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  • Chief Kw'eh
  • Quâs

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  • Chief Kwah

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Dates of existence

1755 - 1840


Kwah is the usual English form of the name of the famous Carrier leader Kw'eh. He was born around 1755 and died in 1840. Chief Kw'eh was the chief of what is now the Nak'azdli band in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In his time, few people lived at Nak'azdli (Fort Saint James), which attracted people due to the location of the North West Company (later Hudson's Bay Company) fort there, which was not established until 1806. The main village was located at Tsaooche "Sowchea".

Chief Kw'eh held the very important noble name Ts'oh Dai in the Lhts'umusyoo clan. It was Chief Kw'eh who received the explorer Simon Fraser in 1806 when Carrier people brought his floundering canoes in to Tsaooche village in Sowchea Bay. In gratitude, Simon Fraser presented Kw'eh with red cloth. The current Ts'oh Dai, Kw'eh's descendant Peter Erickson, returned red cloth to Canada in 1997.

Chief Kw'eh is also known for the incident in which, in 1828, he spared the life of his prisoner, the fur trader James Douglas, who later became the first governor of the united Colony of British Columbia. He was also known for his acquisition of an iron dagger prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in the area, presumably one traded in from the coast. He is the ancestor of a large percentage of the Carrier people in the Stuart Lake area.


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