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Openings to a lake: historical approaches to Sumas Lake, British Columbia Cameron, Laura Jean 1994

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OPENINGS TO A LAKEHistorical Approachesto Sumas Lake, British ColumbiabyLaura Jean CameronB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of HistoryWe accept t s thesis confor •ng to the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 1994© 1994 Laura Jean CameronIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of therequirements for an advanced degree at the University of BritishColumbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely availablefor reference and study. I further agree that permission forextensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may begranted by the head of my department or by his or herrepresentatives. It is understood that copying or publication ofthis thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without mywritten permission.(Signature)Department of l-h’foyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Q S’aptewiv/9Abstract of ThesisOpenings To A LakeHistorical Approaches To Sumas Lake, British Columbiaby Laura CameronIn order to explore the dynamic between history and place, I consider fourmethodological issues within the historical space of Sumas Lake, B.C., a large lake thatwas drained in the 1920’s. The first “Opening” reflects on the connection betweenhistorical and technological frontiers, while critiquing my creation of the attachedHyperCard stack “Disappearing A Lake: A Meditation on Method and Mosquitos.” Thestack documents the creative process of history-making, allowing the “reader” to reviewand record comments, to see examples of cartography and photography, to hear oralinterviews and to read selections of narrative tradition either inside or outside the logicand context of an essay format.The written document flows from the stack. “Listening For Pleasure” discussesthe process of oral history as it relates to the negotiated and contested space of the SumasLake commons. Diving into archives from Victoria to Ottawa, “Margins and Mosquitos”recycles written records to explore federal, provincial and local involvements with a floodlake. “Memory Device” moves into the archive of land and waterscapes, looking forconnections between place and history, mindful of both Native oral tradition and writtenhistorical accounts of the lake.Interactive history is located not only in the interface between people andcomputers, but also in the process of making oral history and in the creativetransformation of archival documents. Most importantly, interactive history is alive inthe links people forge between stories and the actual places around them.HTable of ContentsAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiList of Figures ivAcknowledgement vAttachment Disappearing A Lake: A Meditation on MethodHyperCard Stack and MosquitosIntroduction Opening 1Chapter 1 Listening for Pleasure 18Chapter 2 Margins and Mosquitos 47Chapter 3 Memory Device 87Chapter 4 One More Byte 107Bibliography 111Appendix IlyperCard Stack Documentation 127111List of Figures1. Sumas Lake Bottom: view of Vedder Canal from Vedder Mountain, lookingnorth towards Sumas Mountain. 22. Cousins Swimming in Sumas Lake. Ida (Bowman) Campbell and Clytie(Bowman) Greeno, Ca. 1897. 193. Crew Of the Argo: Clytie, Ida, Mary and unidentified girl on OrionBowman’s sailboat on Sumas Lake, Ca. 1897. 194. Sumas Lake 1913: Miss Katie WalkerandMiss Maitland. 225. McConnell sisters, May and Myrtle, at Belirose, B.C., July 1920. 226. Picnic at Sumas Lake, 1901. 257. Skating party at Sumas Lake, 1905. 288. Edward Kelly at Sumas, B.C., 1912. 319. Sunday school picnic at Befrose Station, ca. 1918. 3110. Sumas Lake in flood, looking towards Sumas Mountain and LakeshoreRidge, by B.C. Electric tracks, ca. 1912. 3411. Chief Ned greeting visitors to the Smokehouse, Kilgard, B.C., Ca. 1915. 3712. Beaver #2 tied up at Fook’s Barn, Sumas Lake, Ca. 1905. 4013. Picnic on shore of Sumas Lake. Orion Bowman’s sailboat The Argo, Ca.1897. 4014. Canoeing in the dug-out at high water time. Greenos, McAdams and Mrs.Michaud on Sumas Lake, Ca. 1919. 4315. “B.C. Indian leader slams Germans, Greenpeace.” The Vancouver Sun, 3February 1994. 4516. Barbara Beldam and Muriel McPhail on way to Chilliwack River lodge,1921. 4817. British North American Boundary Commission map, 1871. 5118. Hydrographic Survey map, 1912. 5319. Map of Government and Indian Reserves. W. McColl, May 1864. 6120. Telegram, Vankoughnet to Sproat, 3 April 1879. 6721. Map of Sumas Indian Reserves, New Westminster District. W.S. Jemmett,1881. 6822. Map of Lower Fraser Valley showing main flood-water breeding areas at 21foot river level. Eric Hearle, 1926. 8223. Key Map of the Sumas Reclamation Area, 1919. 8424. Sumas Lake, as seen from the B.C. Electric substation on Vedder Mountain,ca. 1916. 8625. Sumas Prairie, also from the substation, Ca. 1926. 8626. Stop of interest, TransCanada Highway. 8827. Mr. G. at home, looking towards Sumas Prairie. 9028. Painting of Sumas Lake by Mr. G. 9029. Louie Alexander painting beside Sumas Lake. 9130. Painting of Sumas Lake by Louie Alexander, owned by Mrs. M. 9131. AformerSumasLakeridge. 10432. Lakemount Marsh, a remaining part of Sumas Lake currently operated by aprivate hunting club. 10433. Old growth fir beside lake bottom. 10634. Autograph of Clytie (Bowman) Greeno, from Ida (Bowman) Campbell’sautograph book, 1889. 110ivAcknowledgementFor their contributions, support and counsel along the way, I am deeply grateful tothe following groups and individuals: L.a Verne Adams, Jenny Anderson, Ethel Austin,Eleanor Blatchford, Jim Bowman, J.B. Cameron, David Cameron, Heather Cameron,Jody Cameron, Rob Cameron, Valerie Cameron. Keith Carison, William Chase, theChilliwack Museum Historical Society, Coqualeetza Education Training Center, JulieCruikshanlç Edward Dahi, Ron Denman, John Dornan, Edna Douglas, Sandra Dyck,George Ferguson, Myrtle Ferguson, Paul Ferguson, Kris Foulds, Allan Fumell, MargaretGallagher, Allan Guinet, Cole Harris, Margaret Lang Hastings, Doug Hudson, Ed and DelKelly, Hugh Kelly, Denis Knopf, Anne Knowlan, Len Kuffert, Barry Leach, Verna Leon,Bruce MacFayden, Betty McConnell, Bob McDonald, Sonny McHalsie, David Mattison,the Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Society, Rachel Munroe, Lloyd Michaud, JackieMinns, Gordon Mohs, Lynne Morgan, Dianne Newell, Susan Neylan, Doug Nicol,Joanne Poon, Maryanne Pope, Skip Ray, Ben Redekop, Matthew Rogaisky, Sharon andRudy Rogaisky, Betty Rogers, Daryl Rose, Maria Rurka, Anne Russell, Bill Russell,Janice Silver, Ray Silver Sr., Jim Smathers, Allan Smith, Bob Smith, Neil Smith, DebStewart, Kelly Stewart, Jim Strachan, Steve Straker, Sandy Tait, the Vancouver PublicLibrary, Birch Van Home, Peter Ward and Frank Wright This is for Matt.VOPENINGOpening, n. 1. an act or instance of making or becoming open.2. an unobstructed or unoccupied space or place. 3. a hole or void in solid matter.4. the act of beginning: start. 5. the first part or initial stage of anything.6. an employment vacancy. 7. an opportunity; chance. 8. a. the formal or officialbeginning of an activity, event, presentation, etc. b. a celebration marking this.9. the statement of the case made by legal counsel to the court or jury beforepresenting evidence. 10. a mode of beginning a game: chess openings.’The word “opening” has many possible meanings. In certain contexts, manylevels of meaning may be alive simultaneously. One such context is the moment when awoman or man sits down at a computer to begin to write a history concerning a place inthe West, the North American West. Here is an opportunity to open a new documentelectronically; to open the mind creatively; to make a first move in the academic game; tostart to make a case. Diving into the void— the future of the past— with anticipatorycelebration, the historian surfaces sometime around June, 1808. Gasping and sputteringfor air, lo and behold, trembling hands grasp a folder of written documents. The seaparts, the folder opens to reveal the journal of Simon Fraser, the European searching forliquid openings to the Pacific via Sto:lo, the river that soon would carry his name. Theopening to new frontiers! To boldly go!The project within, from start to open-end is a brief reflection on a lake: anopening between water and history, the inteiplay linking the stuff of nature and itshistorical representation within culture. The entry point is specific, local and currentlynon-existent: a southwestern British Columbian lake whose name, Sumas, translates as“big opening.”2 Sumas Lake, a large, sometimes shallow lake in the Lower Fraser Valley1Robert Costello, ed., Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (New York:Random House, 1991).2Oliver Wells, The Chilliwacks and their Neighbours (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1987),219. Another definition is suggested in Brent Galloway, A Grammar of UpriverHalkomelem (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 660: “possibly ‘flat,level’.”ISumas Lake Bottom: view of Vedder Canal from Vedder Mountain,looking north towards Sumas Mountain. Fraser River runs behind Sumas Mountain.Photo L. Cameron, January 1994.2of British Columbia, was drained in the 1920’s and a complex, costly drainage systemcontinues to pump the valuable3agricultural and residential lands. The engineers reportthat if the artificial drainage ceased, most of the 22,000 acres of this lake bottom wouldbe covered with water.4 To imagine that possible future is to recall the area’s past, whichwas, I am reminded by the Chilliwack man who developed my Sumas Lake Bottomphotographs in 1994, “a different country.”Openings can be treacherous. In the planning stages, my introduction exploredroots in European theory, crossed to North American historiography, went westering andtied up with an attempt to legitimize a pioneering hypertextual approach to history. Ibelatedly realized that my direction and attitude placed me firmly on the bottom of SimonFraser’s canoe. Canoeing downstream on the chronological paper trail, we pass a placewhere “the river expands into a lake.” No matter how loath we are to share in SimonFraser’s colonial venture, the desire to find or create openings may lead us to make andhonor the same strokes as the white explorers and settlers who went westering in theterritory of the Sto:lo not so long ago. We reify the irreverent and ignorant claim thatwhat makes B.C. history interesting— ideas, colorful characters, change — came fromelsewhere. The time of the river, the traditions of its people are reduced, in the words ofthe prolific Canadian storyteller, Harold Adams Innis, to an “absolute nullity.”6 As the“big opening” of Sumas Lake is probed with new theory or computer technology, it mustalso be approached with new respect.Self-examination is thus in order. A focus