Xwnuts’aluwum: T’aat’ka’ Kin Relations and the Apocryphal Slave




Flowers, Rachel Joyce

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis explores representations of Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast within the discipline of Anthropology, with particular attention given to Hul’qumi’num’ speaking nations on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Through a critical engagement with ethnography, linguistic, archival and oral history sources, I offer a critique of the harmful concepts of war and slave as mistranslations from Hul’qumi’num’ into English. The consequences of this mistranslation and lack of understanding permeate our social, cultural and political lives and relationships with settler society. By looking at the original Hul’qumi’num’ words, our laws, and our stories about inter-village relations, I will provide a healthy alternative understanding to the apocryphal representations of Coast Salish nations in Anthropology. I will conclude this discussion with revival of traditional Hul’qumi’num’ laws and practices of relationality and coexistence in marriage and exchanges.



Slavery, War, Warriorism, Hul'qumi'num', Kinship, Colonialism