The Sechelt (English pronunciation: "SEA - Shelt " ) or Shishalh, ( in Sechelt: Shishá7lh ) is a Canadian First Nations in the province of British Columbia and are culturally and linguistically closely related Pentlatch ( Puntletch or Puntledge ) and the Comox groups ( Comox ( K'omoks ) Homalco ( Xwemalhkwu ) Klahoose ( ƛohos ) and Sliammon ( ɬəʔamɛn or Tla'amin ) ) to the coastal Salish. At the time of first contact with Europeans the Shishalh ( Sechelt ) were among an estimated 26,000 tribal members.

The Sechelt ( Shishalh ) First Nation, officially Sechelt Indian band called, is now against the east coast of Vancouver Iceland on the eastern side of the Strait of Georgia to the place named after them Sechelt as the administrative headquarters. Today ( September 2013 ) it is one of 1,328 registered tribal members, of whom 630 live in their own reserves, 29 in other reserves and the remaining 669 tribal members outside.


Their language, Sháshíshálh / She Sháshíshálhem ( šášíšáɬəm ) or Sechelt, belongs to the Northern Georgia Strait Coast Salish or Northern ( Coast) Salish of the Central Coast Salish (Central Coast Salish ) of the Salish languages ​​and is closely related to the Comox Sliammon or ( Ay- Ay- Ju - Thum / Salhulhtxw ) of Comox groups and the Pentlatch or Puntletch / Puntledge ( Pənƛ̕áč ) the Pentlatch.

However, now dominate only up to 45 Shishalh - with various levels - their native language fluently; thereof 15 Shishalh liquid and the other 10 to 15 can lead a conversation and follow it. ( Golla 2007).


Today's Shishalh ( Sechelt ) are descendants of the four major clans or sub- groups living in each case in a main village and some smaller settlements; Moreover, the distinction between Shishalh winter - and summer villages.

  • The xénichen ( at Queen 's Reach, the northernmost arm of the Jervis Inlet)
  • The ts' únay ( in Jervis Inlet on the Deserted Bay, where once the Shishalh village Tsuahdie - " place to seek refuge / protection" was that left her for grizzly attacks, saying, deserted was )
  • The téwánkw ( in Sechelt Inlet, Salmon Inlet and Narrow Inlet) and
  • The sxixus (of Pender Harbour, a bay of the Sunshine Coast, up to the present Roberts Creek, which has traditionally been considered as the boundary between the tribal areas of Shishalh and Squamish ( Skwxwu7mesh ) )

In 1925 they joined officially to the Sechelt Indian Band together.

Catholic mission and reserves

As probably the first white missionary Paul Durieu (1830-1899) came to the region. He was already 1848/49 joined the Oblate Order. In 1854 he completed his priestly formation and was the principles with: instruction in the language of those who are to be evangelized, establishment of mission schools and non-interference in the internal affairs of the tribes. The end of 1854 he worked in Oregon, where he " watchmen " the establishment of the met: men who watch and report in the absence of the priest about the lifestyle of the missionaries should. Here, they imagined the model of the Jesuits of Paraguay, who adapted their Catholic traditions to the local, to change the way of life for very long periods. This in turn meant that, under the Catholic sheath survival of traditional culture was possible.

But were the Catholic, French -speaking missionaries with the settlers unpopular and had to be withdrawn soon. During the uprising of the Yakima ( Washington) 1855-56 Durieu had to flee and should now proselytize among the Snohomish, a Salish tribe. Your new headquarters was Esquimalt (British Columbia) on Vancouver Iceland. 1859/60 Durieu was sent to the Coastal Salish, 1864 the Salish in the Fraser Valley. 1865 again he went to the Kwakwaka'wakw near Beaver Harbour.

The smallpox epidemic of 1862 is pleasing to almost the entire tribe of Sechelt victim. About 200 of them survived. This disaster led to a mass conversion to Catholicism. On December 7, 1876 Sechelt ( " Se Shell" ) was assigned its present reserve.

At the end of the 60s dominated the Temperance Society Courts, the Courts of temperance society, chaired by the itinerant missionaries the right to life and monitored the morale of the remaining Salish. The missionaries translated the essential texts of the liturgy in the lingua franca of the area, the Chinook, 1892 also appeared the Bible in this language. Durieu was promoted in 1870 to the General of the Order, 1875 to the bishop.

Despite the paternalistic care were the few Sechelt, and also the other Salish tribes to rely on their help in the battle for pledged rights, such as reserves. At the same time, the Anglican -dominated government worried the success of the missionaries in their church ceremonies - called " potlatches " - gathered up to 3,000 Indians. Methodists and Anglicans soon copied their missionary methods. The Oblates serviced with 24 priests around 70 Indian communities. Sechelt received in 1901 for the first time a permanent resident priest. Durieu founded music groups and choirs and a theater group. He also tried to make the communities economically on its own legs and encouraged to massive logging and industrial fishing.