on objects, a lake and a computer, mayreflect an instinctive need to connect with physical “things” to mitigate increasingIn terms of monetary value only, a 1993 Abbotsford District report states that SumasPrairie has “an estimated agricultural invested value of some two hundred fifty milliondollars. Return on investment per annum is around fifty million dollars Canadian.” D. F.Wright, “Barrowtown Pump Station,” (District of Abbotsford, 1993), 34.4Ibid.5Simon Fraser, ed. by W. Kaye Lamb, Letters and Journals, 1806 - 1808 (Toronto:MacMillan, 1960), 102.6cited in Arthur Kroker, Technology and the Canadian Mind (Montreal: New WorldPerspectives, 1984), 94.3disorientation in one of the most rapidly changing landscapes of Canada. Putting a lake(typically seen as a part of nature) in the same category of things as a computer (asupposed item of culture) might appear somewhat mixed up. But both really are mixturesof nature and culture. As Bruno Latour, a European scholar who often teaches in theNorth American West, tells us, “the very notion of culture is an artifact created bybracketing Nature off.”7 People interact with a lake, a computer, shaping them with realmatter, discourse, and collective action.8 Simultaneously, these things alter people, thereal world, language and politics.I must admit that in terms of reorienting one’s perspective on history, adisappeared lake may appear to be something akin to Alice’s looking glass, the stuff ofdreams and imagination. Yes, that which is tangible is lake bottom. But this experientialrealist is adamant that her mirror, Sumas Lake, once was encountered by living,experiencing bodies in the very real world. We can no longer swim in Sumas Lake, butits past material reality permits other living bodies a chance to lovingly recover a sense ofhistory and place. We interact with lake reflections that are not simply unreal ordistorted: rather, the documents, photos, maps and oral records are mediations, events ofcreation and translation, which continue to shape local stories and landscapes.But why acknowledge the computer? Surely it is only a write?s tool and is not, inthe study of history, immanent. Yet here I try to write an environmental history whileimmersed intellectually in theories and information technologies that appear to have thepotential to push storytellers far from the non-virtual (real) world where people actuallychew vegetables and drink water. Now I am questioning the usage of drainagetechnology as I employ powerful computer technology, with enthusiasm and withoutquestion, to process words and search data bases in order to replenish the lake with story.Paradox looms large and to paraphrase Stewart Brand, “invention is the sincerest form of7Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modem (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,1993), 104.8JbW., 6.4self-criticism.’9I authored in hypertext, “an information medium that links verbal andnonverbal information.”0in order to make visible and audible some of what Iexperienced in the creative process of historical research. My hypertext stack made withHyperCard software attempted to show how archival materials were convincing me. howexisting photographs and maps, oral histories and narratives were changing my ideasabout the lake.Despite my cautious beginning, this interaction drew me as a spectator into themuch vaunted electronic frontier and made me, in the depths of my involvement, morepro—technology than I ever dreamed possible. Only my history books advised me to lookaround carefully. What was this heady world promising freedom and adventure? Whatdid “pioneering” entail? A hard copy examination of the relationship between theelectronic and historical frontiers is not just a vain attempt to find a privileged place fromwhich to survey the form of hypertext. The present work occupies middle ground. Buthow else may one critically examine the frontier and simultaneously communicate withthose people who have not yet been persuaded to go there?The result may be frontier advertising for new open space. but it comes with alarge warning for would-be pioneers drawn from recent work of students of the West:“connections matter.”11 Even if the stories which support the glorious frontier have beenchallenged, their consequences — the conquest of people and place — have been real.And now we seem to have the possibility of extending the stories visually, aurally andtextually. In effect, we may make them “hyper-real.” Hypertext may actualize andembody many exciting ideas of contemporary historical theory, but new historical inquiryalso serves as a refreshing critique of this much-hyped technology.9Stewart Brand. The Media Lab: Inventing thefuture at MIT (New York: Penguin,1988), 7.‘0George Landow, Hypertext: The Convergence ofContemporary Critical Theoiy andTechnology (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 4.“Wifijam Cronon, George Miles and Jay Gitlin, eds. “Becoming West: Toward a NewMeaning for Western History,” Under An Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past(New York, W.W. Norton and Company, 1992), 9.5The word “opening” is evocative within the history of the West. Withconnotations of empty and unoccupied, Western Canada has long been interpreted as anopen frontier, waiting for the presence and labour of colonizers. B.C. historians, untilrecently, have done liffle to change that notion. As Allan Smith notes of the major B.C.historian, Margaret Ormsby, “Ormsby’s general history gave [Indiansi scant attention, andher 1960 appeal for new work made no reference to them at all.”12 This “sense ofunoccupied timelessness”3persists not just in the popular press but in the law courtswhere Justice McEachern judged a “vastemptiness”14to exist where the Gitksan andWet’suwet’en saw named and occupied homelands. If we privilege the written accountand the “contact” experience as the beginning of the West, we re-narrate the discoverypageant and repeat the refrain that once earned me full marks in grade ten social studies.“B.C. has lots of geography but little history.”15Strong resistance to the theory of historical emptiness comes from those who areincreasingly sensitive to the legal and political context of Native history, and who assertthe anthropological and historical knowledge that British Columbia was neither “empty”nor “timeless” prior to newcomer occupation. Although the “New Western History” as anamed genre comes from American historians of the West who still tend to ignoreCanada, the 49th parallel does not stop ideas, elk, air pollutants or relatives from movingback and forth across the border. Scholars concerned with changing environments andFirst Nations are writing international history.’6The open frontier was a shared myth, not12 Allan Smith, “The Writing of British Columbia History,” BC Studies 45 (Spring,1980): 90, ftn.13Barry Peterson, “A sense of unoccupied timelessness,” The Weekend Sun, 22 January1994.14”Reasons for Judgement of the Honourable Chief Justice Alan McEachern,” SupremeCourt of British Columbia, no. 0843, Smithers Registry, 8 March 1991, 12.15Unit Exam on Canadian history, Chilliwack Junior High School, 1982.16”New Western History” builds on the thoughts of many critics of Frederick JacksonTurner’s frontier thesis that an area of free land and its constant recession throughsettlement explains American development and the American character: see, for instance,the work of Patricia Nelson Limerick, William Cronon, Donald Worster and RichardWhite. Examples of Canadian histories which question the idea of free land/water and6simply in the sense of a falsehood, but in terms of a story that., for a time, explained toWesterners who they were and how they should act. For many, that particular story is nolonger coherent and we search for new openings into more powerful, more inclusivestories.Some suggest windows may be found in new conceptual structures. In Under AnOpen Sky, Sarah Deutsch urges historians to envision “an interactive multifacetedmodel,”17 a framework more appropriate to diverse concepts of history. She does notspeak of a technological solution, but following George Landow who has written recentlyof the convergence of computer hypertext and literary theory, we may be tempted to seehypertext as the fulfillment of such requests for major renovations in historiography.Hypertext advocates like Landow argue that we should stop thinking in terms of lineararguments, of hierarchies, centers and margins and instead expand our vocabulary andmindset to recognize “mutilinearity, nodes, links and networks.”18 Hypertext, asconceived by computer theorist, Theodor H. Nelson in the 1960’s, is “text that branchesand allows choices to the reader, best read at an interactive screen.”19 Interactivity,diversity, choice; the buzz words of new gender, ethnic and class conscious history alsoclick with the theory of hypertext.The computer is familiar to many historians as an information storage device andword-processor, perhaps because they are prepared to characterize themselves asretrievers and processers of data. The computer is unfamiliar as a facilitator of creativeand qualitative thought, not just because the software is new (HyperCard has been aroundfor only a decade) but because historians, unlike students of literature, do not givethemselves enough credit for being creative and qualitative creatures. My HyperCardthe image of settlers dwelling in harmony with new possessions include Robin Fisher andKenneth Coates, eds, Out ofthe Background (Toronto: Copp-Clark-Pitmann, 1988) andDianne Newell’s study of the indigenous B.C. fishery in the Tangled Webs ofHistory(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993).175J Deutsch, “Landscape of Enclaves,” Open Sky, 131.18Landow, Hypertext, 2.