The people whose biographies are included here include important
historical figures, current community leaders and elders, authors
of publications, and other people who have played a role in language work.
A linguist specializing in semantics and mathematical linguistics.
Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst, he was President of the Linguistic Society of America
He has worked extensively on Haisla in Kitimat and
and has helped to develop Haisla language courses and teaching materials.
See the Haisla Bibliography for his work.
He has co-taught Haisla courses offered under the auspices of the
University of Northern British Columbia.
Sage grew up in Victoria, where he had another name. As a young man,
he became a hippie; then he became a trapper. His life as a trapper
brought him into contact with Ulkatcho people, with whom he wrote
Ulkatcho: Stories of the Grease Trail
Ulkatchot'en: The People of Ulkatcho
and helped to write Ulkatcho Food and Medicine Plants. He has also helped to run cultural and educational programs.
He currently lives in Taklayoko, where he is a freelance writer
and editor. In addition to his work with Ulkatcho, he is the author
of the book Chiwid, a biography of a Chilcotin woman.
Catherine Bird, née Prince, also known as Catherine Coldwell,
is YDLI's senior language instructor. She is a Nak'azdli band member.
She began working on the Dakelh language with the
Carrier Linguistic Committee in Fort Saint James in the 1960s.
It was due to her persistence that Dakelh language instruction
was introduced to the public schools. She taught Dakelh at the
primary and secondary level in various schools for many years
and was the senior instructor in the Yinka Dene Language Institute's
teacher training programme. From 1996 through 1999 she was the President
of the Carrier Linguistic Committee. In 1998-1999 she taught Dakelh at the
University of Northern British Columbia.
Of Tahltan and Tsimshian descent, the daughter of artist Dempsey Bob.
In 1999 she completed an M.A. in Linguistics at the University of
British Columbia with a thesis on
Laryngeal Phenomena in Tahltan..
Laura Boyd is a Nazko band member who has devoted much of
her life to teaching Dakelh language and culture and
developing materials for teaching culture.
She is the author of
'Utsoo and I,
My Home Forever
For Someone Special.
She received her B.A. in First Nations Studies from the University
of Northern British Columbia in 1998. She has served as a member
of the Board of Trustees of the College of New Caledonia.
Brian Compton received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in botany from
the Eastern Illinois University and the Ph.D. from the University
of British Columbia. He has been engaged in research and teaching on
the ethnobiology of British Columbia First Nations since 1986.
He helped to edit Harlan Smith's
Ethnobotany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia.
He is also one of the people responsible for the
Halkomelem Ethnobiology Web Site.
He is presently a member of the faculty of the Department of Humanities and Native
Studies at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington.
Gloria Duncan, daughter of Mildred Martin,
has been a language teacher in Tache for many years. Since 1997 she has also been
a Tl'azt'en Nation band councilor. Together with her
aunt Catherine Bird she took language teacher
training at the Yukon Native Language Centre in Whitehorse. Upon her return,
she become one of the language teacher trainers at the Yinka Dene Language Institute.
The daughter of the late Sally (Prince) Erickson and Lewis Erickson,
she is a Nak'azdli
band member and a member of the Lusilyoo clan.
She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Western Washington University
with emphasis on First Nations Studies. She
and is currently working on an M.A. in First Nations Studies
at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is the
Coordinator of First Nations Education Support Services at the College
of New Caledonia. She is also a member of the Aboriginal Education Board
for School District 57 and is a member of the Advisory Board of the
First People's Cultural Foundation.
She has been President of the Yinka Dene Language Institute since 1997.
The daughter of the late Sally (Prince) Erickson and Lewis Erickson,
Mavis Erickson is a member of the Lusilyoo clan.
Originally from Nak'azdli, she is a member of
the Nadleh First Nation.
She received a B.A. in History from the University of British Columbia,
after which she worked for the Yinka Dene Language Institute in its
early years. Later, she returned to the University of British Columbia
and received her Bachelor's Degree in Law in 1995. In 1996 she
received a Master's Degree in Law from Harvard Law School.
