Stó:lo Territory: East Lower Mainland and south Fraser Canyon areas of southwestern British Columbia plus a tiny sliver of northwest Washington State.




Stó:lo Nation
Chilliwack, British Columbia


Stó:lo Tribal Council
Agassiz, British Columbia





Sts’ailes Band
Chehalis, British Columbia (Non-Stó:lo)





Leq'á:mel / Lakahahmen First Nation
Deroche, British Columbia





Cheam First Nation
Rosedale, British Columbia


Shxwhá:y Village
Chilliwack, British Columbia


Skwah First Nation
Chilliwack, British Columbia





Scowlitz First Nation
Lake Errock, British Columbia FACEBOOK





Sumas First Nation
Abbotsford, British Columbia





Chawathil First Nation / Hope Band
Hope, British Columbia


Seabird Island / Sqewqel Band
Agassiz, British Columbia


Shxw’owhámel First Nation / Ohamil Band
Hope, British Columbia


Sq`ewá:lxw / Skawahlook First Nation
Agassiz, British Columbia


Yale First Nation
Yale and Hope, British Columbia (Non-Stó:lo)





Ts'elxweyeqw / Chilliwack Tribe
Chilliwack, British Columbia


Skowkale • Aitchelitz • Yakweakwioose
Chilliwack, British Columbia LANDS OFFICE


Soowahlie First Nation
Cultus Lake, British Columbia


Squiala First Nation
Chilliwack, British Columbia


Tzeachten / Ch'iyaqtel First Nation
Chilliwack, British Columbia



Stó:lo Population
Canada (2015) - 7,500




Halq'emeylem is a dialect of the Coast Salish Halkomelem language. Generally, the Halq'emeylem speaking people call themselves "Stó:lo", or Upriver People. However, there are two First Nations who are politically separate, the Sts'ailes and Yale, who do not refer to themselves as "Stó:lo".


Halq'emeylem Territory Specifics

The best reference map to look at is the "Stó:lo Nation Treaty Table" map.


Nlaka'pamux Border: Between Spuzzum and Yale B.C. where the Fraser Canyon narrows. This was a prime salmon fishing location used everyone in the region including Halkomelem speaking First Nations from as far away as Vancouver Island. The Nlaka'pamux are quite particular to mention that their territory includes the mountainous region east of Yale/Hope and then southwest into the United States as far as Mount Baker. The Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe map boundary corresponds with this.


Nooksack Border: Generally, this follows the Canada-US border in the Lower Mainland flatlands. The critical element here is that there is a section of Nooksack Territory that juts up into Canada southwest of Abbotsford. Matsqui Reserve #4 is actually Nooksack.


Complication: The Nooksack People are working hard to learn the "Halq'emeylem" language. Confused? It's because their own Nooksack language became extinct and so learning Halq'emeylem is the closest they can get to it.


Downriver Halkomelem Border: This is determined by which First Nation in the central Lower Mainland speaks which dialect. Since the Matsqui speak Halq'emeylem and the Kwantlen speak Hun'qumi'nun, south of the Fraser River, the western border is where their territories meet. North of the Fraser River, the border is between the Skayuk and Whonnock First Nations. Officially, the Whonnock are part of the Kwantlen Band. This border may have actually been even further to the east, but since the Skayuk and Hatzic Bands became extinct in the 1782 smallpox epidemic and it is unconfirmable.


Complication #1: It is said that the Skayuk were an isolated Squamish Band living amongst the Halq'emeylem.


Complication #2: At the time of first contact, the Snohomish Band extended from north of White Rock all the way up to the Whonnock area. The Kwantlen lived further downstream at that time. So, perhaps it was the Hun'qumi'nun-speaking Snohomish Band who actually bordered the Halq'emeylem. (Devastated in a smallpox epidemic, the Snohomish eventually merged with the Straits Salish Semiahmoo Band.)


Complication #3: The Kwantlen are the only Hun'qumi'nun speaking members of the Halq'emeylem Stó:lo Tribal Council.


Complication #4: If you visit the Kwikwetlem First Nation website, it states prominently that the they speak "Halq'emeylem". This conflicts with assessment of the authoritative First Peoples Language Map project. What's going here is that the term "Halq'emeylem" is sometimes used to refer to both the upriver and downriver dialects.


Complication #5: Very often you will see maps of Stó:lo Territory which include First Nations at the Lower Mainland shores of the Pacific Ocean. However, the Tsawwassen, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh do not regard themselves as Stó:lo.


St'át'imc Border: Twenty kilometers north of Lake Harrison. This area was originally inhabited by the Halq'emeylem speaking Sts'ailes (St'qwompth Division). When the 1858 Gold Rush began, Lake Harrison became a prime route for the transport of the Gold miners and their supplies. Being hostile, the Sts'ailes were regarded as unsuited for packing work. Presumably they were evicted from the region, and St'át'imc packers were brought in to do the work. The St'át'imc remain to this day and have formed the In-shuck-ch Nation.