‘9lbid., 4.7stack is a variation on Nelson’s non-sequential model. Although I maintained a linearessay component, the “reader” is provided constant opportunities to branch off to othermaterials both visual and aural. Allowing recorded voices to speak while one reads myanalysis destabilizes one privileged standpoint and adds static to a monophonic authority.The ability to link to other materials formalizes multiple connections and allowscomplexity in a very messy West. The stack is cyclical and, because of the capacity toaccept reader or additional writer comments, it is potentially open-ended. Emphasizinggeneration rather than reduction, my intention was to expand my understanding of SumasLake aided by others who might make new links and extend the “reader” fields.The content of western history may thus interact with form. The very experienceof reading hypertext becomes an exploration of the idea of westering. Like the men andwomen western historians write about, the “readers,” given the opportunity and the tools,can “pick and choose between the known and the unknown” shaping the text, new goods,“new settlements”— an experience which can “carry with it an unexpected feeling ofempowerment.”2°The “reader” can listen to recorded voices and privilege the slowing-sensation of listening to other viewpoints and experiences of life. Or like Landow whoprefers “more bang for his buck”21 she can choose not to. If the hypertext is formattedfor the Internet’s World-Wide Web22 she may partake in the simultaneous remoteness andconnectedness that undermined hierarchy in the West as she seemingly creates, notinherits, the structure of her society. Most compelling of all, the software provides openfields for experimentation apparently limited only by imagination and computer power.20Cronon, Miles, Gitlin, “Becoming West,” Open Sky, 10.21George Landow, “Hyperliterature, Criticism and the Academy,” Beyond Gutenberg:Hypertext and the Future ofthe Humanities Conference, Personal Conference Notes,Yale University, New Haven, C.T., May 13, 1994.22With nearly ten million users, this “superhighway” for information is an ever-expandingnetwork which uses telecommunication lines to send large amounts of data between“sites” around the world. See Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community:Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993), 8.8Early Twentieth Century pump technology offered agriculture science severalthousand acres of Sumas Prairie on which to experiment, and, thanks to hypertext, wehave the opportunity to “discover” frontiers all over again. In an intellectual sense, thefrontier was a new or unexplored area of thought or knowledge. Geographically, SumasLake was a frontier, lying along the border of another country; in fact, the Sumas rivervalley extends into Whatcom County in the United States. In Richard Slotkin’s mythicalsense, the frontier “was the border between a world of possibilities and one of actualities,a world theoretically unlimited and one defined by its limitations.”23The historical senseof Sumas Lake contains all of these meanings, but it also insists that the “big opening”was also a unique place, an ecosystem and a community characterized byinterdependence and interchange. As we define what we want from new openings, suchas wealth, pleasure, or new understanding, we learn that such places alter us as we changethem.This process may attune us to the dynamics of power, particularly to the action ofour words. When we attempt to rethink history by using the voices, images or stories ofothers, the result may represent collaboration or exploitation, sharing or silencing. Morelikely, they reveal both possibilities at once.24 Hypertext may appear to offer atechnological solution to bothersome authorial responsibility, but historians would dowell to think again. Landow writes “The main reason I think hypertext does notappropriate alien points of view, and thereby exclude them under the guise of pretendingto include them, lies in the presence of the (politically) responsible, active reader:because the reader chooses his or her own reading paths, the responsibility lies with thereader. In linking and following links lie responsibility— political responsibility —since each reader establishes his or her own line of reading.” But ultimately, of course,23Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment: The Myth ofthe Frontier in the Age ofIndustrialization 18(X)-1890 (New York: Atheneum, 1985), 45.24Richard Fung, “Working Through Cultural Appropriation,” Fuse 16 nos. 5, 6(Summer 1993): 16-24.25Landow, Hypertext, 185.9the possible links and choices have been created by the individual writer. As reader youhave the sensation of choosing, and, provided the opportunity, you may respond, but youare aware that you are exploring someone else’s moral universe. Freedom from creativeresponsibility is always a dangerous illusion.The notion that serious problems of human relations are best solved by technicalsolutions, such as hypertext for cultural appropriation and I.U.D.s for family planning, ishardly obvious. Just because a computer can do something like hypertextual history, wemust not assume that it necessarily should. When we cuddle up to the computer to reapits benefits, we are vulnerable and we should be prepared to lose something, perhaps evensomething critical. For those storytellers concerned with the quality of place, the place oflearning and the place of home, the opening provided by computers might begin to appearas appealing as an ozone hole.At a 1994 hypertext conference, I was struck by the prevalence of geographicaland spatial metaphors in the speakers’ language. Hypertext authors were persuading us toenter new “environments,” “landscapes,” “open space,” to open up new “windows” as wesat in a dark, windowless, Barco-equipped hail. Experiencing the frontier through theirfingertips, we were able to envision something that our awareness of the environment“out-there” and recognition of an historically occupied West advised us to stop dreamingabout. Behold empty space for free, unlimited discovery! Is the success of thepropaganda dependent on some connection we are making between real environmentsand hyper-environments? Or is it effective simply and ironically because a link to realityis no longer required?We just might be buying into the void. With so little sensory stimulation exceptfrom that which came from the screen and the speaker, we are mesmerized by EdwardTufte and those who remind us that our brains can absorb great amounts of information10and thus require the highest degree of resolution on the screen.26 The more informationyou display, the more credibility you will have. The question “to what purpose?” tends toget lost in the persuasive novelty, which urges us to follow the prophets and open ourwallets for further adventure to someplace, any place but here, in this limbo of now.In the worst scenario, we may just wind up any place. Electronic media,especially in the forms of television and radio, has the potential to destroy that which isspecial about place and time.27 If information from everywhere can be downloadedanywhere at anytime, what special knowledge will actual places— libraries, lakes— beunderstood to contain? Neil Postman warns that new technologies “alter the nature ofcommunity, the arena in which thoughts develop.”28 Certainly when I first heard aboutSumas Lake, I dramatically envisaged the disappeared body of water as a powerfulmetaphor for all the wrongs perpetrated on community by drainage and informationtechnology. My deepest fears about the fallout of the global information explosion—cultural breakdown and erasure of local identity— were confirmed by my “discovery” ofa disappeared and widely forgotten lake on the outskirts of my city. Admittedly, localhistory was not a strong component of my schooling inside classrooms in the 1970’s and1980’s. But even now, as children learn more about the place where they live in morediverse media, the forum of learning is inextricably linked to what we learn.If community is constituted, as philospher David Carr suggests, by a sharedstory,29 we should also be attuned to how computers may alter the way we transmithistory. Lewis Mumford quotes the philosopher A.N. Whitehead: “‘historical tradition ishanded down by the direct experience of physical surroundings’ provided of course,” he26Edward Tufte, “Inaugural Address: Cognitive Arts,” Beyond Gutenberg Conference,Personal Conference Notes, Yale University, May 13, 1994.27Joshna Meyrowitz, No Sense ofPlace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985),125.28Neil Postman, Technopoly: the Surrender ofCulture to Technology (Toronto: VintageBoolcs, 1993), 20.29David Carr, Time, Narrative and History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,1986), 169.Hadds, “that these surroundings remain coherent and stable.”3o For some writers, thehypertext allure has nothing to do with the offer of stability: its pull is more like thefascination of watching water swirl down the drain. As Michael Joyce relates, we are in“flowspace.” With the universal metaphor of water, hypertext is universalized. “Printstays itself, electronic text replaces itself.”31The poststructural landscape may be shifting, but connections between words andthings are still what must nurture us if our histories are to remain vital. The HombyIsland Official Community Plan begins with the idea that the “hardest nut to crack, of allthe difficult nuts of environmental deterioration, is the very real human capacity to forgetsomething not now present that was once of considerable importance to our lives, and theobvious inability to miss something we’ve never experienced. And so from generation togeneration the environment becomes less interesting, less diverse, with smallerunexpected content.”32 The obvious solution to this human condition is not a costlysimulation of what we are losing but a costly attempt to protect and preserve our realtreasures, our real West Coast rainforests, our real water supplies — our real memorydevices that link us, remind us, reinforce in us the stories of the Western past in a waythat no computer can. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive but involve people’slives so that sometimes we must choose where we engage our time. And how wepersuade ourselves to think about time.Metaphors are often used rhetorically. That is, we may use metaphor to ensure afavorable reception of an idea by asserting that things we thought were difficult, unusualor impossible to comprehend are actually very much like things we do understand. Notsurprisingly, we often depend on spatial or geographical metaphor to discuss time, a30Lewis Mumford, The Myth ofthe Machine: Technics and Human Development (NewYork: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967), 106.31Michael Joyce, “(Re)Placing the Author: “A Book in the Ruins,” Beyond GiaenbergConference, Personal Conference Notes, Yale University, May 13, 1994.32cft&l in Hornby Island Qfficial Convnunir’ Plan, Victoria: Islands Trust, May 1992,preface.12difficult concept that may be easier to grasp with a tangible referent. Hayden Whitesuggests that metaphor “does not give us either a description or an icon of the thing itrepresents, but tells us what images to look for in our culturally encoded experience inorder to determine how we shouldfeel about the thing represented.”33Time is a highway. Progressing up from Vancouver on the TransCanad.a highwayover the Fraser Valley floodplain we pass, in about an hour and a half, a funpark calledWonderland. This is not Alice’s territory: we tail a Rabbit but it checks its rearviewmirror not its pocketwatch. The strip malls containing fast food outlets, and servicesdedicated to the automobile are anchored not to local and beloved landmarks, for they arefast disappearing, but to the open universe of international commodity trading. You aredriving through what Brian Fawcett has called an “anti-memory device”34wearing awaya sense of place by telling you that you are any place. This is the true West, but it ishardly the romantic