Chisicut Lake
Chezakut Lake, which is now known as “Chilcotin Lake,” is located by the Chilcotin River at an elevation of 3,290 feet above sea level.1 Chezakut is the anglicized name of “Cheẑich'ed” -- from the Tsilhqot'in language. The name change from Chezakut to Chilcotin Lake was issued on 11 March 2019 by recommendation from the Tsilhqot'in National Government.2
This area, like all lakes in the Chilcotin Region were described by the Tsilhqot'in as the heart of their country. To the Tsilhqot'in, water was sacred and bound them to a certain way of behaving towards it, a view which was believed should apply to all who used the resource.3 However, with the arrival of settlers, the area around Chilcotin Lake was used for the exploitation of resources such as basalt. The construction of roads that ran close to it, such as the Bentinck Arm route, also increased pollution. The latter further facilitated the spread of disease, especially smallpox, as observed by English geologist F. Poole.4
  • 1. Canadian Pacific Railway: Description of the Country between Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean on the Line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, (Ottawa: November 1876).
  • 2. Cheẑich'ed Biny, BC Geographical Names.
  • 3. Alan Bruce Hanna, Dechen ts-edilhtan: Implementing Tsilhqot'in Law for Watershed Governance, (University of Victoria, 2020), 143 and 158.
  • 4. William J. Turkell, The Archive of Place: Unearthing the Pasts of the Chilcotin Plateau, (UBC Press, 2008), 170.
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Poole, Francis

Places in this document

Bentinck Arm

Chilcotin Plateau

Chilcotin River