Haa kusteeyí


The Daḵłʼaweidí clan traces its origin to the Telegraph Creek area of northern British columbia. McClellan says that the Daḵłʼaweidí clan of the wolf moiety is closely linked with the Tagish and the Tahltan of the interior.

According to one story quoted by McClellan, the Daḵłʼaweidí Clan split after a dispute with the other clan members about a woman. One group of people traveled down the Stikeine river, but a glacier accross the river blocked their way. Two old men on a raft volunteered to find a way underneath the glacier. They put green leaves and/or feathers on their heads so that they would be able to feel the top of the ice tunnel. Luckily they came out the other side without messing up their feathers. Eventually, some of these people found their way to Tagish.

Another story quoted by McClellan from Atlin has a lot of similarities to the story quoted above. It, too, involves a trip under a glacier. But in this story, the people were starving because the glacier was blocking the river and preventing salmon from swimming upstream. The name "Daḵłʼaweidí" may mean "back/black sand people"... a name which refers to the sand where the people camped after their trip under the glacier.

In some stories, there is also reference to a "flood" that caused people to move north from their homeland at the head of the Stikine River.

Carcross/Tagish Daḵłʼaweidí claim the Wolf, Bald Eagle and the Killer Whale as crests. It is also said that the Daḵłʼaweidí people claim to own Tagish.
(See following Summary on the origin of the Killer Whale crest).

Summary of how Daḵłʼaweidí got Killer Whale for a Crest

(Information retained from My Old People Say Part 2)

A man and his four brothers in-law went on some kind of a boat trip. The four brothers were bad and they really disliked their sister's husband. so they went to an island way far out in the ocean and they left him there to starve to death. He had no food and nothing was on the island.

One night when he was asleep on the rock on the beach, he was awakened by voices that appeared to be coming from way down under the water. He paid no attention to the noise.

The next night he heard it again. So he decided to roll off the rock into the water. He sank to the bottom; it was like the water didn't exist. He landed right outside the door of a house. He heard people talking inside of the house.

When he went in he saw people standing around a bed. Lying on the bed was an older man that looked very ill. The people asked him if he was a doctor and if he could cure the man, and they would give him something in return. Immediatley he said he could cure him. He saw something strange hanging on the wall; it looked like a balloon type boat made out of skin or instestines. He thought to himself, "if I cure the man I will ask for that". It was like the people read his mind, they said "if you cure him we will give you that on the wall". He cured the man and the people fed him and gave him a place to sleep. The next day the ill was cured and was up and walking around. He said, "I will feel good again". The people honored their word and gave the man the thing on the wall.

They told him when you get in make sure there is no leaks and think hard about where you want to go, and it will take you there. But don't think of anything else just about where you want to go. So he got in and made sure there were no leaks and he thought of home and his family. The boat took him to the shore not far from his house.

He had to go at night so no one would see him. He went into his house and got his tools and jumped in his boat and went back to the island. He started carving two wooden creatures that looked like fish of some kind with sharp teeth (Killer Whale). He put them into the water and they came to life. He used them to get food for himself. Everytime they came back he took them out of the water and they became wood again.

One day he heard voices in a far off distance. He knew that it was his wife's brothers coming. When they got to the island they saw that he was still alive so they turned around and went back leaving him behind. Then they were far out into the water he took out the carvings and told them to kill the men in the boat, so they did. When they came back he told them not to kill anymore humans unless they had to. Then he said, "now you are supposed to stay in the water", and he set them free. He gave Kit to his children, who, like his wife were Daḵłʼaweidí. That's how Daḵłʼaweidí got Kit Killer whale for a crest