She is a member of the bar of British Columbia, associated with
the firm of Wagstaffe, Gosh, and Co.
She was elected Chief of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council in 1997 and re-elected
Elizabeth Furniss (1959-) is a historian who was employed by the
Cariboo Tribal Council to produce two books on the history and culture of
Dakelh Keyoh: The Southern Carrier in Earlier Times
Changing Ways: Southern Carrier History 1793-1940. She is also the author of Victims of Benevolence: Discipline and
Death at the Williams Lake Indian Residential School, 1891-1920.
(Williams Lake: Cariboo Tribal Council. 1992.) She is currently Assistant
Professor of Anthropology at the University of Calgary.
Margaret Gagnon was born August 31, 1914 at Shelly, the main reserve
of the Lheidli T'enneh, outside of Prince George. She is the oldest
of the Lheidli elders.
She had twenty children but lost quite a few of them. One terrible year,
she lost five of them at one time to poisoned water.
Ken Hale grew up in a small town outside of Tucson, Arizona. From his friends,
he learned to speak Tohono O'odham (Papago), the first of the many native
languages that he studied. This was followed by Jemez, Hopi, and Navajo,
all by the time he finished university. His last year at the University of
Arizona he won the bull-riding event at the University rodeo.
After graduate training at the University
of Indiana and several years in Australia studying Australian aboriginal languages,
Ken joined the linguistics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
from which he retired in 1999.
Ken knew Navajo well and made many contributions to the study of Navajo.
Many years ago, together with Geoffrey O'Grady, he spent some time in British
Columbia and made an early study of Tahltan.
In addition to his many contributions to linguistic theory, Ken Hale is known for
three things. One is his extraordinary ability to learn to speak languages
well in a short time. The second is his devotion to recording endangered
languages before they disappear and to helping to preserve them where possible.
Among his contributions is his role in training many of the small number of
First Nations people who have advanced training in linguistics. The last
is his personality: all who had the privilege of knowing him agree that he was
an amazingly nice and modest man.
Sharon Hargus received the Ph.D. in Linguistics from the
University of California at Los Angeles in 1983 for her
work on the phonology and morphology of Sekani, later published
as The Lexical Phonology of Sekani.
Since 1985 she has taught in the Department of Linguistics at the
University of Washington. Since 1986 she has worked on the
Babine-Witsuwit'en, especially the Witsuwit'en dialect,
on which she has published extensively. See the
She has also worked on Deg-Hit'an in Alaska.
Although the largest part of her work has been on Athabaskan languages,
she has also worked on Mapudungan (the native language of the Mapuche
people of Argentina and Chile), Sahaptin, and Spanish.
Born in California, Harrington received his B.A. from Stanford University
in 1905. After study at the Universtiy of California at Berkeley and
the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig, he taught college briefly in
Southern California. In 1914 he became a fieldworker for the
Bureau of American Ethnology of the
Smithsonian Institution, a position he held until he retired in 1954.
Harrington was obsessed with preserving a record of the dying native
languages of the Americas. He worked at this tirelessly, rarely taking
any kind of rest. He was so unwilling to take time away from his fieldwork
that he left his paychecks uncashed for months at a time for fear that
the Smithsonian Institution would learn where he was and recall him to
Washington to spend time in the office.
Harrington was an excellant phonetician and recorded the languages he
heard with unusual accuracy. He worked on native languages all over
North America, but mostly in the West, especially in California.
Harrington published very little during his lifetime and was very
secretive. After he passed away in 1961, caches of his field notes began to
turn up. The Smithsonian Institution eventually collected over 1,000,000
pages of his notes, on over 90 languages.
For some languages, Harrington's records are the only accurate record.
The material he left was so extensive that several detailed descriptions
of extinct languages have been written based on them.
