The Chagossians (also Îlois or Chagos Islanders) are the previous inhabitants of the Chagos Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory. The Chagossians resided in the islands of Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos, and the Salomon island chain, and had settled in other parts of the Chagos Archipelago, like Egmont Islands and Eagle Islands. Most of the Chagossians now live in Mauritius and the United Kingdom after being deported from their homeland by the British government in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This mass deportation was carried out so that Diego Garcia, the island where most Chagossians lived, could serve as the location for a military base shared between the UK and the United States. Today, there are no Chagossians that live on the island of Diego Garcia, as it is now the site of the military base Camp Justice.
The Chagossian people's ancestry is mostly of African heritage, particularly coming from Madagascar, Mozambique and other African nations including Mauritius. There is also a significant proportion of Indian ancestry. The French brought some to the Chagos islands as slaves from Mauritius in 1786. Others arrived as fishermen, farmers, and coconut plantation workers during the 19th century.
The Chagossians speak Chagossian Creole, a mix of Indigenous languages and French-based creole language and part of the Bourbonnais Creole family. Chagossian Creole is still spoken by some of their descendants in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Chagossian people living in the UK speak English.
The Archipelago later passed to the control of the United Kingdom and came to form part of the Colony of Mauritius.
Read more about Chagossians: Deportation From Homeland