Skip to main content
Select Source:

Thompson

Thompson

ETHNONYMS: Knife Indians, Snare, Thompson River Indians

The Thompson (Nlaka'pamux, Ntlakyapamuk) are an American Indian group who live on the Fraser and Thompson rivers in south-central British Columbia. They speak an Interior Salish language closely related to Shuswap and numbered 2,647 in 1967, an increase from the 1902 estimate of 1,825. Internally, they were divided into the Lower Thompson, who lived from just below Spuzzum on the Fraser River nearly to the village of Cisco and the Upper Thompson, whose towns extended from the latter point nearly to Lillooet on the Fraser River, to within a short distance of Ashcroft on the Thompson River, and in the Nicola Valley. Today, about fifteen bands live in the area. The Thompson were probably first contacted by Simon Fraser during his explorations in 1809. The traditional culture was modified by influences from Victoria established in the 1840s, the gold miners and settlers who arrived in increasing numbers in the 1850s, and the smallpox epidemics of 1863 and the 1880s which reduced the aboriginal population of about 5,000. By the turn of century, most Thompson were somewhat assimilated into European-Canadian society, as they moved into areas of White settlement where they worked as wage laborers and farmed, hunted, and fished.

The traditional bands were individual groups of related families with hereditary chiefs with limited authority. More powerful were the councils composed of mature men. Salmon was the staple food, often caught from wooden fishing stages built over fish runs, with dip nets and spears used as well as traps and weirs. The salmon were dried on poles. Various mammals such as deer, bear, beaver, and elk were hunted, and women collected berries, fruits, roots, and nuts.

Traditionally, the Thompson were seminomadic. In the summer, mat tipis (and later canvas tipis and then tents) were moved to different hunting grounds and berry patches as the season progressed. They also used more permanent semisubterranean earthlodges. The material culture included birchbark canoes, coiled baskets, drums, double-curved bows, snowshoes, goat wool and rabbit fur blankets, and skin clothing.

Pubescent girls were segregated in small tipis, and dome-shaped sweat lodges covered with mats or canvas were also used. The latter were used by adolescent boys during their quest for guardian spirits. Shamans and curers worked with the aid of these spirits, which were generally animal in nature. The Thompson believed in numerous deities, a major one being the Chief of the Dead. Important ceremonials were the puberty rites for girls, the First Salmon Ceremony, and rious dances.

Bibliography

Teit, James A. (1898). Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. American Folklore Society, Memoir no. 6. Philadelphia, Pa.

Teit, James A. (1900). The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. American Museum of Natural History Memoirs, vol. 2, 163-392. New York.

Tepper, Leslie H., ed. (1987). The Interior Salish Tribes of British Columbia: A Photographic Essay. Canadian Museum of Civilization, Mercury Series, Canadian Ethnology Service, Paper no. 111. Ottawa.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Thompson." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Thompson." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson

"Thompson." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Thompson (river, Canada)

Thompson, river, 304 mi (489 km) long, formed by the junction of the North Thompson and the South Thompson rivers at Kamloops, S British Columbia, and flowing W and S to the Fraser River at Lytton. The North Thompson is usually considered part of the main stream. The river was explored (1808) by Simon Fraser and named by him for David Thompson, a fellow explorer.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Thompson (river, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Thompson (river, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson-river-canada

"Thompson (river, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson-river-canada

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Thompson (city, Canada)

Thompson, city (1991 pop. 14,977), central Man., Canada, on the Burntwood River. A mining town, it developed after large nickel deposits were discovered in the area in 1956.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Thompson (city, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Thompson (city, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson-city-canada

"Thompson (city, Canada)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thompson-city-canada

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Thompson

Thompson •Masson •flaxen, Jackson, klaxon, Sachsen, Saxon, waxen •Samson •Branson, Jansen, Manson, Nansen •arson, Carson, fasten, parson, sarsen •Bresson, delicatessen, Essen, lessen, lesson •Texan •Belsen, keelson, Nelson •Mendelssohn • Empson •Benson, ensign •Stetson •basin, caisson, chasten, diapason, hasten, Jason, mason •Bateson • handbasin • washbasin •Freemason • stonemason • Nielsen •Stevenson •christen, glisten, listen •Gibson, Ibsen •Blixen, Nixon, vixen •Nilsson, Stillson, Wilson •Nicholson • Simpson • Whitsun •Robinson • Acheson •Addison, Madison •Edison •Atkinson • Dickinson • Alison •Tennyson, venison •unison •caparison, comparison, garrison, Harrison •Ericsson • Morrison •archdiocesan, diocesan •jettison • Davisson •bison, Meissen, Tyson •Michelson • Robson •coxswain, oxen •Mommsen, Thompson •Johnson, Jonson, sponson, Swanson •Watson •coarsen, hoarsen, Orson •boatswain, bosun •Robeson • Jolson • moisten • loosen •Wolfson • Cookson • Hudson •Bunsen • tutsan •Grierson, Pearson •Culbertson • Richardson • Anderson •Jefferson • Ferguson • Rowlandson •Amundsen • Emerson • Jespersen •Saracen • Peterson • Williamson •person, worsen •Bergson • chairperson • layperson •salesperson • sportsperson •spokesperson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Thompson." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Thompson." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thompson

"Thompson." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thompson

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.