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Yakweakwioose

The Yakweakwioose First Nation or Yakweakwioose Band is a band government of the Sto:lo people located in the Fraser Valley region at Sardis, near Chilliwack, British Columbia. They are a member government of the Sto:lo Nation tribal council.

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Yeqwyeqwí:ws is the proper Halq’eméylem spelling of Yakweakwioose which was altered like most Halq’eméylem words by the Europeans at contact.

Entire extended families lived in a longhouse, if there were additions to the family and the longhouse became too small, they added on to the longhouse. That’s how the longhouses got so long. Chief Louie described a longhouse along Yeqwyeqwí:ws that was a thousand feet long. It housed a huge family and they stayed here because the fish were plentiful. Longhouse floors were built 4 feet down. That’s where the name Yeqwyeqwí:ws came from “Yeqw: means fire. Yeqwyeqwí:ws means “burned out many times, Yeqwyeqwí:ws is “a site that has been a place of many fires”, sometimes resulting from raids.

The size of Yeqwyeqwí:ws, Skowkale and Tzeachten in 1864 was 2,500 acres or 1,012 hectares. In 1867, under Joseph Trutch’s direction, all central Fraser Valley Stó:lō reserves were resurveyed and reduced. Yeqwyeqwí:ws, Skowkale and Tzeachten were reduced to 200 acres or 81 hectares; today there are 914 acres or 370 hectares.

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