Harrington's fieldnotes were catalogued by Smithsonian Archivist Elaine
L. Mills. The fieldnotes are available on microfilm, at US$80 per reel, from
Norman Ross Publications. The Papers of John Peabody
Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution 1907-1957, edited by Mills,
originally published in 1981 by the defunct Kraus International Publications,
now available from Norman Ross, can be used to determine the reels
containing material on a particular language. The ten volumes are:
Harrington was said to have learned to speak 18 native languages, including
Chumash, one of the first languages he studied. He corresponded with Chumash
friends in Chumash throughout his life.
Even after his retirement he continued to work on Chumash with Mary Yee,
the last speaker. During his final years, she took care of him.
A short description of Harrington, his work, and how he is remembered
by Indians in California today may be found in Leanne Hinton's article
"Ashes, Ashes: John Peabody Harringont - Then and Now" in her book
Flutes of Fire (pp. 195-209).
Some insight into Harrington may be had from the book
Encounter with An Angry God by Carobeth Laird, who as a young woman
was married to him for seven years.
Since 1992 an annual conference has been held devoted to his work.
Additional information about Harrington and the conference may be found
on the Harrington website.
Further information can be found at the web site of the
J. P. Harrington Database Project.
A native of Chile,
Mercedes Hinkson received the B.A. in Linguistics from the University of
California at Berkeley in 1976 and the M.A. in Linguistics from the
University of California at San Diego in 1980. In 1999 she received the
Ph.D. in Linguistics from Simon Fraser University with a dissertation
Salishan Lexical Suffixes: A Study in the Conceptualization of Space.
From 1997 to 1999 she was Linguistics Coordinator for the Secwépmec
Cultural Education Society/Simon Fraser University program. She is currently
teaching Linguistics at Western Washington University.
Like other people his age in his community, Peter Jacobs did not learn has language
as a child. As a young man, he took the unusual step of learning his
language from the elders and the available written materials.
In 1992 he received a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Oregon.
He is currently Squamish Nation Linguist.
Tl'azt'en Nation Grand Chief Edward John holds the name
'Ukailch'oh in the Lusilyoo clan.
He attended Notre Dame University in Nelson, B.C. before receiving
a B.A. from the University of Victoria and an LL.B. from the
University of British Columbia. He practiced law in his own firm in Prince
George from 1981 to 1993. He was an Associate Professor at the University of
Victoria from 1990 to 1997.
He served as an elected Councillor
of Tl'azt'en Nation from 1974 to 1990 and as elected Chief from 1990 to
1992. From 1984 to 1988 he was Chief of the Carrier-Sekani
Tribal Council. From 1992 until 1999 he was Chief Treaty Negotiator for the
Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council. He is also Chairman of the Board of Tanizul Timber
and Teeslee Forest Products, companies owned by Tl'azt'en Nation.
Ed was the First Nations representative to the First Minister's Conference
on aboriginal constitutional rights from 1983 to 1987. In 1991, along with the late
Squamish Chief Joe Matthias, he helped to create the First Nations Summit, the organization
representing the BC First Nations involved in treaty negotiations with Canada and British
Columbia. This group produced the tripartite Task Force Report that led to the current
treaty process. From 1993 to 2000 he was a member of the Task Group of the
First Nations Summit.
Grand Chief John was the founding President of the Yinka Dene Language
Institute. He was also involved in establishing the University of Northern
British Columbia. He played a prominent role in the
Interior University Society, the regional organization whose pressure led
to the creation of UNBC, and subsequently served on the Implementation
Council and the Interim Governing Council, the predecessor to the Board
On November 1, 2000 he was appointed to the provincial cabinet as Minister for Children
and Families, serving until the change of government in June.
In the election of May 16, 2001 he was the NDP candidate for
Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Prince George-Omineca riding.
He is presently a member of the Task Group of the First Nations Summit.
The late Mary John, Sr. was one of the founders of the Yinka Dene Language
Institute and held the position of Permanent Honorary Chair.