experience of visiting an abandoned ghost town. We pass IndianReserve lands, but stereotypes are vanquished in the Kilgard Reserve. Here is a band-owned brick factory, there we view the products of a plastic pipe manufacturer, theartifacts of a gravel company.We now drive on pavement supported in places by the Sumas Lake Bottom. Nottoo far along, we cross the Vedder Canal which redirects a river which used to pour intothe lake. The vista opens to the south past the green sod of golf courses. Many tinyopenings for little white balls in some of “the most fertile soil in North America,” the“Green Heart of B.C.” For the time being we can be assured the lake bottom “proper”mainly supports dairy, hog and poultry barns, sod farms, vegetables, neat and tidy rows,sturdy yeoman agribusinessmen, all reinforcing images of where we came from, whyplanners were pushed to encourage hillside development, why the New Democratic Party33Hayden White, Tropics ofDiscourse (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press,1978), 91.34Brian Fawcett, Cambodia: A Bookfor People who Find Television Too Slow(Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1986), 58.13of British Columbia created the Agricultural Land Reserve, why locals celebrate“Country Living Days.” Good, honest, healthy living in open spaces. The lake bottom isover but the highway continues on, money too is time and the billboards beckon, “We’reopen for business. Phone the mayor.”Time could be a “information highway.” Speeding down the onramp we log ontoan Internet node in Abbotsford called “Sumas.” Appropriate name; here is another kindof opening— another kind of innocent optimism, another territory to name and occupy.In an anarchic reordering of people and place, history may be debated in the unlikeliest ofcommunity forums. On newsgroup alt.sex.bondage we read in somebody’s post: “TheInternet was started in the United States but has grown to be truly global in nature. Manypeople today join the Internet today for the same reasons people came to America:freedom, choice, democracy, rich resources, opportunity to grow, room to expand,diversity on many levels, tolerance and respect of differences.”35 Just find a port of entryand begin.Or maybe time is a river. In Halkomelem, the Coast Salish language of the Sto:loterritory, the tidal flows of river water may connect to concepts of both space and time.36Fernand Braudel of the Annales school of history structured time as a sea divided intodepths, tides and surface ripples. Structure, the geographic time of his longue durée, islikened to the sea depths. Conjuncture, the rhythms of “groups and groupings,” isrendered as “swelling currents.” Events of individual, short-term significance are surfacewaves, “crests of foam that the tides of history carry on their strong bac.”37 Time mayalso be quite different, for as Michel Foucault argued, time may be discontinuous,connected in what White points out is the imagery of an archipelago, “a chain of35”Sir Douglas,” dougmc@netcom.com, May 23, 1994.36Wayne Suttles, “Space and Time, Wind and Tide- Some Halkomelem Modes ofClassification,” Coast Salish Essays (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1987), 68.37Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age ofPhillip II, VoL 1 (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), 20-2 1: Vol. 2, 1238-1244.14epistemic islands, the deepest connections among which are unknown— andunknowable. “38Yet if time is not entirely continuous nor made of such radically separated places,time might be a flood lake. Something goes and something stays, reminding us of linksbetween past and future. If, as geographer Anne Buttimer suggests, water “lubricates,emancipates, renews and recreates human existence through time,”39 a flood lake withboth unpredictability and pattern may be like that time. We are in time as we are in spaceand the challenge of a lake is that what has happened inside it is invisible to the casualobserver. ‘ Although the past retains mysteries, Sumas calls us to reinvigorate ourrelationship with time. To accept its invitation is to dive right in, all senses open.Our histories of the West may extend coherence and meaning to the environmentand that continuum may sustain us though we deodorize the sensory realm, fill our earswith traffic noise and reduce our positive metaphors of time to thoughts of highwaydistancing and material accumulation. As the world rapidly is reordered, we are slowlybeginning to appreciate the knowledge that the destruction of environment entails thedestruction of culture. Like any new opening to a way of seeing the world, we need toexamine new technological openings warily. Something like hypertext may vitalize thecreative practice of history. But as Howard Rheingold warns, “The late 1990s mayeventually be seen in retrospect as a narrow window of historical opportunity, whenpeople either acted or failed to act effectively to regain control over comunicationstechnologies.Ml In order to control our lives and gain knowledge about our place inwestern Canada, to frame the answer to “where is here?” in the long term of inhabited38Hayden White, “Foucault Decoded: Notes from underground,” History and Theory 12no. 1 (1973): 28.39Anne Buttimer, “Nature, water symbols and the human quest for wholeness,” in DavidSeamon and Robert Mugerauer, eds., Dwelling, Place and Environment (New York:Columbia University Press, 1985), 277.40Mary J. Burgis and Pat Morris, The Natural History ofLakes (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1987), 208.41Rheingold, Virtual Communities, 300.15territory, we need to explore time and place in ways that extend our awareness and thathelp our stories to thrive.Sumas Lake was, in the imaging of its drainers, a marginal place “left behind” inthe race towards modernization. We may now be drawn nostalgically to such an image ofSumas Lake, however we must not forget that one person’s “margin” may have been avital link in another’s interconnected universe. Each of the following chapters representsa methodological opening to Sumas Lake, an exploration of the categorization of SumasLake through space and time in which my “I” is an active participant. “Listening forPleasure” tests the waters, assessing concepts of value with the thoughts expressed in oralinteractions. Might we locate an opening to community? “Margins and Mosquitos”plunges into the paper documents of the archives, emphasizing links between historieslocal and national, vernacular and official. Back on solid ground, “Memory Device”reflects on narrative traditions and the connections between actual place and stayingpower of story. In a monologue by this project’s muse, “One More Byte” attempts todistance this project from the work of modernization while assessing the value ofinteractive history.A question that students of environmental history always must confront is theimportance and relevance of history to the present. As I.G. Simmons challenges, ischange so rapid that “all knowledge of all pre-existing conditions is obsolete”42?Thisquestion, unresolved like that of aboriginal title in B.C., must hang over the followingdiscussions. The study of rapid change and the replenishment of desertified historicalexperience may well be an employment opportunity for tomorrow’s historian. But an aimof this thesis is to model that the honoring of place, no matter how changed, provides onepositive opening for interconnected and engaged history. History is in the books andmouths of storytellers, inside private homes and in the public archives. Diversity and421.G. Simmons, Environmental History: A Concise Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell,1993), 185.16interaction in the places of history makes for sustainable history. History is also out thereand encountering and expressing it can be a process involving community, field andlakework. “Openings To A Lake” is a sharing of endeavors to move body and mind tocare about local changes in the wider world.17Chapter OneLISTENiNG FOR PLEASUREIn simplistic terms, people who live in the same place form a community. Tosuggest further that communities also hold a common history in that place might appearto forge a definition that excludes more local people than it includes. Oral historianshoping to create community history based on place thus involve themselves in ahazardous enterprise. A person who experienced Sumas Lake as a child would notnecessarily have the same story as that of his parent. A woman living on the SumasBand’s Kilgard Reserve in 1915 may have had an understanding of how she occupied thearea of Sumas Lake that was incompatible with the convictions of someone involved inthe Upper Sumas Women’s Institute. Just because people lived in the same place does notmean they occupied the same world.But cozy notions of community aside, we ought to remember that holding placesor stories in common does not mean that they must be understood or used by allcommunity members in the same way. Before it was drained, Sumas Lake and itsmarginal land was a commons: an area unofficially but effectively open to the use of allinhabitants. Like many public spaces, the area was actively contested and negotiated bypeople who lived near each other in relations of power. If community history issomething like public property, community members perhaps have the right not to beexcluded from that history’s possible uses and benefits.’How do we write this history that provides the means of creating oppositeinterpretations and yet reflects a community of shared experience? Recordedcommunications between individuals and groups, in both public and private spaces, thenand now, are complex processes of cooperation and translation. Doing the oral history ofa place like Sumas Lake includes the straightforward matter of asking “what do youtFor this helpful defmition of public property see Ursula Franidin, “Silence and theNotion of the Commons,” MusicWorks 59 (Summer, 1994), 42.18Cousins swimming in Sumas Lake. Ida (Bowman) Campbell and Clytie (Bowman)Greeno, Ca, 1897. Neil Smith Collection.Crew of the Argo: Ida, Clytie, and two others on Orion Bowmans sailboat on SumasLake, Ca, 1897. Neil Smith Collection.19aremember about it?” But in order to articulate a commons of oral history— an authenticdomain of lake possibilities — we must also begin to address the oral records withquestions like “which people spoke?” “In which forum?” “For which reasons?” And “towhich ends?”Hoping to locate some orally transmitted lake knowledge in time, I chose tofollow the relatively recent stream of oral history back to documents that are neithertypically linked to this methodology nor commonly connected to Sumas Lake. Thesetranscriptions of government commission testimonies are not the products of oral history.But immersed within the context of the creative, engaged process of oral history, suchrecords may help to enlarge and enliven Marc Bloch’s definition of history: “a thing inmovement.’2Admittedly, oral history, with notable exceptions? still is located within amarginal area of the academy’s activities, a zone flooded by local museum societies andenthusiasts. Many academic historians— like speculators gazing anxiously at the fieldduring freshet— stake their claims on written documents, their semblance of solidground. Yet, upon entering the adjacent field of anthropology, the oral historian isencouraged to understand her research as a fluid community process, not simply asmaterial to be mined for fact. Such an approach brings to community history a healthyawareness that the process of oral communication is not something that can be separatedfrom nuggets of truth.As the oral historian interacts intimately with records, real people and places,assumptions may shift, compelling her to confront the dynamics of historicalconstruction. The identification of “our” stories becomes important as we explore “their”stories, loolcing for links between them.4 Convinced by the arguments of feminist,socialist and ethnic historians, I initially felt that my own oral history would raise or2Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), 12.3see for instance: Joy Parr, The Gender ofBreadwinners (Toronto: University of TorontoPress, 1990).4Renato Rosaldo, “Doing Oral History,” Social Analysis no. 4 (September 1980): 89.20salvage voices that dominant narratives lacked or ignored. Yes, Sumas Lake had beendrained, but this action hardly proved that Sumas Lake was valueless to all the peoplewho lived there. My own love of nearby lakes, Cultus, Lindeman, Harrison and Hicks,predisposed me to prick up my ears at any mention of lake value, particularly as a sourceof pleasure. A lake means the “beach” and it certainly means swimming. In Westernculture, the liminal zone of the beach is linked to new codes of behavior for women aswell as men.5 Despite my suspicion that popular notions of the beach would change agreat deal across time, the photographs of families and joyous young women swimmingand boating at Sumas Lake— snapped, of course, prior to drainage— continued to feedsynchronic notions of recreational “Super Natural” British Columbia.Only when I finally began to listen for pleasure, in my own oral histories and inthe oral records of others, did my categories of Sumas Lake’s benefits begin to blur. I didnot locate the high ground where the “unprivileged” spoke for themselves. But listeningfor value in that lake, I encountered descriptions of an enjoyed resource base that was notalways partitioned into useful and useless areas. The divisions that individuals do makeperhaps answer more clearly why the ecosystem was destroyed rather than why peoplelived with it. The oral record of Sumas Lake is extensive and this study does not attemptto be comprehensive: rather it reflects a belief that a more inclusive reconstruction of thelake must challenge the boundaries which enclose rigid notions of community, byactively exploring values.The oral histories of those who seek to rethink the past with an awareness of FirstNations sometimes contain the disturbing assumption that Indians and whites can only beportrayed in antithetical terms. As George Miles remarks of much ethnohistory ingeneral, “the plots render Indians more interesting and important as foils for white historythan as significant participants in it.”6 Oral histories involving Indians as interviewees5Rob Shields, “Ritual Pleasures of a Seaside Resort,” Places on the Margin: AlternativeGeographies ofModernity (London: Routledge, 1991): 73-116.6George Miles, “To hear an old voice,” Open Sky, 55.21Sumas Lake 1913: Miss Katie Walker and Miss Maitland,Agatha Kiassen, Yarrow: A Portrait in Mosaic (Yarrow: ACE. Kiassen, 1976), 24.Neil Smith Collection,McConnell sisters, May and Myrtle, at BeUrose, July 1920.Photo by Jean Candlish, Neil Smith Collection.22may be subject to similar problems. Imbert Orchard’s absorbing 1982 Floodland andForest features testimonies of Natives and settlers from the 1960’s, gathered by themeinto sound bites which reflect their original use in a CBC Radio series. We see none ofOrchard’s questions but we can get some indication of the assumptions of his moral fablefrom his description of the area’s first white settlers.“For them, it was a country without legend or tradition. They had left their ghosts behindthem. A lake, however beautiful, was just a lake, a mountain a mountain, waiting forsome surveyor to give it a name and measurement. A tree was just a tree — and probablyin the way. As for animal life, they brought much of it with them, seeing it largely as asoulless commodity to be bred and slaughtered for profit. And whereas the aboriginesfilled their homeland with a throng of meaningful presences, white people, finding it wasused only for hunting, fishing and gathering, simply saw an empty wilderness, awaitingthe day when such as they would make it over— as a matter of right — in their ownimage.”7Orchard’s description is a powerful indictment of the settlers whose comments heproceeds to edit into generally celebratory passages about hardy and resourceful whitemen and women. If a book is an environment in itself, then this book has two separatespheres. Focusing on separation rather than interchange after the fur trade, Native peopledo not mingle freely with whites on the page. No Native, for example, is given space todescribe their stories of Sumas Lake beside the edited lake memories of white settlers.8Native ideas are respected but, like the static museum piece, supposedly take us “backinto a very different world.”9Oral histories of Sumas Lake, told by the white settlers of the Fraser Valley, werecreated as early as 1945 when Major J. S. Matthews of the Vancouver City Archivestraveled out to Huntingdon on the B.C. Electric commuter railway to interview Mrs.Thomas Fraser York. The transcript does not list the Major’s questions, but York’stranscribed answers show that she spoke of the “millions and millions ofmosquitos” on7lmbert Orchard, Floodland and Forest, Sound Heritage Series no. 37 (Victoria: PABC,Sound and Moving Image Division, 1983), 18.81n 1967, Orchard heard a history of Sumas Lake told by Joe Louie, an elder featured inFloodland and Forest: BCARS, Imbert Orchard, “Mr. Joe Louie. “(4/1/67), Cassettes437-l&2, Sound and Moving Division. See Chapter 3, “Memory Device.”9Orchard, Floodland, 7.23Sumas Prairie, “lots of deer, grouse and duck’t and the old Indian who got the mail forher family by taking a canoe across Sumas Lake, a man who “called himself ‘Jim York’after us.” 10The Chilliwack Museum Society and the Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford MuseumSociety have been involved in collecting, transcribing and archiving local oral historiesfor over two decades. Here, in the spring of 1993, I began listening to the gentlequestions of men and women and the entertaining answers of gifted storytellers. Thetapes of Oliver Wells, an amateur ethnographer and a third generation descendant of alocal settler family, constitute a major source of Native oral histories. A recentcompilation of his interviews with Sto:lo friends in The Chilliwacks and Their Neighborsis a warm story of Native-white collaboration. In the 1960’s, Wells could speak to menand women who had adult memories of the lake such as Mr. and Mrs. Kelleher, eldersliving in Matsqui, west of Sumas Lake.Oliver Wells: The draining ofSwnas Lake made a dfference in the country, didn’t it?Mrs. Kelleher: Oh, my, yeah. My, we used to have a good time up on that lake, when wehad the gas boat, and we’d get a crowd and go way up there to get out ofthemosquitoes.’1While making community history about a world that existed long ago, thequestion of who speaks for the oral record is largely determined by who is left to speak.In 1994, a person who recalled Sumas Lake as a young adult would be in his or hernineties. Edward Kelly, born in 1900, spoke to Janelle Vienneau of the M.S.A. in 1987.He spent some time at the lake as a child before he was sent away to the CoqualeetzaResidential School. His mother and father lived northwest of the lake at the Kilgard(Sumas #6) Reserve.Vienneau: Well (laughs) amazing huh. What do you remember about Sumos Lake?‘°Major J. S. Mathews, “Mrs. Thomas Fraser York, Huntingdon, B.C.,” CVA, Add. MSS54, Vol. 13, York, Thomas Fraser.11Wefls, C’hilliwacks, 189.24C--b. - -1-—.-•-J •__..“_;- .Sumcis Lcike,i9oi. A pcn zcLIly,oI1d Sa it SuLkRjct9p.This photo wns stfltQd tt Cty P4IchwIs,J Lrne.JgI6u ThY’ Thmn.CLS Ftstt Yotk,oj )Iun9cLoit,pione.’r ofPotOUhJ4otison Lci.k.mdcch.. i860,I Civ RrchWes. 5inCity of Vancouver Archives, Out P. 840, N, 391.V /;.._•;-)A?Ø25Kelly: Uh, Sumas Lake. .1 mentioned about the sturgeon and all varieties ofsalmon andtrouts and the ducks were out there by the millions way out, ducks and the geese and uhthe people had the small canoes in those days, and uh they like for a Sunday outing theywould they would go out like from the small slough into the big slough then into theSumas Lake and uh they would huh..have a picnic justfamily affair. I’m referring to myfamily. Mother used to make up the lunches and uh my dad would bring his uh rifle alongand uh fwe needed deer he’d kill a deer and uh, but the deer had to be down right nearthe water fthe deer was up a little up on the side ofthe mountain he just won ‘t he justoverlooks that deer because there’s always deer all around, but the deer must be near thewater before he would shoot it then he would bleed a deer and put his rfle away and anddad always brought his fishing line and dad would be trolling around up and downmother would be knitting and us kids would be swimming in the lake. That’s a Sundayouting.Childhood memories told to me include those of a man who cycled by the lake onan adventurous trip to Cloverdale,12a woman who went to the lake for summer vacationswhere “we swam before breakfast, we swam before lunchtime — well dinner at noon, weswam again in the afternoon and had a swim before we went to bed.”’3 These twodescendents of the first white settlers perhaps had more romantic and exciting images ofthe area than their parents. Speaking to Imbert Orchard in 1963, Mrs. Fadden’s daughterread extracts from her mother’s journal regarding the flood of 1894. Mrs. Fadden hadlived at the far end of Sumas Lake for almost 10 years: she was very pregnant and hadthree small children yet she wrote laconically of the expected high water — no panic...theday they start building the boat, the water is “spreading over garden, over orchard, quitehigh. Fine day.”14 For the daughter, both danger and beauty were acute: that high waterwas “a beautiful sight. Wild roses used to bloom just at the top ofthe water. And there12Mr. T, interview at his home, March 22, 1994.t3Mrs. M, interview on the lake bottom, March 22, 1994.14Orchard, Floodland, 59.26was the very lovely perfume that camefrom them as the water canie up to them— a sightthat was