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1850: 1850 - Indigenous Name, Kalamalka Lake

Chilutsus was the native name for Kalamalka Lake. “This name is pronounced as if spelled Chil-loot-sus as it is indeed sometimes, so written.”

Source: Tassie, G. C. “Some Place-Names”. The Tenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society of Vernon, British Columbia. Vernon, BC: Okanagan Historical Society, 1943.  p. 34.

In the 1930s, the lake was officially recorded as “Long Lake” and in 1953, appeared in the Gazetteer as “Kalamalka Lake”. The name in Polynesian apparently means “the sun of America”. It was believed that a native from the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) who had been recruited in the late 1700s to help establish Fort Astoria in Oregon, had travelled to the North Okanagan. Here he had married an Indigenous woman and named one of their offspring, Kalamalka. The Syilx/Okanagan People claim that the word is a form of “Kenamaska,” the name of a chief who led the people of the lakehead. This word was used to describe the velvet grown on deer horns in the spring.

Source: The Calendar, June 5, 1991.