Chief Johnny Chillihetza

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Chief Johnny Chillihetza

Birthplace: Douglas Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Death: November 14, 1930 (78)
Quilchena Indian Reserve, British Columbia, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Chief Chillihetza and N. N.
Husband of N. N.
Father of Alexander Chillihitzia and Angele
Brother of Alexander Chillihetza

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Chief Johnny Chillihetza


Chief of the Douglas Lake Indian Band

Johnny Chillihetza is the son of Chief Chillihetza. His father was the grandson of Pelkamulox and the adopted son of Grand Chief Nicola. Johnny Chillihetza was born in 1852, at Douglas Lake in British Columbia, Canada [British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986, index and images, FamilySearch]

A Visit to Europe

In 1904 Chief Johnny Chillihetza of the Douglas Lake Indian Band, and Chief Louis Clexlixqen of the Kamloops Indian Band, visited Europe with Father Jean-Marie-Raphaël Le Jeune, superior of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops. Both men took part in an exhibition of stenography, at which they received three gold and five silver medals. They also met with Pope Pius X at the Vatican, and, during a visit to England, they were received at Buckingham Palace by King Edward VII [Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online]

The McKenna-McBride Royal Commission

Chief Johnny Chillihetza gave evidence to the McKenna-McBride Commission [Wikipedia: McKenna-McBride Royal Commission] Part of his evidence is reported below:

"I want to speak to you about grazing. Long ago the Indians already started to have cattle, horses, and everything, and they had the use of the range and the Indians succeeded in getting large stock for themselves, and at that time they had big use of the range; it was not under control then, and they had a lot of stock, and it increased because there was range for the Indians at that time—open range. Now the white people sell it between themselves, and they are all taken up, and the Indians have no more land, and finally the Indians’ cattle diminished, because they were short of land."

"At the time [Reserve Commissioner] Sproat came and had the reserves surveyed out for the Indians he said, 'This stream that runs through the reserve is for your use; after a while you maybe will get to know how to cultivate your land, and that will be for your water—for irrigation. Now, I am going to record this water for you Indians with the Queen.' Now, the water is taken away from the Indians by the white people.....Long ago, when they had the use of the waters, the Indians had a lot of grain and potatoes which they planted, and they sowed their wheat .....Now the Indians are poor because their water is taken away from them, and the water is taken from the Indians in Kamloops by the harbour account, and their land is dried up, and they have not water to irrigate it. Now, the Indians want to have their water given back to them" [First Nation Studies: The Historical Journey]


Chief Johnny Chillihetza died on 14 November 1930. He died at the Quilchena Indian Reserve in British Columbia, Canada [British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986, index and images, FamilySearch]


14 November 1930: Chief Chillihitzia dead. A picturesque and noted figure, Chief Johnny Chillihitzia, age 77, chief of the Douglas Lake band, died this morning at Quilchena. His tall fur-clad figure was familiar in Merritt for many years. He was one of the first men in the Valley to own an automobile, and 15 years ago he was driven around by a Mexican chauffeur [Merritt Herald]

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Chief Johnny Chillihetza's Timeline

Douglas Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Age 23
British Columbia, Canada
November 14, 1930
Age 78
British Columbia, Canada