Born in Lheidli (Prince George), she was raised in Saik'uz.
At the age of nine, she went to school in Fort Saint James, from which
she moved to Lejac Residential School the next year when it was created.
She left school when she was 14 and married Lazare John when she was 16.
She was known as "senior" to distinguish her from her daughter-in-law,
Mary John, Jr. The story of her life is told in the
book Stoney Creek Woman.
Here is the eulogy delivered at her funeral.
Receiving the Order of Canada from Governor-General Roméo LeBlanc
Jim Kari is a leading scholar of Athabaskan languages. His early work
dealt with Navajo, but after moving to the Alaska Native Language Center,
he worked primarily on the Athabaskan languages of Alaska.
He is the author of the Ahtna Dictionary, among other works,
He retired from ANLC in 1997 but is still actively engaged in research.
Mike Krauss is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Alaska
in Fairbanks. He has been the director of the Alaska Native Language
Center since its creation in 1972. He has worked extensively
on Athabaskan and Eskimo-Aleut languages. He is responsible for the bulk
of the documentation for the otherwise little known Eyak language,
and has been a major contributor to the historical study of Athabaskan
languages. He has also played a major role in drawing attention to the
endangered language crisis.
Usually known in English as Kwah, Chief Kw'eh was
the chief of what is now the Nak'azdli band in the
late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
In his time, few people lived at Nak'azdli, which attracted
people due to the location of the Northwest Company (later Hudson's Bay
Company) fort there, which was not established until 1806.
The main village was located at Tsaooche "Sowchea".
Chief Kw'eh held the very important name Ts'oh Dai in
the Lhts'umusyoo clan. It was Chief Kw'eh who received
the explorer Simon Fraser in 1806 when Dakelh people brought his floundering
canoes in to Tsaooche village in Sowchea Bay. In grattitude, Simon Fraser
presented Kw'eh with red cloth. The current Ts'oh Dai, Kw'eh's
descendant Peter Erickson, returned red cloth to Canada in
Chief Kw'eh is also known for the incident in which, in 1828, he took prisoner
James Douglas, who later became the first governor of the united colony of British
The genealogy of Chief Kw'eh's many descendants may be found
in the book Kw'eh Ts'u Haindene
by his great-granddaughter, the late Bernadette Rosetti.
Jeff Leer is a member of the faculty of the Alaska Native Language Center at the University
of Alaska in Fairbanks, where he has worked since 1973. In 1991 he received
a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago.
He began to study Tlingit at age seven in his home town of Juneau.
He holds the Tlingit name Weha. He has also worked extensively on Aluutiq.
He is a leading scholar in the area of comparative Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit.
Bob Levine received the Ph.D. in Linguistics from Columbia University
in New York City in 1977 with a dissertation on
The Skidegate Dialect of Haida.
He was for some years one of the two linguists in the
now defunct Linguistics Department of the Royal British Columbia Museum.
In addition to Haida he also worked extensively on Kwak'wala.
He is currently Professor of Linguistics at the Ohio State University in
Sir Alexander MacKenzie (1763-1820) was a Scotsman in the
employ of the Northwest Company. In 1793 he travelled across Canada from Montreal
reaching the Pacific Ocean at Bella Coola. His party were the first Europeans north
of Mexico to reach the Pacific Ocean overland, preceding the American Lewis and Clark Expedition,
which did not reach the Pacific until 1805. For his accomplishment he ws knighted
by King George III in 1802. Within British Columbia, his route took him through Beaver,
Sekani, Carrier and Nuxalk territory.
The Journal of his voyage
contains the first written record of the Carrier and Nuxalk languages.
For more information see the biography and bibliography at the
National Library of Canada
Elder Mildred Martin of Nak'azdli helped to develop many
language and culture teaching materials.
Several of her daughters
have been language teachers: Gloria Duncan,
Florence Sam, and Yvonne Pierreroy.
