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Becher Bay Indian Band Home Page

Updated September 6, 2000

Pakki A. Chipps
Becher Bay Reserve
4705 East Sooke Road
Sooke, B.C. V0S 1N0
(250) 474-0285

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The Becher Bay Band is located on the southwest corner of Vancouver Island. The Band members trace their ancestry to the Chowitzen (Cowichan) language group which in ancient times spread across from mainland BC, across Vancouver Island and down into the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State. The Band members also trace their ancestry to the Southern Nootkan People who live along the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Washington State. The main ancestry we have are the Nitinaht from this group, and as the Nootkan people moved south, their language began to change. The Washington State Wakashan (the language family to which the Nitinaht belong) do not use the nasals (M,N) but rather (B,D) among the earlier Makah Tribe and the more southern tribe, the Ozette. At the time of the mudslide which buried Ozette, and everyone in the village, hundreds of years ago, a few men were out fishing. Upon returning home, they discovered the disaster and moved up to the Makah village. They outstayed their welcome (being in search of women) and moved along the old route back to Vancouver Island. They settled first at a village called Diitida, now called Jordan River, and spread out from there to Pachiida, now called Port Renfrew, and to a number of villages along the coast and the lake called Nitinaht Lake. They became the Nitinaht peoples. The Becher Bay People have last names such as Charles, with ancestors among the Klallam and perhaps even the Lummi. Some are named Fisher, some Modeste (from Songhees), Sawyer, also from Klallam, and Chipps, from Nitinaht. Some other families are looking for their family ties to Becher Bay, the Irvins or Irvings, the Caffreys, the McFaddens.
I'm looking for any information about the names Leo Sawyer; Margaret, James, and Thomas Caffrey; Isabelle Hughes, and the Browns, ie Charlie Brown, who resided in the Metchosin and Becher Bay area. The Irvin family is a woman named Esther Irvin.

If anyone has any information about any of our names, or wish to discuss this further, I would appreciate hearing from you. For the most part, I would assume that all these names are of people who resided in the Becher Bay area, the Olympic Peninsula, and Southern Vancouver Island.

Thank you
Pakki Chipps

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