House Groups

In terms of kinship, a House is a matrilineage of people so closely related that the members know how they are related. In other words, one's closest relatives on one's mother's side are in one's own House. When the Houses existed as physical structures, the feasts took place in front of the House.

The feasts drew together the members of the House and Clan who lived in the Houses as well as those who lived with their husband's Houses. In the same way, the feast held in the community hall today separate people by House and Clan before conducting business.

Today, none of these physical houses are standing, but the concept of the House persists because the matrilines still exist and because each House has titles and territories associated with it which continues to be used and recognized today.

The highest hereditary titles among the Wet'suwet'en are the twelve house chiefs. These twelve house chiefs own both fishing sites and distinct tracts of territory. The second highest titles or feast names are those of the twelve sub-chiefs who have important responsibilities for the administration of discreet parts of their House's territory.