An elder from Adams Lake and fluent speaker of Secwepmectsín (Shuswap),
he is one of the founders and mainstays of Chief Atahm School,
in which the language of instruction is Secwepmectsín. This
program is widely regarded as a model for First Nations language immersion.
A Secwépmec woman from Adams Lake who did not grow up speaking
Secwepmectsín, she decided that she wanted her children to
have the opportunity that she did not have. Together with her father,
Joe Michel, she became one of the founders and
mainstays of Chief Atahm School, in which the language of instruction
is Secwepmectsín. Through attending school with her children, she
has learned to speak her language.
Justa Monk has been a leader in the Dakelh community for many years.
He was Chief of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council from 1981-1983
and again from 1990-1994. He is presently Executive Director of
Tl'azt'en Nation, Co-Chair of the Northwest Tribal Association, and a member of the
Task Group of the First Nations Summit. His life is described in the
Bridget Moran, née Drugan, was born in Enniskillen, County
Fermanagh, Northern Island on September 1, 1923. Shortly thereafter,
her family moved to Success, Sasketchewan. After attending the Normal
School and becoming a schoolteacher, she served in the Navy in World
War II. After the war, she received an Honours Degree in English and
Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She began work on a Master's
Degree in History, but was unable to continue because the Department
of Veterans' Affairs would not support her because they found no women
teaching in history departments in Canada. She headed west and in the
early 1950s began working in British Columbia as a social worker,
finally settling in Prince George.
In 1964 she spoke out against injustice in the social welfare system,
creating a public outcry. As a result, she was fired by the provincial
government. Thereafter she worked for the Prince George Regional
Hospital, the University of Victoria Social Work Department, and
the Prince George School District.
In 1988, Helen Jones, the daughter of elder
Mary John, Sr., asked her to write
her mother's biography. Mary John told her the story of her life,
resulting in the award-winning book
Stoney Creek Woman. Bridget
retired from her career as a social worker the following year
and wrote several more books. Two of them,
Judgement at Stoney Creek
Justa deal with Dakelh people.
She also wrote a book A Little Rebellion
about her experience as a social worker, and
Prince George Remembered,
a small book of reminiscences of settlers in Prince George.
Bridget received the Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History Award in 1989,
the British Columbia Historical Federation's Lieutenant-Governor's Medal,
and the Governor-General's Medal commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the
Confederation of Canada.
She was an honorary member of the Canadian Research Institute for the
Advancement of Women. In 1995 she received an honorary Doctor of Laws
from the University of Northern British Columbia. In 1996 she received
an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria.
Bridget served for several years as a member of the Board of Directors
of the Yinka Dene Language Institute, representing the College of
New Caledonia, on whose board she also served.
A missionary belonging to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Born and
raised in France, he came to British Columbia in 1880, and after
a stint in Williams Lake at St. Joseph's school, was posted to
Fort Saint James in 1885, where he remained until 1904.
Father Morice learned Dakelh rapidly and became the only missionary
to speak more than rudimentary Dakelh. In 1885 he created
the first writing system for Dakelh,
the Carrier syllabics,
by adapting the Northwest Territories version of the Cree syllabics.
published a bimonthly newspaper, the Dustl'us Nawhulnuk,
in Dakelh. He was responsible for the
translation of the catechism and many hymns and prayers into Dakelh.
Father Morice was the first person to
make extensive and accurate recordings of any Athabaskan language.
After leaving Fort Saint James, he spent most of the remainder
of his life as a scholar in Winnipeg, where he wrote extensively,
especially on Dakelh language and culture, more general Athabaskan topics,
and the history of the Roman Catholic church in Western Canada.
For a biography of Father Morice, see
is a sort of autobiography.
Some of Father Morice's works are
listed here in the
bibliography on Dakelh linguistics
bibliography on Dakelh culture and history.Carrière (1972)
is a detailed bibliography of his works.
