Indigenous names in British Columbia have gradually transformed over time. In many cases it is just the spelling that has shifted, but in some we have Indigenous names entirely replacing others. This can make searching archival materials by keyword challenging as you may (for example) miss documents by searching for 'Tsimshian' but not 'Tsm'syen'.
This guide offers a list of known synonyms for Indigenous group and place names in British Columbia with a focus on the Northwest. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but a living document that will be updated over time. Contributions and corrections are welcome; if you know of additional synonyms we can add to the guide please e-mail Mike Rauschenberger @ CMTN library.
Below you'll find a direct link to download the list as a spreadsheet or you can view it on this page. The left column is the list of group names and the right column is the list of place names. Click on a name from the list to view its synonyms. The search link included will search the name and all synonyms in CMTN's OneSearch. Once you click the link you can refine your search by adding "AND" followed by a subject (see picture below).
Website:Gitga'at First Nation
Website: Heitsulk Tribal Council
Website: Kitasoo / Xai'xais Nation
**Note: The EBSCO search above is limited by the subject "Indigenous peoples". This is because the default search produces many hits for authors with the name "Niska" that are unrelated to the Nisga'a.
Website: Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council
Website: Stó꞉lō Nation
The names on this list were compiled by browsing through archival materials (not referenced here) and consulting various online resources.