Coquitlam River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows S through Coquitlam Lake into Fraser River, just W of Pitt River, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°13'30''N, 122°48'18''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92G/2
Related Maps: 92G/10
92G/2
92G/7

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 8 November 1922 as labelled on BC map 2B, 1914. "Coquitlam River (not Schuyler Creek)" identified in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Mis-spelled "Coquitlan" [river and lake] on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"The name is to be used for the river above as well as below [Coquitlam] lake." (18th Report, GBC)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Coast salish, speaking the Cowichan dialect. Possessed no land, being practically slaves of the Kwantlen. Population 24 in 1911. "According to a Kwantlen tradition at the time of the creation of their first ancestor, the Kwikwitlem tribe was also brought into being to be the slaves and servants of the Kwantlen. That the tribe was held in servitude by the Kwantlen and was despised by other tribes is historically certain. The Kwikwitlem were sent away from their very desirable camp on the slopes of the hill upon which the city of New Westminster [was eventually] built, to the marshy flats opposite, across the river. These they were compelled by the Kwantlen to fill in with stones and gravel and convert into fishing grounds for them. (Hill Tout, 1902, pp.56 & 92)." See also Franz Boas, B.A.A.S., 1894, p.455.

Source: Nelson, Denys; Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives

"The name Coquitlam is of Indian origin and signifies a "small red salmon", a fish which once teamed in [this river], but now through various causes has become extinct."

Source: Nelson, Denys; Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives

"It is claimed that it was at the Indian Coquitlam village that Simon Fraser stayed for the night both on his way up and down the river in 1808. The Indians however have told me, and Jason Allard says that such is the case, that it was at Brownsville (Kikait) that Fraser stayed. Having regard to the fact that Fraser had an Indian guide, however reluctant he may have been to act in that capacity, it is unlikely that he would take Fraser to the slave village in preference to Kikait, their headquarters."

Source: Nelson, Denys; Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives

From the Halkomelem word meaning 'stinking of fish slime.' During a great winter famine in traditional times, the Coquitlam people sold themselves into slavery to the more numerous and prosperous Kwantlen band (whose name means 'tireless runners'). The Coquitlams, while butchering salmon for their masters, became covered with fish slime - hence the name.

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997