(Redirected from St'at'imc)

The Stʼatʼimc (IPA: [ˈst͡ɬʼæt͡ɬʼemx]), also known as the Lillooet (/ˈlɪluɛt/), St̓át̓imc, Stl'atl'imx (/slætˈləm/), etc., are an Interior Salish people located in the southern Coast Mountains and Fraser Canyon region of the Interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Charles Gentile-Lillooet Indians (cropped).jpg
Total population
6,260 approx.
Regions with significant populations
 Canada ( British Columbia)
English, Stʼatʼimcets
Christianity, Animism, other
Related ethnic groups
other Interior Salish-speaking peoples
Flag of the Stʼatʼimc Nation
Stʼatʼimc tray at UBC Museum of Anthropology

Stʼatʼimc culture displayed many features typical of Northwest Coast peoples: the potlatch, clan names, mythology, prestige afforded the wealthy and generous, and totem poles in some communities, especially in the Lil'wat First Nation (Lil'wat7ul), whose tribal lands and trade routes in the Whistler Valley and Green River Valley overlapped with those of the Squamish First Nation, a Coast Salish people.[1] Today they total about 6259.


The Stʼatʼimc are divided linguistically, culturally and geographically into two main tribes or First Nations.[2]

  • The Upper Stʼatʼimc (Upper Lillooet or Fraser River Lillooet), living near the present city of Lillooet on the Fraser River. They refer to themselves as STLA'tlei-mu-wh-talk and speak Stʼatʼimcets dialect.
  • The Lower Stʼatʼimc (Lower Lillooet or Mount Currie Lillooet), living in the vicinity of today's Mount Currie in the Pemberton Valley and south to Skookumchuk. They refer to themselves as LEEL'-wat-OOL - 'The true People', 'The true Lillooet' (of which were the words 'Lillooet' and 'Lilwat' derived) and speak Ucwalmícwts dialect.
  • The Lakes Lillooet (Lexalexamux or Tsala'lhmec - 'Lake People'),[3] a group only sporadically recognized, living between the territories of Upper Stʼatʼimc and Lower Stʼatʼimc around Seton Lake and Anderson Lake - whose descendants are today's N'quatqua First Nation (also known as Anderson Lake Indian Band) and Seton Lake First Nation (also known as Seton Lake Indian Band), historically a group at the foot of Seton Lake, near Lillooet, known as the Skimka'imx were also included in this group.[4]

Lower StʼatʼimcEdit

The tiny and remote communities of Samahquam, Xa'xtsa and Ska'tin Bands collectively, including the Tenas Lake Band, seceded from the larger Lillooet Tribal Council (now called the Stʼatʼimc Nation) at the same time to join the N'quatqua First Nation at (D'Arcy) to form the In-SHUCK-ch Nation. Since the 1980s these First Nations called themselves Nsvq’tsmc ('In-SHUCK-ch micw'), derived from Nsvq’ts - 'split like a crutch', the name of the holy mountain, now called In-SHUCK-ch Mountain (also called Gunsight Mountain).

Upper StʼatʼimcEdit

The tribal territory of the different groups of the Upper Stʼátʼimc extended west of the Fraser River from the mouth of the Pavilion Creek (′Sk'elpáqs′) to the Texas Creek in the mountains above the Bridge River and westward through the valleys of Seton Lake and Anderson Lake to Duffey Lake. The territory of the Upper Stʼátʼimc east of the Fraser River included the Three Lake Valley (also known as Fountain Valley) and the adjacent mountains and stretched towards the Hat Creek, a tributary of the Bonaparte River.

