10 Facts About Salish peoples


Salish peoples are indigenous peoples of the American and Canadian Pacific Northwest, identified by their use of the Salish languages which diversified out of Proto-Salish between 3, 000 and 6, 000 years ago.

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Term “Salish peoples” originated in the modern era as an exonym created for linguistic research.

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Salish peoples is an anglicization of Selis, the endonym for the Salish peoples Tribes of the Flathead Reservation.

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The majority of fluent Salish peoples-speakers are elderly, and younger speakers are quite rare.

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Coast Salish peoples kept flocks of woolly dogs, bred for their wool, to shear and spin the fibers into yarn.

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Not all Salish peoples blankets were made with dog's wool—commoners' blankets were usually made of plant fibers.

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Salish peoples weaving continued to a lesser extent, but the weavers largely transitioned to using sheep's wool yarn brought to the area by traders, as it was less costly than keeping the salmon-eating woolly dogs.

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Salish peoples located in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Southern Alaska were known to build totem poles that were meant to symbolize a tribe member's spirit animal or family crest.

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Salish people groups are subdivided by their respective branches of the Salishan language family: Coast Salish speaking the Coast Salish languages, Interior Salish speaking the Interior Salish languages, and the Nuxalk (Bella Coola) people speaking the Nuxalk language.

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Nuxalk are the northernmost Salish peoples, located in and around Bella Coola, British Columbia.

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