Charles Hill-Tout was born in England in 1858 and came to British Columbia in 1891. A pioneer settler at Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley, he devoted many years of fieldwork to his studies of the Salish and published in the scholarly periodicals of the day. He was honoured as president of the Anthropological Section of the Royal Society of Canada and as a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain. In The Salish People, his field reports are collected for the first time.
In The Salish People each volums serves as a useful guide to a specific geographic area, bringing the past to the present. The four volumes, rich in stories and factual details about the old customs of the Coast and Interior Salish, are each edited with an introduction by Ralph Maud, who lives in the Fraser Valley and who teaches a course on the B. C. Indian Oral Tradition at Simon Fraser University.
Volume III of The Salish People deals with the Mainland Halkomelem, the people of the Fraser River from Vancouver to Chilliwack, and includes the earliest account of B. C. archaeological sites. The road to connect Vancouver to Sea Island (the present Vancouver International Airport) had already opened up part of the Fraser midden in 1889, two years before Hill-Tout’s arrival in British Columbia. He got into the midden right away and surveyed the area with Mr. F. Monkton, a mining engineer well-known in Vancouver’s early days and one of the founders of the Art, Historical and Scientific Association. By 1895, Hill-Tout was able to write an extensive report to the Royal Society of Canada, which, in the words of Harlan I. Smith, constituted ?the first resume of British Columbia archaeology. ”
Charles Hill-Tout devoted many years to ethnographic and anthropological field work among the Salish people of the west coast recording their customs, stories and art. The Salish People is a four volume collection of all the field work done by Charles Hill-Tout in the period 1895 to 1911, divided by specific geographical and cultural areas.
Ralph Maud is the author of Charles Olson Reading (1996) and the editor of The Selected Letters of Charles Olson (2000). He has edited much of Dylan Thomas’s work, including The Notebook Poems, 1930?1934 and The Broadcasts, and is co-editor, with Walford Davies, of Dylan Thomas: The Collected Poems, 1934?1953 and Under Milk Wood. Maud is also the editor of The Salish People: Volumes I, II, III and IV by pioneer ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout. In addition, he has done extensive work on the translation collaboration between Henry W. Tate and Franz Boas, including the book, Transmission Difficulties: Franz Boas and Tsimshian Mythology.
Ralph Maud is Emeritus Professor of English and Associate of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He founded the Charles Olson Literary Society. He is the author of Charles Olson Reading (1996) and the editor of The Selected Letters of Charles Olson (2000.) He has edited much of Dylan Thomas’s work, including The Notebook Poems 1930–1934 and The Broadcasts, and is co-editor, with Walford Davies, of Dylan Thomas: The Collected Poems, 1934–1953 and Under Milk Wood. Maud is also the editor of The Salish People: Volumes I, II, III & IV by pioneer ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout. He has been a contributing editor to Coast Salish Essays by Wayne Suttles, The Chilliwacks and Their Neighbours by Oliver Wells, and is the author of A Guide to B.C. Indian Myth and Legend, and The Porcupine Hunter and Other Stories—a collection of Henry W. Tate’s stories in Tate’s original English, which grew out of his survey of Franz Boas’s Tsimshian work, published as an article: “The Henry Tate-Franz Boas Collaboration on Tsimshian Mythology” in American Ethnologist. Maud’s subsequently published book, Transmission Difficulties: Franz Boas and Tsimshian Mythology, expands further on the relationship between Henry Tate and Franz Boas.
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