The Sekani


The Sekani are a First Nations people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group in the northern interior of British Columbia. 


    When Diamond Jenness visited them in summer, 1924, most Sekani lived around two posts of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort McLeod on McLeod lake, and Fort Grahame on Finlay river. Originally published by the National Museum of Canada in 1937, his detailed report on them, the first systematic study of this group, covers a wide range of topics, everything from Sekani origins and relations with neighbouring peoples to their material culture, social organization, and religious life.

Jenness was fascinated by material culture. Here, beaded mittens and moccasins.
"Moccasins (ike) were generally made of moose or caribou hide, but sometimes of the more lasting beaver skin. The Sekani of the Parsnip and Finlay River basins wore inside them socks of groundhog or rabbit fur, but the Long Grass people are said to have made the feet of double thickness and dispensed with socks. Five pairs of moose-hide moccasins collected at McLeod lake and at Fort Grahame in 1924 all conform to exactly the same pattern (Plate VI). They are of three pieces, a bottom or foot, a tongue, and an ankle flap. A T-shaped seam runs up the back from below the heel, and a straight seam from the bottom of the tongue to a little under the toes."

Old Davie and some of the women of the Long Grass band. (Photo by Wm Ware. Canadian Museum of History 63134)