Tseshaht First Nation

Influential Figures

The following individuals have greatly influenced the development of the Tseshaht First Nation: Sayachapis, Alec Thomas, Chief Adam Shewish, George Watts, Mable Taylor, Dr. Charlotte Cote, Kathy Robinson, Captain Bill, Arianna Watts, Tluutisim, George Clutesi, William (Yaap’inat) and his son Frank Williams.


Sayachapis – “Stands up High Over All”

Sayachapis lived his early life in a longhouse at Hiikwis. Throughout his life he was “as instinctively familiar with the run of the water, and the dip and lurch of a canoe, and the turn of a paddle, as with the movements of…

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Alec Thomas

“Alec held one of the last traditional potlatches. It was at athlmaqtleis, Dodd Island and lasted several days. This was probably at the time he worked for Sapir…..He documented potlatches. His work was better documented than a lot of anthropologists.” – Wilfred Robinson…

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Chief Adam Shewish

“He will never be replaced in our Parliament. He was the voice of reason, the voice of vision, the voice of calm, the voice of compassion, and, forever, the voice of praise.” – George Watts, 1990

Adam was a traditionally trained hawiih. He lived a life dedicated to…

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George Clutesi

“People used to laugh at us for dancing the way we did (traditional Tseshaht song and dance). Others would say, ‘It’s no use, the dances are all forgotten’. If it weren’t for George I’m sure they would have been”. – Margaret Shewish, wife of hawiih, Adam…

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The son of Tlaaphiitap, Tluutisim belonged to the Nachimuwas7ath ushtakimilh of the Maktl7lii7ath. His house was on the bank of the Somass River, just upstream from the houses of Sayaach’apis and Doug Thomas. Although he had no children, Tluutisim was galhaatik […

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Frank Williams

Anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir acquired the Thunderbird seal club from its owner, Frank Williams, who had inherited it from his father, William. Paid at 50 cents a page, Frank acted as Sapir’s collaborator and chief interpreter in the region. Although Frank did not leave a…

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Captain Bill

When he was alive Captain Bill had the head position of the Maktl7ii7ath, a position now inherited by his grandson Albert Clutesi. Between 1910 and 1914, Captain Bill was one of Edward Sapir’s principal informants on Tseshaht history, and in 1911 gave a Tlookwaana, which…

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Dr. Charlotte Coté

Dr. Charlotte Coté is the daughter of Jack and Evelyn Georg and the granddaughter of Hughie and Grace Watts.  Dr. Coté was born and raised on the Tseshaht reserve and is the first Nuu-chah-nulth woman and the second Nuu-chah-nulth person to attain a Ph.D. She achieved her…

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Uushtaqyu (Doctor) Arianna Watts

Uushtaqyu Arianna Louise Watts was born in Timmins, Ontario. Her father Wallace Watts (Nagedzi) and mother Laurie were living there in hopes that his job as a pilot of small planes to remote communities would one day turn into a commercial captain position of a Boeing 747 (It did!). When her…

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Kathy Robinson

Kathy Robinson also goes by the name of ʔuʔaałukʷis

Kathy Gallic was born on a windy day in the Broken Group Islands of Barclay Sound, home to many tribes of nuuchahnulth. She lived in a longhouse where everyone spoke their language, worked hard all day and taught all the traditional…

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Mable Taylor


She lived much of her life at Polly’s Point (Tee-pis).  She was originally from Ditidaht. She was married to the late Roy Taylor and was the last person of her generation to live at Polly’s Point, choosing to stay on her own in the house built by her husband.

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Yaap’inat (William)

Born 1869

From the Tseshaht and the father of Frank Williams, William provided some key historical Tseshaht accounts such as ;

  1. The Origin of the Tseshaht  and the Story of Tlatlaaqokw’ap and Taaposhinis dictated by William, Oct. 17 and 20,…

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Wameesh – George Watts

Wameesh – George Watts

A Nuu-chah-nulth Leader

“There are three kinds of leaders: floaters who do nothing but float around; those who…

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