James Alexander Teit
James Alexander Teit, ethnographer (b in Shetland Is, Scot 1864; d at Spences Bridge, BC 30 Oct 1922). Much of our knowledge of traditional Salish cultures of Interior BC is based on Teit's meticulous descriptions and artifact collections for major museums in Ottawa, New York and Chicago (seeSALISH, INTERIOR). Teit's wife was from a Thompson Indian village near his home at Spences Bridge, and he became conversant with Thompson language and culture, as well as the Shuswap and Lillooet languages. His enthnographic work was stimulated in 1895 when he met anthropologist Franz BOAS, who was on a field trip to BC; they collaborated periodically for the rest of Teit's life. Teit published not only on Interior Salish culture and mythology but also on the traditions of several DENE groups farther N. With his deep interest in native affairs, Teit helped form and served as secretary for the Allied Tribes of BC organization, working until his death for the protection of Indian land and other rights.