hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:21:31 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.

Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia


Sekani

Like the Tsuu Tina, the Sekani are said to have diverged from the Athapaskan-speaking Beaver. How this happened is still debated although the split appears to have occurred only in the late 1700s (Can. Encyc.). Writes Brody: "The Beaver, eventually also armed, drove the Sekani from the eastern foothills into the heights of the Rockies and across them towards the Pacific drainage" (Brody, p. 22). Or, as Francis and Payne suggest, the term Sekani may simply have referred to a western branch of the Beaver before being applied to a separate people.

In more recent times, after the Hudson's Bay Company closed Fort St. John, the Sekani who had traded there, began appearing at Fort Dunvegan in Alberta between 1839 -1843 (Francis and Payne, p.122). Also. Nicks and Morgan make reference to the presence of Sekani among the Iroquois-Metis of the Rocky Mountain foothills. For example. Ignace Waniante, one of the original Iroquois trappers in the Smoky River area, is said to have had a Sekani wife. He arrived in the area in 1818-19 and is supposed to have, with his Sekani wife, founded the Wanyande kin group which was still represented in the region as of 1975 (Nicks and Morgan, p. 167).

There are no known place names of Sekani origin in Alberta unless one counts Wanyandie Creek twenty-seven kilometres northeast of Grande Cache. The creek is said to be named after Vincent Wanyandi (b. 1850) of Iroquois ancestry (DB) who may have been descended from Ignace Waniante mentioned above.

Because the Sekani had no substantial presence in Alberta at the turn of the century there are no Sekani reserves here.


Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on place names of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.

Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved