Known primarily as an ethnographer and linguist among the Nlaka'pamux and other Interior Salish peoples, Scottish-born James Teit [see James Teit entry] also twice conducted research in the Cassiar district of northern British Columbia, for seven weeks in 1912 and for twelve-and-a-half weeks in 1915, undertaking fieldwork among the Tahltan people at the instigation of Edward Sapir who had invited him to join the staff of the new Anthropology Division of the Geological Survey of Canada in 1911. Teit named more than seventy Tahltan adults (about one-third of the population at that time) in his work. He assembled 191 artifacts, 196 song recordings, 167 photographs and 130 mythological tales. This enduring legacy for the appreciation of the Tahltan culture is the subject for Judy Thompson's Recording Their History: James Teit and the Tahltan (D&M $55), from the annals of the Canadian Museum of Civilization where she has been Curator of Western Subarctic Ethnology since 1990. The book won the BC Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing, and a cash prize of $600, from the BC Historical Federation in 2008.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Recording Their Story: James Teit and the Tahltan


Thompson, Judy. Recording Their History: James Teit and the Tahltan (Douglas & McIntyre, 2007). 978-1-55365-232-8