Tsay Keh Dene First Nation

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Ingenika Tsay Keh Dene village

The Tsay Keh Dene First Nation is one of the Sekani bands of the Northern Interior of British Columbia. While they have an office in the City of Prince George,[1] their territories, settlements, and Indian Reserves are all to the north, in the area of Williston Lake.

Indian Reserves and Settlements[edit]

Indian Reserves and Settlements under the jurisdiction of the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation are:[2]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

The Tse Keh Nay, formerly known as the Ingenika, live at the north end of the Williston Reservoir in the community of Tsay Keh Dene.[6]:5 They have lived in the "Rocky Mountain Trench for many generations."[6] In 1824 Samuel Black, an early fur trader visited the region and kept a journal of his visit there with Tse Keh Nay Chief Methodiates and his followers. He described the historic use of the resource rich Amazay/Thutade/ Kemess area.[6]:5 Duncan (Amazay) Lake – known as Amazay Lake in Sekani – is a natural 6 kilometres (3.7 mi)-long long wilderness fish-bearing lake with rainbow trout and whitefish populations, located at the headwaters of the Findlay watershed.[6]:7657.0693921,-126.8010853,2830

"Amazay Lake is well known to the Tse Keh Nay, and like Thutade Lake, is a site for hunting, fishing and gathering that is rich in oral history. Amazay in Sekani means “little mother lake” or “very superior mother.” It is, according to the Tse Keh Nay, “right in the centre of our Tse Keh Nay territory.”

— Tse Keh Nay 2006

According to a Tsay Keh Dene Elder, the English name for Duncan Lake is associated with the story of a young Yutuwichan boy named Duncan who walked from McLeod Lake to Duncan Lake to visit his family who were wintering around the Lake. Another explanation is given by Joe Bob Patrick, who says his father named the lake after his good friend Duncan Pierre from Ingenika (Jennifer Hill, 2005 cited in Dewhirst, 2006:54). It should be noted that Duncan Pierre’s gravesite is reported to be at Amazay and that the recent archaeological research by Frank Craig suggested that site HgSq-10 "may be the final resting place of Duncan Pierre"(Craig 2006).

— CEAA 2007

Amazay Lake was the calving ground for caribou in the month of May.[6]:40

There was so much caribou up there. Amazay Lake they call it because there’s lots of caribou around that area. They say about 300. Sometimes, they say they all go around it. Now there’s nothing. You go there and nothing. They don’t see nothing anywhere around that area.

— Tse Keh Nay 2006


  1. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - First Nation Detail Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserves/Villages/Settlements Detail Archived 2012-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ BCGNIS entry "Parsnips Indian Reserve 5"[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ BCGNIS entry "Police Meadow Indian Reserve 2[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ BCGNIS entry "Tutu Creek Indian Reserve 4"[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d e Littlefield, Loraine; Dorricott, Linda; Cullon, Deidre (May 2007), Tse Keh Nay Traditional and Contemporary Use and Occupation at Amazay (Duncan Lake): A Draft Report (PDF), retrieved 16 December 2014

External links[edit]