The daughter of Mildred Martin
and the late Frank Martin, Yvonne co-taught Carrier language at the University of
Northern British Columbia in 1996 and 1997 with Bill Poser
and in 1998-1999 with Catherine Bird. In daily life
she is secretary to the Vice-President (Academic) at UNBC.
The daughter of Lizette Pierre and niece of
Born in Tache (Tl'azt'en Nation) on March 30, 1940, Rose was a member of the
Granton clan. Educated at Lejac Residential School, Kamloops Indian School, and
Prince George College, She was the first person from Tache to complete grade 12.
Working without salary, she single-handedly created the Tl'azt'en Nation band office
and became its first staff member. Interested for many years in language and culture,
she received a diploma in linguistics from the University of Victoria. She also did
extensive research on Dakelh legends and on geneaology.
Initially employed as a researcher and curriculum developer,
she became Executive Director of the Yinka Dene Language Institute
in 1992. She stepped down from this position in 1997.
She passed away suddenly, after a short illness, on January 15, 2001.
A scholarship fund for Carrier students of language and linguistics has been
established in her memory.
Bill Poser received a B.A. in Linguistics and Classics
from Harvard College in 1979.
He received the Ph.D. in Linguistics, with a minor field in
Electrical Engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in 1985, with a dissertation entitled ``The Phonetics and Phonology of
Tone and Intonation in Japanese'' for which much of the research was
carried out at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
He was a faculty member in the Department of Linguistics at
Stanford University from 1983 to 1994. From 1994 to 1998 he was a member
of the First Nations Studies Department at the University of Northern
British Columbia, where he taught courses in Linguistics and co-taught
Dakelh language. He has held visiting positions at
the University of Arizona,
Tianjin Normal University (China)
the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain),
the University of Canterbury (New Zealand),
the University of New Mexico,
and the Navajo Language Academy
and has taught courses for
the University of British Columbia,
the Yinka Dene Language Institute, and
Simon Fraser University.
He has published in a variety of linguistics journals and has presented
numerous papers at conferences and colloquia.
His principal research interests are: phonetics, phonology,
historical linguistics, writing systems, Japanese, and Athabaskan languages.
He has worked extensively on Dakelh
and has been associated in various capacities with the Yinka Dene Language
Institute since 1992. For two years he served as
Acting Executive Director of the Yinka Dene Language Institute.
He is presently a Visiting Professor and Research Associate at the University
of Pennsylvania. He is also a Research Consultant to YDLI and
Language Coordinator for Lheidli T'enneh.
He holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Linguistics at the
University of British Columbia.
Son of Simeyon Prince, son of Kw'eh.
Nak'azdli dayiyaz "church chief".
After Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice left Fort Saint James in 1904,
Mr. Prince corresponded with him for many years, answering
innumerable questions about the Dakelh language as Father Morice
wrote his book The Carrier Language.
Some additional information about his life and times may be found in
the book The Carrier, My People
by his daughter, Lizette Hall.
Widow of the late Raymond Prince,
Nellie Prince has been active in Carrier language work since
the 1960s. She is one of the authors of the
Central Carrier Bilingual Dictionary,
the first modern Dakelh dictionary as well as of various stories and other
language teaching materials.
Elder Nick Prince, former chief of the Nak'azdli band,
is well known as an expert on Dakelh history.
He has traveled widely and interviewed elders, adding their information to the
the history that he learned from his own elders. Elicho, the woman who made the
long winter journey described in the
book To the Nahani and Back by Trail, was his mother.
He is also one of the few people who still actively use
the Déné syllabics, of which he is
a strong proponent. He believes that it is only through the use of the syllabics
that the language will continue. He represented the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council
on the Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics Encoding Committee, which created the Canadian encoding
standard that ultimately became part of the international
From time to time he teaches classes on syllabics.
Ray Prince was born at K'uzche (Grand Rapids) in August 1923.
He was a member of the Lusilyoo clan.
