/advised re the bulk RMs; as case-by-case decisions are needed. You want a centralized discussion, but never held one yourself.Skookum1 (talk) 12:45, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Most people didn't care about that it happened at a central location, myself included. If something is wrong in guidelines, bring it up, discuss it, so that something better may be found. This may take a while, but is better than leaving it as it is. For example, a mistake in the MOS was found in a discussion I was involved in many months ago and I have been addressing the issue ever since. --JorisvS (talk) 13:02, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. An identified people should be the primary topic of a term absent something remarkable standing in the way. bd2412 T 02:40, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
User:JorisvS, there is no policy that says any such thing as articles must be at "foo people" or "foo language". There are two guidelines, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (languages) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes). Both of those guides support the un-disambiguated terms as does a policy, Wikipedia:Article titles#Use commonly recognizable names and Wikipedia:Article titles#Precision. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 03:27, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per CambridgeBayWeather. In cases where the requested move simply eliminates the word "people", and the destination title is already a simple redirect to the current title, it is clear that guidelines favoring both precision and conciseness support the move. Xoloz (talk) 17:36, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
There was a discussion and a subsequent unanimous vote in favor of explicit disambiguation of people–language pairs. "Tsimshian" can refer to both the people and the language, which means it falls under "Where a common name exists in English for both a people and their language, a title based on that term, with explicit disambiguation, is preferred for both articles". "Tsimshian" was made a dab page in response to this guideline, only to be made a redirect later without discussion. --JorisvS (talk) 15:13, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Is that a template or just a copy-paste you're using to repeat your post across all these RMs? Hell I guess I'll copy paste to, since I'm replying to the same as-if-bot-generated comment. Here are view stats that debunk the premise that "people-language pairs" are a legitimate primarytopic equation, which is demonstrably bunk:
That's a more than 10:1 ratio....your premise that "people-language pairs" exist as equally primary topics is rubbish, and demonstrable over and over again; one of the many flawed in NCL. Next time your crew revises that guideline, you should learn some math first and actually look at stats and, oh, sources too....Skookum1 (talk) 16:27, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Tsimshian/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Reasonable amount of text; needs thorough expansion/revision and maps. Language content (when written, which it's not except at Category:Tsimshianic languages) should be separated --Skookum1 (6 May 06)

Last edited at 17:54, 8 April 2014 (UTC). Substituted at 09:20, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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