An important tribe of British Columbia of Salishan linguistic stock, also known as Knife Indians, occupying the country about the junction of Thompson and Fraser Rivers, Yale district, from about Yale up nearly to Lillooet on the Fraser, and as far as Ashcroft on the Thompson. They surrounded the cognate Lillooet, and Shuswap on the north; the Sechelt, Squamish, Cowichan, and Songish on the west and south-west; and the Okanagan on the south-east. They are now gathered upon a number of small reservations under jurisdiction of the Kamloops-Okanagan agency, of which the principal are Lytton (470), Lower Nicola (355), Cooks Ferry (183), Boothroyd (158), Spuzzum (157), Coldwater (107). Their original population may have been near to 4000 souls, but is now reduced (1910) by smallpox and other causes, consequent upon the advent of the whites, to 1782. The proper name of the tribe is Ntlakyapamuk or Nhlakapmuh, and they recognize five subtribes among themselves. In their primitive condition they subsisted chiefly by hunting and fishing, together with the gathering of wild roots and berries. In arts, organization, religious belief and ceremonial, and general custom they resembled in all essentials their neighbouring kindred, particularly the Lillooet, Shuswap, Sechelt, and Squamish, with whose history also their own is closely interwoven. In 1808 Simon Fraser in descending the river which bears his name passed through their territory, and shortly afterward the Hudson's Bay Company established posts throughout the region. In 1845 the Jesuit missionary Father John Nobili visited the Thompson River, Okanagan, Shuswap, and other tribes of the Fraser River country, preaching and baptizing in temporary chapels built by the Indians.
About 1860 the noted missionary Oblate father (afterwards bishop ), Paul Durieu, spent a short time with the tribe. In 1861 Rev. John B. Good, acting for the Episcopalians, established a regular mission work among them, continuing for nearly twenty years with the result that most of the tribe are now of that denomination. In 1862 in common with the other Fraser river tribes, they were terribly wasted by smallpox. In 1880 the distinguished Oblate missionary and philologist Father John M.R. Le Jeune, best known for his invention of a Salishan system of shorthand, began work among the Thompson River Indians extended after some years to the Okanagan and Shuswap. The entire tribe is now Christian, about 1500 being Episcopalian, the rest Catholic, including all of the Coldwater band. Valuable ethnologic studies of the Thompson River tribe have been made by Teit and Hill-Tout. Important linguistic contributions are a grammatic sketch and vocabulary and several religious publications by Rev. Mr. Good of the Episcopalian ( Anglican ) mission, and a number of prayer, hymn, catechism, and primer compilations by Father Le Jeune, all in the Salishan shorthand characters of his own invention. The official report for the Coldwater band (Catholic) will answer for all: "They have a good class of buildings and are steadily improving them. They are industrious, steady and extremely law-abiding. They have made good progress in farming. They class among our most temperate and moral Indians."
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online