At the age of seven, he was sent to Lejac Residential School. He hated
the school, which forbade the use of native languages or any contact
between boys and girls, even brothers and sisters. He hated the poor
food and constant abuse, and felt that the school was not giving him
a good education. After three years, he ran away, reaching Fort
Saint James on foot and then joining his parents on the trapline.
He never went back to Lejac but instead worked in the bush.
In 1940, when he was 17, Ray joined the Seaforth Highlanders.
He participated in the landing in Sicily and fought his way through
Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. When he returned, he found
that he had lost his Indian status; he was no longer a member of
the Nak'azdli band
and could not live on reserve. He did not regain his Indian status until
1987. At the same time, because he was an Indian, he did not receive
the same benefits that white veterans received. He later played a major role
in persuading Canada to provide veterans benefits to Indians.
Ray was very concerned about the survival of the Dakelh language.
Raised a Catholic, he was also a convert to evangelical Christianity.
He helped the evangelical missionaries Richard and Shirley Walker
to learn the Dakelh language and to translate the New Testament.
For quite a few years until the end of his life he was the President
of the Carrier Linguistic Committee. His widow Nellie
has also been very active in language work.
Peter Quaw was born June 25, 1951. As a young boy he went out on the trapline
with his family, but once he was of school age he was sent to Lejac
Residential School. During his first year in school his mother died;
was not allowed to go home for her funeral. After his mother died,
Chief Quaw's father left the reserve, so once he left school, he and his
brother lived on the streets in Prince George and Vancouver.
After working in a sawmill for a year, Chief Quaw decided that he needed
more education and attended Laurentian University. He returned to Lheidli
and was elected government chief in 1986. A major part of his programme
was the return to the traditional system of government.
On July 1, 1992 he was named
keyoh whuduchun "Traditional Chief" by the Council of Elders.
In 1997 he was succeeded as government chief
by Barry Seymour.
Dr. Rice is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto.
A student of Slave since the early 1970s, she is the author of
A Grammar of Slave
and of many other works on Athabaskan languages and linguistic theory.
Dr. Rigsby received an A.B. in International Studies from the University
of Louisville and the Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon.
He is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Queensland in Australia.
He has done extensive research on Gitksan and is the author of a
draft Gitksan Grammar
and co-author of
A short practical dictionary of the Gitksan language, He also helped to edit Harlan Smith's
Ethnobotany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia.
He served as an expert witness for the Gitksan and Wetsuwet'en Chiefs
in the Delgaamukw case.
In addition to his work in British Columbia, he has studied aboriginal
languages and cultures in Australia.
Barry Seymour, son of Vera Seymour,
was elected chief of the Lheidli T'enneh in 1997
and was re-elected in 1999 and 2001. He was adopted for potlatch purposes
by the late Celina John in Saik'uz and
holds the noble name Tusyen.
(1936-1990). Jimmy Stillas was highly regarded as Chief of
the Ulkatcho band. In 1990, while out hunting, his snow machine
went through the ice and he died. His hunting partner, elder
Wilfred Cassam, took two days to walk out for help.
The RCMP's delay in initiating a search after Chief Stillas was
reported missing was one of the incidents that triggered the
Cariboo Justice Inquiry.
A native of France, Dr. Tarpent received the equivalent of a B.A.
in English from the Université de Paris, an M.A. in Linguistics
from Cornell University, and the Ph. D. in Linguistics from the University
of Victoria with a dissertation entitled
A Grammar of the Nisgha Language.
She is also the compiler of
Haniimagoonisgum Algaxhl Nisga'a [Nisgha Phrase Dictionary].
She worked full-time for eight years for School District 92 (Nisgha)
developing pedagogical materials and has continued to study Nisga'a
since taking up a university position.
In addition to her work on Nisga'a, she has worked on other Tsimshianic
languages and on the Penutian language family.
She helped to edit Harlan Smith's
Ethnobotany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia.
She is currently on the faculty of Mount Saint Vincent University in