Place Name - Lions' Gate

Mike Cleven ironmtn at BIGFOOT.COM
Sat Mar 27 05:33:00 UTC 1999

At 07:46 PM 3/26/99 -0800, Peter Cawley wrote:
>Is anyone aware of a Chinook Jargon or First Nation place name for the
>stretch of water at the mouth of Burrard Inlet that is now called Lion's
>If  there is no authentic name, how could Lions' Gate go into CJ? "Hyas
>Pusspuss Yaka Lapote" perhaps?

The image of the two seated lions is a British one; the native legend tells
of two sisters enshrined there for their purity and devotion to their
people.  I suspect that there IS a Squamish name for that stretch of water
but I don't know what it is; the north bank is the site of Xwmelchtsen
(Homulchesan), the principal Squamish village in the area then and now; the
south bank at Prospect Point is Chay-tho-os (the high place) in Squamish,
and is the legendary residence of "the rainmaker".  Some versions of the
Squamish sisiutl myth place the double-headed serpent in this location
(another has it at the mouth of Indian Arm, also called the North Arm).

I almost was going to drive down to the Oregon City meeting on Saturday,
but it turns out the Squamish and Kwakwa'kawakw are co-hosting a big feast
at the main Squamish Nation Rec Centre in North Van on Saturday night.
Supposedly this will be the largest exposition of Kwakiutl ritual dancing
in this century - anywhere........

Mike Cleven
ironmtn at

The thunderbolt steers all things.
                           - Herakleitos

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