pretty, even though it was disastrous.”15As people spoke of Sumas Lake as recreational spot, the persuasive visual imagesof lake pleasures were confirmed. But something else emerged in the oral interviews thatthe camera failed to capture. Many speakers developed the concept that the flood lakeprovided an unofficial commons, the undivided land that, in practice, belongs to themembers of a community as a whole. Management was local not national. As the writerGary Snyder describes it, the commons is “necessary for the health of the wildernessbecause it adds big habitat, overflow territory, and room for wildlife to fly and run. It isessential even to an agricultural village economy because its natural diversity providesthe many necessities and amenities that the privately held plots cannot. It enriches theagrarian diet with game and fish. The shared land supplies firewood, poles and stone forbuilding, clay for the kiln, herbs, dye plants, and much else, just as in a foragingeconomy. It is especially important as seasonal or full-time open range for cattle, horses,goats, pigs, and sheep.”16Several men spoke about grazing cattle and sheep by Sumas Lake: people from asfar away as Chiffiwack would bring their animals to feed on the grasslands in low watertime.17 Kelly talked about this particular use of the lake edges with Vienneau.Vjenneau: Would you know the value ofthe land when the lake was drained?Kelly: The value?Vienneau: The value, how much it would selifor.Kelly: Uh, when I was a boy the land was one dollar an acre and uh my dad said whenhe was a boy it was fifty cents an acre and the people were not interested in because the15Jbjd, 21.16Gary Snyder, “The Place, the Region and the Commons,” The Practice ofthe Wild(San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990), 30.‘7Charlie Power, CHSA, Add MSS 401: Fred Zink in Imbert Orchard, Floodland, 24.:Ed Kelly, MSA, AH#97.: Mr. T, interview at his home, March 22, 1994.27City of Vancouver Archives, Out P. 841, N. 392.Il1! •I• --.--—-goSa i.i11Q.fl rth3. 3i m.ckrLto th çth1 Rhivi,io Turtt.9jhoof PøLDou9cis,Nanisoii Lke.,ThachyAtdiiv.f28people would say why buy it? Why buy the land? When we could use the landforfree —said there are nofences. The cattle all the stock ran out on Sumas Prairie oh say whenthey uh uh my dad now when it’s milking rime in the evening would go out lookingfor thecows the milk cows ifwe see one cow we know our cows are there and same with thehorses the needing any ofthe horses for any type ofwork we would have to go out on theSwnas Prairie fwe see one horse we know our horses are there then then for milkingcows then my dad when through milking he would let the cows out ofthe barn then thecows would go out with the rest ofthe cattle and then in the morning we had to lookforthem again.In reference to the commons’ rules, Fred Zink spoke of the “gentleman’sagreement” people followed in order to share the space and wild fodder peacefully.’8 Noone spoke of tensions or competing interests. In the interviews with white settlers,comments about Native people were rare and unsolicited such as Charlie Power’s remarkabout Sumas Prairie: “There was an Indian trail down there. They didn’t bother us toomuch. They were pretty 1 Similarly, First Nations men and women rarely spokeof non-Natives. And yet, the recreational area enjoyed by local whites was also the beachenjoyed by local Natives: the Native fishing grounds were in same the lake where non-Natives caught their fish. But this information was not on the same tape.In these archived interviews, conflict was not mentioned, perhaps, in part,because the goal of the community history interviewers and interviewees was to createharmony. The “one-on-one” or “one-on-a few” method of oral interviewing did notoriginate with oral history, but in its ideological attempt to widen the range of voices inhistory, the necessity of creating a comfortable atmosphere conducive to theestablishment of trust and support has long been recognized. Since the widespread use oftaperecorders and the blossoming of public history projects in the sixties, oral history has18Orchard, Flood/and, 21.‘9Charlie Power, CHSA, Add MSS 401.29often been championed as the egalitarian method par excellence of creating history byand for the people. The sessions become feminist encounters, social and socialistmeetings, “shored up by liberal amounts of coffee and cookies. “20 The memories thatreinforce ideals of community cooperation are credible expressions in the friendlyencounter provided by the serious excuse of history making.For evidence of discord, I needed to look no further than commission testimonies.The interviews conducted in hearings and Royal Commissions form what oral historianPaul Thompson has called “a peculiarly intimidating form of interview, in which the loneinformant was confronted by the whole committee.”21 Who speaks is not just a questionof who has the right to speak — but who has the nerve to speak. Although often couchedin polite or official language, I found that the Native-white conflict which was so mutedin oral history interviews formed a large part of the dynamic. For instance, in thegovernment’s bid to quell a farmer’s threatened tax revolt after the lake drainage,landholders were called to testify before the Agricultural Committee of the LegislativeAssembly of B.C. in December 1925. Mr. David Chadsey, an ex-dyking commissioner,was on the stand:Patterson: You know the conditions as they are now; would you rather pay this tax, orwould you rather go back to 2 years ago before the dyke was up?A. I did not need the dyke, but I was public-spirited enough to votefor so that thecommunity would come under it, so that we could live, and not live like Indians.22We go then to a forum that existed when Sumas Lake still existed, when the context isprovided by a watery place and the historical background of government officials passingthrough, seeking order.20Lynne Bowen. Boss Whistle: The Coal Miners of Vancouver island Remember.(Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan Books, 1982), preface.21Paul Thompson, The Voice ofthe Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 105.22BCARS, GR 929, box 48, file 8, Sumas Dyke Evidence, Agricultural Committee, Mon,7th December/I 925, 152.30y4 ‘‘Edward Kelly at Sumas, 1912. Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Archive,P1554.Sunday school picnic at Beirose Station, Ca. 1918. MSA Museum Archive, N512.31An oral culture created meaning in the Sumas environment millenia before anyEuropean visited and wrote home about it. In the context of colonization, fences andsurvey markers tangibly demonstrate the links between the spoken word, the written wordand things. Isabel Hofmeyr, in her study of boundary-making in the Transvaal region ofSouth Africa, suggests, “fences, for example, “write” certain forms of authority into thecountryside, and by representing the thin fixed line of the boundary in the earth, theyimprint the textual world of maps, treaties, and surveying on landscape.”23 Fences areunnecessary intrusions for oral or paraliterate societies whose boundaries are more fluidand negotiable as they conform to a dynamic and seasonal landscape. Avoidingnegotiation, invading powers could manipulate boundaries with the tangible authority offence and paper.In one extreme case, the colonial official, Joseph Trutch, disregarded oralinstructions concerning the allotment of what he considered overly generous IndianReserve acreages in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Oral communicationfor Trutch, even if delivered by a previous governor, was an “indefinite authonty.’24Native people could remove survey markers and they likely did. But markers weresimply replaced and in the Fraser Valley fences and survey lines remained, as Cole Hamsputs it, “pervasive forms of disciplinary power, backed by a property owner, backed bythe law and requiring little official supervision.”25Yet a lake is difficult to pin down. Hooded two months of the year, even thelands surrounding Sumas Lake were remarkably resistant to fencing and accurate pnntedmaps and consistent measurements. The lake and its marginal land was in the RailwayBelt and after Confederation, title was retained by the Dominion government until 1924.23Isabel Hofmeyr, “Nterata)The Wire: Fences, Boundaries, Orality, Literacy,”International Annual ofOral History (New York: Greenwood Press, 1992), 70-71.24British Columbia, Papers Connected with the Indian lAind Question, 1850-1875.Victoria: Government Printer 1875, 43.Cole Harris, “The Lower Mainland, 1820-8 1, Vancouver and Its Region (Vancouver:UBC Press, 1992), 67.32Sumas Lake was not a cooperative feature of the new colonial possessions that translatedeasily into much desired farmland. The idea of selling the 10,000 plus acres of lakebottom lands to recoup the construction cost of dykes had been in the pages of theVictoria Colonist as early as 1873.26 Nearly fifty years later, people still were canoeingand sailing across the lake.After European settlement in British Columbia, the Province continuouslyblocked recognition and settlement of Aboriginal title. As of 1912, the federalgovernment, though dissatisfied, remained willing to accommodate the Province’s refusalto extinguish Aboriginal title. In September 1912, Victoria and Ottawa agreed toparticipate in the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission, the joint provincial-federalventure created to “finally adjust all matters relating to Indian Affairs in the Province ofBritish Columbia,”27except that overriding concern of Native people— title to theirhomelands and waters. The Commissioners traveled for three years, from 1913-1916,visiting most places where Natives lived, hearing testimony and making land reduction oraddition recommendations. Certain bands, such as the Kitwanga of the Nass Agency,refused to deal with the Commission because their question of Native title could not bediscussed.In its attempt to forge a final solution to the “Indian problem,” the Commissionwas to fail. The Commission lied to B.C. Natives that no reductions in reserve acreageswould be made without band approvaL Although the Commission spent three seasons28in the New Westminster Agency, it effectively was just another visitor passing through.Like any transcription of an oral exchange, the written record is no substitute. TheCommission testimonies certainly were filtered and must be read with an awareness thatnot everything that was said was transcribed. A cynical approach to the Commission26Bob Smith, “The Reclamation of the Sumas Lands,” unpublished typescript, 1982, 3.27Dana McFarland, “Indian Reserve Cut-Offs in British Columbia, 19 12-1924: AnExamination of Federal-Provincial Negotiations and Consultation with Indians,” (M.A.)Department of History, UBC, 1990, 45.28McFarland., “Cut-Offs,” 78.33Sumas Lake in flood, looking towards Sumas Mountain and Lakeshore Ridge,by BC. Electric