Wetsuweten

Introduction

Wet’suwet’en (also known as Hwotsotenne, Witsuwit’en, Wetsuwet’en, Wets’uwet’en) are a First Nations people who live on the Bulkley River and around Broman Lake and Francois Lake in the northwestern Central Interior of British Columbia. The name they call themselves, Wet’suwet’en, means ‘People of the Wa Dzun Kwuh River’.

The Wet’suwet’en are a branch of the Dakelh or Carrier people, and in combination with the Babine people have been referred to as the Western Carrier. They speak Witsuwit’en, a dialect of the Babine-Witsuwit’en language which, like its sister language Carrier, is a member of the Athabaskan family.

The traditional government of the Wet’suwet’en comprises 13 hereditary chiefs, organized today as the Office of the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en, or the Office of the Wet’suwet’en in BC government terminology (the government does not recognize their hereditary rights). The Office of the Hereditary Chiefs is the main political body of the Wet’suwet’en and is involved in the negotiating process for an eventual treaty with the British Columbia government. In the past, they were co-complainants in the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia case, which sought to establish recognition of the hereditary territorial rights of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Confederacy.

The Wet’suwet’en’s population is currently estimated at 2,447 people.

Adapted from Wikipedia’s article on the Wet’suwet’en

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