Saturday, December 29, 2012

Little Big Man

Chief Dan George was chief of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation from 1951 to 1963.  The Tsleil-Waututh First Nation is in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  This band is closely associated with the other Salish Nations including the Squamish First Nation, the Musqueum First Nation, the Tsawwassen First Nations and other Salish Nations that partially exist under the umbrella of the Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council.  The Salish villages of Puget Sound, outside the Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council, are on the American side of the US-Canadian border. 

In addition to his years as a tribal chief, Chief Dan George worked as a longshoreman and later became an actor, author, and poet.  In the 1970s, he became an advocate and emissary to the Canadian public at large for First Nations people and for the environment.

Dustin Hoffman needs no introduction, but it is interesting to see this early, understated performance.  Filmed right after Hoffman's portrayal of Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy, it is an overlooked, but wonderful performance.

I grew up in Vancouver and still maintain an avid interest in the city of my birth.

Other Links:

Tsleil-Waututh Tribal Council (link)
Tsleil-Waututh Nation People of the Inlet, video (youtube), 10 minutes


  1. Marnie,

    Have you seen the new DNA Tribes paper suggesting that one of the formative peoples of the current European population is none other than the SALISH/SALISHAN peoples?!?!?!?!

    The Salishan component is estimated at 5.5% of their "Celtic Tribe" - which is centered in Ireland and Western Britain - the highest in Western Europe, with only the "Urals Tribe" having higher at 6.5%

    Two other interesting thing they found:
    1. The "Balochi Component" was found ONLY in Iron Age (aka Bell Beaker) Celtic areas plus Albania - with Albania having 15.3% and Celtic having 7.7% and other areas (Belgic, Italian, Portugese, Spanish) having < 2%.
    2. They also find possible Proto-Celtic links between Western Asia and Celtic naming and mythologies:
    Several similar cultural names recur in both Celtic Europe and West Asia. These include: Milidh (Miliy), Malkh, Meluhha; Eibhear (Eber),
    Iveriu, Iveria; Goidel (cf. Gadir), Gwadar ("port"), Gad (cf. Qedar); Eireamhon (Erevan or Eremon), Erebuni (Yerevan), Jeroboam; Alba, Albania, Albion. Similarities between Celtic folk customs and Vainakh traditions of the
    North Caucasus have also been noted by the Circassian scholar Amjad Jaimoukha.

    So everything is lining up with my predictions!!

    NOTE: My parents were used as part of their reference populations for their Celtic Tribe. Previously my father has shown to have Minor Allele Frequencies (MAF) consistent with Selkup ancestry and my mother MAFs for Athabascan and Chukchi - per Davidski of Eurogenes. My mother and I also have a minor component consistent with 4% Lezgin ancestry - per Harappa Ancestry Project

  2. I had a brief look at the DNA Tribes paper.

    I can't see what statistical package they are using to do their analysis. ADMIXTURE? Treemix? Multimix? Something else?

    I would also say that there are no statistical packages out there at this point that can infer the kind of fine scaled results in time that are being inferred in the DNA Tribes paper you refer to. It is just as likely that the SNPs shared between Albanians, "Celts" and some Iranians are the result of some pre-LGM preserved IBD segments.

    Regarding the relationship between the Salish people and Europeans, in order to make this kind of inference, you would have to look at a lot more Native American and Asian populations to start to infer the directionality and timing of a Salish to European connection.

    It's interesting and worthy of further investigation. However, I think the author(s) of this DNA Tribes paper are over reaching in their conclusions.

    Regarding the origin of the Celts, it is too broad a topic to discuss properly here.

    If you look on the post "Migration Paths: Dienekes Cluster's Galore Scatter Plots":

    You can see that the Selkups, West Greenlanders, Athabaskans, Chuvash and then some Russian groups are on the upper arm of a migration path sprawling between Europeans and groups in Central and South America such as the Pima.

    So, it may be that the Selkup/Athabaskan/Chukchi minor allele frequencies being picked up in your parents DNA is a remnant of some ancient LGM and pre-LGM, Northern continuum.

    The reason I put up the post about Chief Dan George and the Salish wasn't to infer some recent genetic connection. I certainly do feel a cultural connection, but that's because of where I grew up. In fact, my Dad was also an admirer of Chief Dan George.

    Indigenous societies have a lot to tell us about how to live, regardless of whether or not we are recently related to them.

  3. Marnie,

    My thinking is that the Salishan-Irish connection would have to be a shared Central/Northern Asian connection from the Mesolithic - like that old-style singer video I posted previously.

    Of course there are those - like German Dziebel for instance - that think there was in fact an Out-of-Americas migration...

  4. Paul,

    Candidates for the ancestors of the Native Americans are discussed in the following papers:

    Beringian Standstill and the Spread of Native American Founders

    The Peopling of the Americas and the Dene-Yeniseian Connection

    Other papers are discussed in the "Efficient moment-based inference of admixture and sources of gene flow" Lipson et al. paper and comments thread.

    In the Paleo-American Odyssey Conference, I would say that the paper on "Searching for Pleistocene-Aged Submerged Archaeological Sites Along Western North America's Pacific Coast" paper would be relevant to the prehistory of the Salish. Many other papers as well:

    On the linguistic front, Salish languages have not been related to other languages, so that line of attack is out.

    Specifically, Salish has not been related to Athabaskan, Siouan, Algonquian or Iroquian languages.

    Finally, I had another look at Dienekes' clusters galore plots.

    Unsurprisingly the "migration path" sprawling across the top of the Dimention 1-Dimension 2 plot contains the populations "French Basques-Russians-Athabaskans-Aleuts-West Greenland-Selkups-Chukchis . . .".

    The Lipson et al. paper mentions Basques as containing 20-25% ancient Northern Eurasian allele frequencies. It would not be surprising at all if the Irish also shared some of these ancient Northern Eurasian allele frequencies.

    As to the path by which these alleles reached North America, at this point, your guess is as good as mine.

    Please note that I do not subscribe to the notion that Modern Humans originate in North America.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Just to set the record straight, I stated above that there is no relationship between Salish and Athabaskan languages. It turns out that that is not correct. I posted the Vitaly Shevoroshkin paper which discusses the relationship:


Comments have temporarily been turned off. Because I currently have a heavy workload, I do not feel that I can do an acceptable job as moderator. Thanks for your understanding.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.