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THE INDIAN POPULATION—THEIR NUMBERS-CHAber
RACTER AND TREATMENT BY THE HUDSON'S BAY
NUMBERS.-It is difficult to form any estimate approaching to accuracy of the population of the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company, and also of the adjoining regions.
Sir George Simpson gives the following as a census of the Saskatchewan District, a country as large as England, which is said to be perhaps more numerously peopled with Indians than any other part of North-Western America :Tribes.
2450 Blood Indians
350 Gros Ventres
-(Sir G. Simpson's Overland Journey round the World, vol. i., p. 102, published by Colburn in 1847.)
This shows a very scanty population, and gives only, on average, seven persons to each tent. I cannot but think it is an under estimate ; or, that this census includes only those who are stationary around the Company's posts.
In the following classification and distribution of the tribes in Rupert's Land, by the Bishop of Montreal, who appears to have paid much attention to the Indian population, we have no data of the actual number in each tribe. His Lordship says-It appears that the discordant estimates, even of the oldest and most experienced residents in the Indian country, forbid all idea of arriving at an accurate knowledge of the amount of population, either as a whole or in detail. The tribes themselves, however, occupying the country east of the Rocky Mountains, and resorting upon occasion to the Company's establishments, may be enumerated and distinguished as follows below:· Mackenzie's River District.
* The Copper Indians, inhabiting the country about this river. • The Loucheux, or Quarrellers.
The Hare Indians. 'The Dog-rib Indians. The Strong-bow Indians, inhabiting Mackenzie's River Dis
trict, and speaking different languages. · Athabasca and Isle à la Crosse Districts. 'The Chipewyans, and a few of the Cree tribe; inhabiting the
country surrounding this lake, and between it and the Isle
à la Crosse District. · Peace River District, · The Beaver Indians, and a few Sauteux from the Rainy Lake,
inhabiting both sides of this river, and speaking a language
different from that of the Chipewyans of Athabasca. Upper part of the Saskatchewan District. • The Blackfeet Proper. The Blood Indians. The Piegans. The Fall Indians.
" The Surcies. * All these five tribes are generally termed Blackfeet,
although they speak different languages, and have dif
ferent customs and manners. Lower part of the Saskatchewan District.
The Stone Indians, or Assiniboins.
Blackfeet, and the whole eight depend on the chase for
Swan River. ' York Factory, Oxford, Norway House, Cumberland, and lower
part of Swan River District. * Mis-Kee-Goose, or Swampy Indians. * These also extend along the sea-coast to James's Bay.
They evidently spring from the Crees, as their language is only a dialect of the Cree. There is said to be a
mixture of the Sauteux in their origin. ' Churchill District.
country to the north of Churchill. These are all the tribes on the east side of the Rocky Mountains who trade respectively at the ports indicated by italics. The source from which I received this information is one upon which I feel that I can rely; and with the exception of the Mackenzie's River District, respecting which the statements are less positively made, the whole account, I believe, is the result of personal acquaintance with the localities.
The Indians in James's Bay are generally classed with the the Mis-kee-goose, and inhabit the countries about Albany, Moose, and East Main."-(Bishop of Montreal's Journal, pp. 130 to 133.)
Mr. Greenhow, in the History of Oregon, estimates the number of all the tribes inhabiting the Oregon region, in which he includes
all the country watered by the Columbia River, as not exceeding 20,000; the Clotsops and Chenooks occupying the country on both sides of the lower part of the great river; the Killamucks of the Umqua, the Classets, the territory of the Straits of Fuca, the Enishurs, mauraders infesting the passes about the falls of the great river; the Chopunish or Nezpercés of the Walla-Walla and Kooskooskee countries; the Kotanies of Clarke's River, and the Shoshones or Snake Indians of the Lewis Rivers. In the part of the Oregon, north-west of the Columbia, are the Chilcotins or Talcotins, between whom a mortal enmity has always existed. The Blackfeet from the north-east make inroads on the Shoshones and Chopunish tribes.
The nearest approach to accuracy of the number of inhabitants in any of the north-west regions is given in an official report of Lieutenants Warre and Vavasour, as a ' Census of the Indian Tribes in the Oregon territory from latitude 42° to latitude 54°, derived from the trading lists of the Hudson's Bay Company, and from the best obtainable information.'
Fort Vancouver, 1845.
Name of the Tribe.
Males. Females Slaves.
Quacott.—Nuvette and 27 From Lat. 54° to Lat. 500 in
others. Tribes speaking cluding Queen Charlotte's
couver's Island, Milbank
. 19,020 20,215 1,570 40,805 Massettes and 13 tribes, not On Queen Charlotte's Island,
included with the above, not included in the above 3,232 3,381 and speaking different
languages. Nass Indians, 4 tribes, Nass River on the Main speaking the same lan Land
857 746 12 1,616 guage. Chymsyans, 10 tribes, all of Chatham Sound, Portland
whom speak the same Canal, Port Essington, and language, with a different the neighbouring Islands 1,202 1,225 68 2,495
idiom. Skeena Indians, 2 tribes. At the Mouth of the Skeena River
7 322 Labassas Indians, 5 tribes. Gardner's Canal, Canal de
Principe, Canal de la
717 601 111 1,429
Name of the Tribe.
Males. Females Slaves.
nal, Deane Canal, Salmon
784 797 471 1,628 Challams.-Cowaitchims, 24 From lat. 500 along the
tribes, speaking the Chal Coast South to Whitby
of Vancouver's Island and
3,176 3,393 2,868 9,427 New Caledonia Indians, MʻLeod's Lake, Chelertins, (8 tribes known).
Fort George, Alexandria,
ser's Lake, Stuart's Lake 1,265 1,150 210 2,625 Sanetch Indians, 3 tribes. Straits of St. Juan de Fuca
and Vancouver's Islands . Children under 12 years
99 194 152
445 Hallams, 11 tribes.
467 517 461 40 1,485 Sinahomish, 1 tribe.
230 208 118 13 569 Skatcat, 1 tribe.
191 173 161 18 543 Cowitchici, 7 tribes.
585 524 636
1,763 Soke Indians, 1 tribe.
12 39 39
90 Cowitciher, 3 tribes, not as yet ascertained
300 Cape Flattery. Gulf of
Georgia Indians, exact numbers not ascertained.
1,250 Nasqually, 13 tribes. Nasqually River and Puget's
1,835 1,997 182 4,014 Two tribes in the Cavletz River
500 Cheenooks,Clatsops&several Mouth of the Columbia Ri
tribes near the entrance ver and the vicinity
of the Columbia River. Trile Kalets, several tribes. (Near Fort Vancouver in the Columbia .
500 Vule Puyas, several tribes. Valley of the Williamatu River
300 Clakamus, several tribes. Valley of the Clakamus and the Willamuta Falls
200 Cheanooks, Kelussuyas, 4 Pillar Rock, Oak Point, The tribes.
Dallas, The Cascades,
800 Killamooks, 3 tribes. On the Sea Coast, between
the River Columbia and
1,800 Clamets, several tribes. Roquas River near the South Boundary.