BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Chilliwack River
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Relative Location: Flows NW from Washington State into Vedder River, just S of Chilliwack, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 49°05'50''N, 121°57'50''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 92H/4
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.: 92H/3
92H/4
  Nearby names within
  

Origin Notes and History:

Chilliwack River adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924, as labelled on BC map 2B, 1914, not "Chilaweyuk" as spelled on British Admiralty chart #1922, 1860 et seq, nor "Chilukweyuk" as spelled on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia. The river flows north through Chilliwack Lake then westerly to Vedder Crossing then turns north and flows into the Fraser River at 49 10 - 122 01. Application of mouth altered 6 February 1948 on 92H/4 - the river has been truncated and diverted into Vedder River at 49 05 - 121 58. Application of headwaters extended 17 January 1951 to include the channel above Chilliwack Lake, formerly known as Dolly Varden Creek. (file C.1.50 pt.1)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Control structures built around Chilliwack in the 1930's separated the original watercourse into 2 separate streams: water from the mid- and upper portion of the original watercourse - still called Chilliwack River - was diverted into the Vedder River; the lower portion of the original watercourse, still flowing north through Chilliwack into the Fraser River but carrying much less water, was renamed Chilliwack Creek.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
That portion of the river from the International Boundary to Chilliwack Lake had been labelled "Klabneh Creek" on BC Reference map 6C (date/title not cited). Labelled "Dolly Varden (Klabneh) Creek" on International Boundary sheet # 5 published 1913 from 1905 surveys. Labelled "Dolly Varden Creek" on Dominion Sectional sheet 11, Yale, 1921. Since determined to be the upper reaches of Chilliwack River, flowing north across BC-Washington boundary at 49 05 - 121 27.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"An Indian name. The first white settlers in the valley arrived in 1862 and adopted the Indian name of the district....." (17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 1922.)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"From Tcil'Qe'uk, a Halkomelem word meaning "valley of many streams"; the name of the Indian tribe that inhabits this area. See also City of Chilliwack.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"From the Halkomeylem " Tcil'Qe'uk". Hill-Tout says that they are not true members of the Halkomeylen division, though they now speak its tongue. They have a tradition among them that up to a century ago they spoke a different language. At present, the Chilliwack tribe is subdivided into eight separate groups of village communities: SQai, population 30 in 1911; SQaia'lo, population 13 in 1911; A'tsElits, population 4 in 1911; Skauke'l, population 31 in 1911; Yukukeeu's, population 28 in 1911; Tcia'ktEl, population 43 in 1904, and; C'la'lki, an insignificant Chilliwack village."
Source: Nelson, Denys; "Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River"; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives