Carrier and Sekani people historically have resided in a vast territory, of over 76,000 kilometres, primarily located in North Central British Columbia. Today there are approximately 22 Indian Bands or First Nations, as recognized by the Department of Indian Affairs that identify as being Carrier or Sekani societies. The population represented by Carrier Sekani First Nations comprises over 10,000 individuals.
Among the Carrier and Sekani people there are distinct groupings, which maintain geographic and linguistic characteristics different from other groupings of Carrier people. Current research divides Carrier into two major dialect groups within the Athabaska language family, a Stuart-Trembleur Lake group, and a Southern group.
Within the Stuart-Trembleur Lake sub group there are six distinct Carrier linguistic dialects of the Athabaskan language family: Babine, Cheslatta, Nakazd'li, Saik'uz, Lheidli-T'enneh and Wet'suwet'en. Carrier people maintain a governance system commonly referred to as the bah'lats or potlatch. Four primary clans make up Carrier society Likh ji bu (Bear), Gilhanten (Caribou), Jihl tse yu (Frog), and Likh sta Mis yu (Beaver), each with several sub-clans.
Carrier Nations are not exempt from the impacts of colonization which have negatively impacted the lives of First Nations people in Canada. Impacts have manifest in a number of concerns including child apprehension, poverty, poorer health outcomes and under-employment compared to other Canadians.
In addition to community processes such as the bah'lats that are a source strength in maintaining culture and language, Carrier Sekani peoples have developed institutions such as Carrier Sekani Family Services to reassert control in areas that have been sources of attack on community values and teachings in order to assume responsibility for health, social, legal and research services for their Nation.
Last modified: Friday 20-May-16 10:22:47 PDT