The Upper Stʼátʼimc settled in several main settlements on the banks above the Fraser River and on the banks of the Seton and Anderson Lake — probably the word 'Stʼátʼimc' is derived from a former village Tʼatʼlh on Keatley Creek. Previous there were the following communities: Sk'ámqain on the shore of Seton Lake, Satʼ at the site of present-day city of Lillooet, Nxwísten at the mouth of the Bridge River, Xáxlip (′Fountain′), Slha7äs and Tsal'álh along Seton Lake and Nk'wátkwa on the western shore of Lake Anderson. Beside those significant settlements there have been several smaller villages. In Pavilion (Tsk'wáylacw), a mainly ethnically and linguistically Secwepemc settlement in the 19th century, since the beginning of the 20th century this community speaks usually Stʼatʼimcets, but their particular dialect is a hybrid of Stʼatʼimcets and Secwepemctsin, because there had been many mixed marriages between Secwepemc and Stʼátʼimc, know forming the Tsk'weylecw'mc or Pavilion Indian Band.


They had several types of dwellings—long plank houses, winter earthlodges, and summer bark- or mat-covered lodges, not unlike those at the Keatley Creek Archaeological Site. Salmon and other fish were the basis of the economy, and numerous animals (bear, sheep, caribou, deer, and small mammals) were hunted and trapped, and berries and fruit were gathered. Warfare with other groups was unusual, with intensive intertribal trade the more typical state of affairs. The Tsilhqot’in-St’at’imc war was one brutal war for the St’at’imc and threatened their survival as a nation. The Tsilhqot’in raided all 11 bands of the Stʼatʼimc and took women and children as slaves. Both nations met at many roots (Graveyard Valley) in the St’at’imc territory at which the Stʼatʼimc were victorious. Chief In-Kick-Tee (Hunter Jack) was the warchief in that battle and made a peace treaty in 1845.

Declaration of the Lillooet TribeEdit

The declaration of the Lillooet Tribe was made in 1911 in Spences Bridge and is the nation's declaration of ownership over lands that had been seized by non-native settlers at Seton Portage at the onset of the 20th century, and is considered a general statement of principle regarding ownership of all traditional territories of the Stʼatʼimcets-speaking peoples. The Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe is the Lillooet Tribe's first formal declaration to the world of the tribes status as a Country, in International terms, as they understood them at that time. The Declaration is mentioned as the foundation document of all the various organizations of the Lillooet Tribe in place today, such as the Stʼatʼimc Chiefs Council, Lillooet Tribal Council and the In-SHUCK-ch Nation. The Declaration brings the tribe together at the grassroots level as a Country.


The ancestral language of the Stʼátʼimc people is Lillooet (also known as Stʼatʼimcets, also spelled St̓át̓imcets or sometimes even Sƛ̓áƛ̓imxəc, pronounced [ˈʃtɬʼætɬʼɪmxətʃ]), a member of the Interior Salish group which includes the languages of the neighbouring Secwepemc (Shuswap) and Nlaka'pamux (Thompson) peoples.



  • Joseph, Marie. (1979). Cuystwí malh Ucwalmícwts: Ucwalmícwts curriculum for beginners. Mount Currie, B.C.: Ts’zil Publishing House. ISBN.
  • Larochell, Martina; van Eijk, Jan P.; & Williams, Lorna. (1981). Cuystwí malh Ucwalmícwts: Lillooet legends and stories. Mount Currie, B.C.: Ts’zil Publishing House. ISBN.
  • Smith, Trefor. Our Stories Are Written on the Land A Brief History of the Upper Stʼátʼimc 1800-1940. Lillooet, BC: Upper Stʼátʼimc Language, Culture and Education Society, 1998. ISBN 1-896719-08-2
  • van Eijk, Jan P. (1991). Cuystwí malh Ucwalmícwts: Teach yourself Lillooet: Ucwalmícwts curriculum for advanced learners. Mount Currie, B.C.: Ts’zil Publishing House. ISBN.
  • van Eijk, Jan P. (1997). The Lillooet language: Phonology, morphology, syntax. Vancouver: UBC Press. ISBN.
  • Williams, Lorna; van Eijk, Jan P.; & Turner, Gordon. (1979). Cuystwí malh Ucwalmícwts: Ucwalmícwts curriculum for intermediates. Mount Currie, B.C.: Ts’zil Publishing House. ISBN.

External linksEdit