tracks, Ca. 1912. City of Vancouver Archives. Out P. 268.34records is appropriate: nevertheless, the gathered testimonies of those men and womenwho chose to cooperate with the Commission must not be dismissed in 1994. Thetranscripts, reprinted by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, constitute an important publicrecord and confirms, in a written form privileged by a literate culture, that Native peopleunderstood and were extremely concerned with what was happening to them and to theplaces where they lived.In contrast to the reluctance of Indians to jump on the Commission bandwagon,groups of white settlers, Boards of Trade, Women’s Institutes were keen to have theiropinions regarding appropriate land and water management considered. Their wide rangeof ideas for reducing Indian Reserves were based on shifting concepts of public pleasureas well as private monetary gain. When writing about pioneer perceptions of the West,Roderick Nash stated that these newcomers did not love or aesthetically appreciate thewilds but craved to destroy them. “They conceived of themselves as agents in theregenerating process that turned the ungodly and useless into a beneficent civilization.’29Sumas Lake, surrounded by lush prairies, populated for centuries but largely preemptedby newcomers in the late Nineteenth Century, may not have fit popular notions of“wilderness.” Indeed the established Native labour pooi was integral to the success ofwhite settler “improvement” projects. Any contention that these workers were to moveaside from their own territory to make room for ever more “improvements” requiredreinforcement at an official level to make dispossession legal.At a meeting with the Municipality of Sumas, the Farmer’s Institute andWomen’s Institute on Jan. 11, 1915, white settlers asked the Commission to release one ofthe Sumas Reserves for a public park. Giving her speech the weight of an official writtendocument and infusing the sort of “homefront” rhetoric which found particular resonancein the midst of World War I, Mrs. Fadden read her petition aloud:29Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress, 1982), 43.35Our Motto is “For Home and country.” We fret like we would he taking nothing fromthe Indians that they really desire or need...It does not appear that their race will multiplyto any extent where this land would be necessary to them, and I am sure it is much betterto have them congregated in the one location at the mountain-side rancherie than to havethese small holdings ofland scattered here and there among thefarms qfthe whitesettlers. They merely improve theirfarms to any extent — their habits ofliving are quitedfJerent, and their success as neighbors to us, i am doubtfid to. Personally I have livedby this reserve landfor over twenty-eight years, and I would enjoy seeing that tangle ofunderbrush and worthless timber removed, the valuable timber — which may beconsumed by careless fire at any time — bring its value and a beau spot created here intime, which would be an inspiration to many.3°The following thy the Commission moved on to the Sumas Reserve (#6) atKilgard. Ke Ha Jim. wife of Old Man (Jim) York, the same man who worked for Mrs.Thomas Fraser York, claimed title to the potential park, Reserve #7. “My husband is deadand I own the land and my boy is unable to work because he is an invalid. “31 York’sdaughter stated that she did not want anyone else to work the land. But hearings of whiteand Native concerns formally were separated and Mrs. Fadden’s complaints aboutunsuitable neighbors went uncontested. Perhaps Mrs. Fadden’s Women’s Institute mighthave retracted a request for this Reserve if they had witnessed Ke Ha Jim’s testimony.But maybe not. Because the status of women was in a state of transition during and afterthe war, the need for educated, white women to define and demonstrate their own publicworth as civilizers simultaneously required a definition of the worthless and uncivilized.The male Chief of the Sumas Band, Selesmiton (Ned), was called as the primarywitness. A confident oral speaker, he attempted to establish his own agenda and his own30BCARS, Add MSS 1056, Royal commission on Indian Affairs for the Province 0/B.C.1913-1915 (Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs), 137.3lJbjd., 163.36Chief Ned(withcane)greetingvisitorstotheSmokehouse, Kilgard,B.C., ca.1915.SumasBandEducationCenter..1hIstandards of trust at the outset of the public hearing. “I am glad to see you people comeinto this house, and I am going to tell you the truth ofwhat! am going to say.”32 Hewent on to place the contemporary situation in a historical framework, noting change overtime and reduced access to food resources. “That is the land and that is what the oldpeople know, that is what they used to say. The Indians have always been poor, that isthe reason I have always been worrying because I kiww the old people used to say thatthe White people will be shoving you around all over this open prairie to get ourfood, weused to get our meat, ducks andfish out in this lake (Sumas) and on the prairie.” Thetranscripts do not indicate whether Chief Ned pointed towards his territory, but certainly“this open prairie “ and “this lake” to which he referred were physically apparent to theCommissioner’s on their approach to the Kilgard Reserve. His words were statements ofconnection, of ownership, reinforced and constituted by the surrounding territory wherehis people made “halfour living” from the ‘fish and ducks and things like that. “In the process of ascertaining the band’s success as agriculturalists in an area seenas prime arabic land, the Commission encountered farmers with many head of cattle butextreme reluctance to transform places of water into places of land.Q “Do you get plenty ofhay?”A “We don’t get hardly any timothy hay— we depend upon the wild hay.Q “Could there be any land reclaimed here by dyking?”A “I could not say. I am against they dyking because that will mean more starvationforus.”Q “Why do you think that you would be starved out fthis land were dyked?A “Because the lake is one ofthe greatest spawning grounds there is and this dykingwould cut it offand in that way would cut offourfish suppiy.’432Ibid 152.33lbid., 157.34Ibid.. 155.38The Commission’s inability to sustain relations of trust with Native people,rebuffing questions as basic as the Chiefs query. “I want to find out what is the meaningofthis commission ?“ is on record. Significantly, Chief Ned’s word was not the highestauthority to the Commissioners who tested the Chiefs facts against those of the IndianAgent the following month. In this common practice of the Commission. Indian Agentswere not necessarily advocates of Indian ideas, but asserted their own values.36Q “I suppose the wooded hillside and the portion ofthe land that overflows contributeslargely to the feeding oftheir stock?”A “Yes, they depend upon the land on the Reserve forfeedfor all their stock. When thehigh water comes the low land is ofno value to them and they have to shift their cattle upto the high land and they remain there until the water subsides, and two months after thewater goes offthe land it is possible to cut a fairly good crop ofhay. The growth is veryrapid and it is on this second growth ofhay that they winter their stock.”Q “About the duck-hunting — they complained that white men shot ducks there at nightand sometimes killed the Indian’s tame geese— the Commission stated that the matterwould be looked into— has anything been done in that respect?”A “In regard to men hunting in the night?”Q BYes.”A “No. I have heard nothingfurther.”Q “Have they an Indian Constable on that Reserve?”A “No for the reason that I don’t think there is any member ofthat tribe that would besuitable. “‘35Ibid., 163.36McFarland, “Cut-Offs,” 76-7.37Canada, Commission on Indian Affairs in General 1913-1915, (B-1457) “Testimony ofIndian agent for Sumas Indians in response to questions of Commissioner Mckenna onTuesday February 8th, 1915,” 570.39LBeaver #2 tied up at Fooks Barn, Sumas Lake, ca. 1905. Neil Smith Collection.Picnic on shore of Sumas Lake, Orion Bowman’s sailboat The Argo, Ca. 1897.Neil Smith Collection.40Besides creating an undeniable record of Native dissatisfaction, the McKennaMcBride Commission politicized Native individuals and groups. Andrew Paull, atranslator for the Commission, became, along with Reverend Peter Kelly, leaders of thenewly formed Allied Indian Tribes of B.C. which worked to oppose acceptance of theMcKenna-McBride recommendations and forward claims to title as well as water,hunting and fishing rights.38 In a meeting of the Executives of the Allied Tribes and thehead of the Indian Affairs Department of the Canadian government on August 7, 1923,Peter Kelly asked, “Is it possible at all to get more lands, where lands are needed? And itis granted, I think, that in the New Westminster Agency, especially in Chilliwack Valley,Fraser Valley and the other parts ofthat Agency, where people will be forced to maketheir living by agriculture ---following agricultural pursuits, they will have to have moreland fthey are going to be able to compete with their white brethren at all.”39Kelly and Paull anticipated the negative response— only open Crown lands wereavailable for additional reserves under the Commission’s terms of operation. The onlytime Sumas Lake apparently was mentioned at this conference was when GeorgeMatheson, representing the “Sardis group of Chilliwack Indians” defined his tribalterritory in relation to the lake. “The Chilliwack tribal territory is right to Sunws Lake,that is the tribal territory, there was no boundary at that time, it runs beyond theboundary right down to Fraser River.” 