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Introductions - Kwakwaka'wakw
Ever since the white people first came to our lands, we have been known as the Kwawkewlths by Indian Affairs or as the Kwakiutl by anthropologists. In fact, we are the Kwakwaka'wakw, people who speak the Kwa„wala language, but live in different places and have different names for our separate groups.

We the Kwakwaka'wakw are related to other groups here on the Northwest Coast. A long time ago there was a single tribe that split up and became several tribes, which are all related to us. Our closest relatives are the Hi‡dzakw (of Bella Bella), the Awik'inuxw (of Rivers Inlet), and the Xa'esala (of Kitimat). More distantly related are the West Coast People (Kwikwasadzi the Nootka and Nitinat) and the Makah Tribe of Washington.

All of us, who are related because we come from that original tribe that split up, are called the "Wakashan Language Family". That word is pronounced [Wuh-CASH-shun].

Each of those related groups speaks a different language now, so they are not Kwakwaka'wakw. All of the Kwakwaka'wakw can understand each other, even though we use some words with a different dialect.

Some of the Kwakwaka'wakw have disappeared, among them the Awa'et‡ala of Knight Inlet, the Nakamgalisala of Hope Island, the Yut‡inux of Cox and Lanz Islands. A few of the groups died out, while some amalgamated with other groups. Some of the villages have been abandoned for years.
Kwakwaka'wakw Tribes - Order of Rank
Tribe
Village
English Name
 
Kwagu'‡
Tsaxis
Fort Rupert
Mamalilikala
'Mimkwamlis
Village Island
'Namgis
Xwalkw
Cheslakees
–awit'sis
Kalugwis
Turnour Island
A'wa'et‡ala
Dzawadi
Knight Inlet
Da'naxda'xw
˜sadzis' nukwame'
New Vancouver
Ma'amtagila
I'tsikan
Etsekin
Dzawada'enux
Gwa'yi
Kingcome Inlet
Kwikwasut'inux
Gwa'yasdam's
Gilford Island
Gwawa'enux
Hegam's
Hope Town
'Nak'waxda'xw
Ba'as
Blunden Harbour
Gwa'sala
Ta„us
Smith's Inlet
Gusgimukw
Xwatis
Quatsino
Gwat'sinux
Oyagamla
Winter Harbour
T'‡at'‡asikwala
Xwamdasbe'
Hope Island
Weka'yi
˜sakwa'lutan
Cape Mudge
Wiwekam
T‡a'mataxw
Campbell River
Click here to view a larger version of the Kwakwaka'wakw territory map.
Click on the inset for a larger version of the Kwakwaka'wakw territory map.
 
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