The Chirouse scandal from 1892 showed early on but the violence of the mission schools. Father Eugène- Casimir Chirouse of the mission of Snohomish had flogged an Indian girl and was being held in court. The system Durieu, almost a theocracy, fell into disrepute.

Nevertheless Chateleech the first residential school was built. In Sechelt St. Augustine's Residential School was opened on June 29, 1904 in what is now the House of Chiefs is. 1917 burned the school as from, but was re- established in 1922 and existed until the 60s. The Sechelt had to hand their totem poles burn and other " paraphernalia of the medicine men".

1881 were still alive 167 of 5,000 once have Sechelt. The " great fire ", which had once extended from Gower Point to Saltery Bay, their culture, songs, chants, dances, stories and art skills seemed lost.


Salmon was, as everywhere on the Pacific coast, the main food of the Coast Salish and thus the Shishalh. In their culture, it plays an important role similar to Eagle, Raven, Bear, Wolf and whale. The Thunderbird is considered as Lord of heaven, the serpent as the mistress of the sea. A third animal, remotely similar to a frog, represented happiness. In the totem poles, these motifs, the symbols of the clans appear very often, do so. The carvings may not export any case, the position as the " Carver " is hereditary and spiritually in a high degree.

In the House of hewhiwas, the House of Chiefs, on Highway 101, the museum system swiya place ( our work ), which is only open in the summer. In addition to carvings are found there canoes, basketry, tools, ceremonial objects, but also photographs of rock art ( pictographs ).

Mount Daniel (419 m) ​​was, according to legend, used by the Shishalh as a lookout, to avoid being surprised by enemies. But he had another function: the top of the mountain - Kwiss Cham - was the place where the girls of the tribe celebrated her transition into womanhood. In a large circle stones were placed, representing the moon, and in which the girls prayed and meditated for several days. This moon rings are now under protection and are among the archaeological sites in the province. Before her visit, you should contact the Shishalh and take their guided tour.

European settlers

1869 took John Scales, a British engineer, land on the Bay Trail in possession, and later at the Porpoise Bay. But he never moved to the area. He sold his property to Thomas John and Sarah Cook, which are considered the first white settlers. 1904 built the Whitaker family a landing Featured in Porpoise Bay Trail and the steam boats, the Union Steamships. The main industries were soon logging, fishing and especially tourism.


The Sechelt First Nation were the first in Canada, the achieved self-government (self -government) in 1986. Faceless totem poles in front of the Museum of Shishalh to the time before 1986, symbolize, as the Indians believed to have lost their identity today. Since then, the stakes wear again faces.

On Hidden Grove Trail, about 4 km past the Porpoise Bay Park, a small, now protected forest is one of the once numerous giants, the "Lonely Giant".

To the Caren Range, where a jungle is what would have been almost cut in the 70 years since 2005 leads to a heavy dispute. It is 800 ha within the set in 2000 Spipiyus Provincial Park, which covers approximately 3,000 hectares. The Pan Pacific Aggregates received at the beginning of the mining rights for raw materials on the entire Sechelt Peninsula, this includes the Caren Range. Pan Pacific plans to build a mine in Spipiyus Provincial Park. This was done without consulting the Shishalh by the competent Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

The Friends of Sechelt Peninsula asked the Shishalh for support against the company, which had explains the rejection in a referendum on 19 August 2006. They wrote on 14 November 2006 an open letter to PPA. Early March 2007, it was decided that the project of a test is subjected to environmental impact.

At the same time take the Shishalh since June 7, 2006, attempting to create an archaeological inventory of the risk of the commodity business area. Several sites have been identified, but without the criteria of the BC Heritage Conservation Act to suffice.

Today's reserves

Today, a total of 33 reserves or Sechelt band form Lands (SBL ) of the Sechelt Indian Band to Sechelt Indian Government District, which has the status of a Regional Municipality - 32 SBL `s located in the district of Sunshine Coast Regional District and a SBL ` s in the district Powell River Regional District.

The largest reserves or SBL `s Sechelt band Lands 2 ( 241.2 ha), where most live Sechelt, Sechelt band Lands 15 ( 293.2 ha), also called Tsouahdie ( Coast Deserted Bay from the right bank of the Stakawus Creek to the mouth of Deserted River, Jervis Inlet) and Sechelt band Lands 27 ( Skookumchuck ) ( 103.2 ha) and country band 11 ( Hunaechin ). These numerous, sometimes very small reservations come at the mouth of Wilson Creek to the Porpoise Bay, the Narrows Inlet, on Jervis Inlet, Princess Louisa Inlet on to Pender Harbour, on the Francis Peninsula, between Lake and Sakinaw Agamemnon Channel, as well as at the Malaspina Strait.

Successor of Chief Stan Dixon, Garry Peschuk is surrounded by four consultants.