For Western Canada, standardized names are used in the database records. An index of names is found in this Introductions database. To find the standardized name, enter the name of the band as you know it.
However, the use of standardized names makes it somewhat more difficult for the database to accurately reflect the evolution of the nomenclature of bands, agencies and regional offices.
We do not claim to provide a definitive answer to all the questions that may arise. Some of our interpretations are merely speculative; some information is approximate.
The following index contains close to 1,500 names collected from various sources. All a researcher need do is find the standardized name of the band with the help of the cross-references and then look under this name in the "Bands and Agencies" database for more information about the band.
The index lists the band names in the native language or in translated form which, with a few exceptions, is mostly in English. The name is usually the name of the chief who signed a treaty or of one of his immediate successors (because the situation remained unsettled until the end of the 1890's), or the name of the place where the band's reserve is situated. In the latter case, it is usually the name of a lake or river.
In the sources consulted there are as many written forms of these names as there were agents who had to transcribe them. This is particularly true for the earliest period, before native languages were codified in the Roman alphabet or other writing systems. Furthermore, the names were often transcribed with spaces between the syllables. However, since the present practice is not to include these spaces, they have not been used in this index.
We also eliminated the use of the possessive form at the end of a name. For example, BEARDY'S becomes BEARDY, but BEAR'S EARS remains unchanged.
In order to distinguish between two bands with the same name, an identifying trait, usually the name of a place, has been added in brackets. This identifier is not part of the band's name.