Owikeno Lake

Feature Type:Lake - Inland body of standing water.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Pronounced: o we KEE no
Relative Location: At head of Rivers Inlet, Range 2 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 51°40'07''N, 126°49'45''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92M/10
Related Maps: 92M/10

Origin Notes and History:

"Owikeno Lake, not Oweekayno Lake" adopted 15 October 1920, as labelled on BC map 1A, 1912.

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

Spelled "Owekano Lake" on Jorgenson's 1895 map of BC, and on BC map #18, 1912, and was so-identified in the 1909 BC Gazetteer. Identified as "Owekano Tribe" in the 1916 Report of the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia.

Source: included with note

Oweekayno Lake, after the O-wee-kay-no tribe of Indians; one of their oldest and principal villages being on a small island, called Katil, situated in the lake at the head of the river. The tribe now numbers 102 persons. The lake is about 35 miles long, and connected with the inlet by the Oweekayno river now known by the name, adopted by the Indians, of Wannuck (sic); the meaning of which is "poison", as in olden times visitors to the tribe, evidently unwelcome, had the reputation of dying suddenly, these deaths being attributed to poison. About 1848 this tribe suffered dreadfully through a slave raid made by the powerful Bella Bellas, who after inviting the tribe to a potlatch....awaited their guests in ambush, and as they unsuspectingly arrived, one canoe after another, poured a deadly fire into them, killing all the men and capturing the women and children. The following morning the Bella Bellas advanced on Katilm making a further surprise in which 3 men and 1 woman were killed and 32 woman and children captured. See Walbran for additional information.

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)

"Several meanings have been advanced for this word. An early one was 'portage makers' or 'those who carry on the back' referring to the Indians making the portage between Rivers Inlet and Owikeno Lake. A more recent translation is 'right-minded people' or 'people talking right'."

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