40 lake was still a lake during theCommission. But by the time the Ottawa government affirmed the McKenna-McBridereport as the final adjustment of B.C. Indian Affairs in 1924, the lake bottom had beentransferred to the Province which in turn quickly offered the land to private buyers.Together with the Reverend Peter Kelly and their attorneys, Paull was ready toadvance the Allied Indian Tribes’ cause all the way to the British Privy Council. In 1927,38Newell, Tangled Webs, 113.39Conference Minutes Between the Allied Indian Tribes of B.C. and Dr. D. Scott, August7- II, 1923 (NESIKA), 47.40Ibid.,45.41the Canadian Parliament averted this possibility by holding, in Ottawa, the “SpecialCommittee Hearing to Inquire into the Claims of the Allied Indian Tribes and BritishColumbia, as Set forth in their Petition submitted to Parliament in June 1926.” Theextremely unpleasurable environment of this committee is evident even in the filteredtranscript.4’Integral documents were withheld from the Affied Indian Tribes and thestatements and demands of their chief consul Mr. O’Meara were called “rot” “nonsense”“pfle” and a “scandalous waste oftime.” Secretary Paull brought up the issue of waterrights. “The reason the Indians claimforeshores on reserves in tidal waters is becausetheforeshore is just as necessary to the Indians as the reservation is.’, 42Definitions constituted a great deal of the debate. A House of Commons membermused about the spatial ramifications of a foreshore: “Presumably what they want is theriparian rights and the water lots, whatever they might be, infront ofthe reserves. Thereis no such thing asforeshores on lakes; there might be, I suppose, between high and lowwater, but really the term does nor apply to a lake or a river.”43 The B.C. IndianCommissioner located the idea in a temporal framework: “An Indian could not take upwater in the olden days, and the Commissioners did the best they could with the waterallotments with the allotment ofland. It was takenfor granted that they had some value,but under the British Columbia Water Act these water allotments had no status whatever,and the only way an Indian can get water is by way oflicense under the provision oftheBritish Columbia Water Act.” But this culture of argument regarding the value of bothwater and land to Native people — still in early stages in the development of sharedvocabulary and respectful conduct — was destroyed after the hearing. The committee41Canada, Parliament, “Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of CommonsAppointed to Inquire Into the Claims of the Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia, AsSet Forth in Their Petition Submitted To Pariament in June 1926,”(Ottawa: King’sPrinter, 1927), 66. Even Duncan Campbell Scott, the Deputy Superintendant of IndianAffairs, complained of the “lack of distinctness in the stenographic report” in his ownstatements.42”Special Joint Committee,”125-6.43Ibid., 126.441b1d., 127.42/JE!L) !i’iCanoeing in the dug-out at high water time, Greenos, McAdams and Mrs. Michaud onSumas Lake, Ca. 1919. From Lloyd Michaud, Neil Smith Collection.1.‘F:),4ifI , — — —43found no factual basis for unextinguished Aboriginal title. Changes were made to theIndian Act which prevented Native people from seeking legal redress until the sectionwas repealed in 1951.Over the decades since the lake was disappeared, comments about Sumas Lakehave, as historian Joy Parr once wrote about a strike, “worn smooth, standardized inorder, diction and cadence; shorn of dissonance in pursuit of a guarded social peace.”45Seated around the History Circle in Chilliwack’s old City Hall, the comments I alreadyhad heard on archived tapes and in oral history books were repeated: lots of mosquitos,good for duck hunting and picnics. When I privately posed the same questions to thepeople who I had listened to earlier on tape, I would hear the same tone, sometimes thesame words. Promising anonymity, I tried to work against the sympathetic, standardquestions of interviews past. The results were silences, dissonance, disruption and even arequest to stop the tape — a request always fulfilled. Yes, a lot of pleasure, a lot ofresources were gone, but emotion was mixed: it had happened long ago and people hadtried to adapt to the changes. The entire world had changed in seventy years, not just thisone part of the valley.Having read the bitter words of commission testimonies, I returned to the processof interviewing Native elders with a new awareness of personal and political ties to waterand landscape. One man, after speaking fondly of blowing across the frozen lake usinghis jacket as a sail, mentioned that he had been a driver for Andrew Paull. He had nophotos of the lake but began the interview by searching for the morning newspaper,excited by an article that he wanted to show me. The front page story began: “Aprominent B.C. native leader tore into Greenpeace and the German people hereWednesday, accusing them of hypocrisy and of having a patronizing and romantic viewof Aboriginal people. “‘ He wanted to know what I thought of the article before he45Joy Parr, The Gender, 97.46”BC Indian leader slams Germans, Greenpeace,” The Vancouver Sun 3 February 1994.Mr. Y, interview at his home, February 3, 1994.44HARCOURT TOURB.C. Indianleader slamsGermans,GreenpeaceKEITH BALDREYVancouver SunHAMBURG, Germany— Aprominent B.C. native leader toreinto Greenpe ace and the Germanpeople here Wednesday, accusingthem of hypocrisy and of havinga patronizing and romantic viewof aboriginal people.George Watts stunned a packedauditorium of students, environmentalists and curious on-lookersas he launched a bitter attack onwhat he considered to be an extension of colonialism and paternalistic attitudes toward natives.“That room flowed withhypocrisy,” he said in an interviewafterwards, his voice still shaking• MODEST SUCCESS, C20with anger. “What they’re doing isso damn typical. They’reusingIndian people for their cause. Andthey!rsgoing.to be gone1and we?regoing to be left with all the problems.”Watts said his anger had beenbuilding for the past few days, ashétook part in meetings betweenPremier Mike Harcourtand otherB.C. government and industryrepresentatives and German industryand political leàdérs, and as hewatched constant Gréenpëacedemonstrations.Watts was invited along on thetrip by Harcourt. His expensesmay be picked up by the government, but that has yet to be decided.-He said aboriginal questionshave essentially been ignored during the trip by environmentalistsand German industries“They’re talking down to us.It’s the same old story — we’regoing to tell you what’s best for you,we created this mess for you andWe’re now going to create the solution,” Watts said.“I’m really amazed at how thesepeople really think they’re so god-damned right. I can’t believe howähctimonious they are with alltheir ideas and that. They have thisromantic view of Indian people.”Watts, a former chair of the Nuuchah-nulth tribal council on Vanbuver Island and a leading nativerepresentative for the past decade,launched his attack during adebate at the University of Hamburg between Harcourt and environmentalists over B.C. forestrypractices.About 150 people squeezed intoThe Vancouver Sun, 3 February 1994.Please see WATTS, A245began to speak about Sumas Lake. As the interviewee. I learned that the commons ofSumas Lake oral history remained alive and contentious.Oral history is a place of mediation, where events are created and translated,where concepts of nature and society are generated. What provided pleasure at SumasLake? To my initial satisfaction, I located the beach. But pleasure was also in eating,working, hunting and fishing: pleasure meant having some sense of control over yourlife. Pleasure is about being listened to. The few but cherished volunteers who spendlarge quantities of time interviewing men and women in their community is testamentenough to the enjoyable aspects of oral history. But in order to develop the potential ofthe oral record, whereby we avoid a simple condemnation or celebration of dominantnarratives, we must find ways to widen its scope. By separating Native and white values,neither are open for discussion. Oral history is created compassionately with livingpeople. The next challenge is to envision a culture of argument involving a livingecosystem.46Chapter 2MARGINS AN]) MOSQUITOSFrom the public archives in Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Bellinghamand Chilliwack to the private archives of Band Councils and private citizens, repositoriesof Sumas Lake documentation contain, amongst strong odors, facts and fragile papers,some startling imagery. These representations of the unique and the unusual, drawnpersuasively in words, fill the imagination of the novelist and the scrapbooks of theantiquarian. But they also challenge the historian to value the local and unique in abroader and more inclusive space-time framework.John Keast Lord, an English naturalist on the International Boundary Surveywhich mapped the Northwest region from 1858 to 1860, describes a village out on thewaters of the lake built by people he calls “savages.”“Endowed with an instinct of self-preservation, mosquitoes seldom venture far over thewater after once quitting their raft— a fact the wily savage turns to his advantage.Rarely can an Indian be tempted ashore from his stage during mosquito time; and whenhe is, he takes good care to whip out every intruder from his canoe before reaching theplatform. These quaint-looking scaffoldings, scattered over the lake, each with its littlecolony of Indians, have a most picturesque appearance. Fleets of canoes are moored tothe poles, and the platform reached by a ladder made of twisted bark. To avoid beingdevoured, and to procure the sleep requisite for health, I used very frequently to seek thehospitality of the savages, and pass the night with them on their novel place ofresidence.”1One also may read the vivid expressions of rancher, horsewoman, poet, mother and biggame hunter Barbara (Bowman) Beldam who was born on Sumas Prairie in 1904, thegranddaughter of a surveyor who took control of land by Sumas Lake in the lateNineteenth Century.“...the vast warm waters of Sumas Lake were covered with thousands of wild ducks ofevery kind. Every evening they left the lake in large flocks to feed on the sloughs andpot-holes to the south. From the time I was able to hold a gun it was my greatest delightto ride out on the prairie and sit waiting by some slough for the evening flight. If I came1John Keast Lord, At Home in the Wilderness: Vs’lzat to Do There and How to Do It: AHandbookfor Travelers and Emigrants (London: Hardwicke & Bogue, 1876), 279-280.47Barbara Beldam (L) and Muriel McPhail (Rj, on way to Chilliwack River lodge, 1921.Neil Smith Collection.48home with three or four fat ducks how pleased every one was, and how good theytasted. “2The archives preserve boxes of letters, petitions and engineering reports regarding theshort, dramatic event — the elimination of Sumas Lake. But Beldam’s duck hunting andthe seasonal migration to the stilt village are events within a longer and equally relevantstory — that of the living with Sumas Lake. Unable to write the ruin of timeless natureor to avoid the unresolved debate regarding Native land title in British Columbia, myreweaving of the other Sumas story into the land reclamation project is a somewhat riskynarrative exercise in lake reclamation.Sumas Lake was a community of creatures, making up one of the watery placeson this misnamed planet. Rendered as “drainage project,” the lake story is absorbedeasily into the international colonial theme of Western history, transforming localconditions into mere local colour. Again and again, outside powers have taken control ofplaces and organized their new possessions to benefit and enrich mainly themselves, i.e.the “public good.” But upon closer political and environmental on-site inspection, the oldstory is also — likely always — new. Located spatially inside the Railway Belt ofCanada, Sumas Lake was a national, a provincial and a local concern. Positioned on atime-line of wetlands denudement, the drainage of Sumas Lake represents one of themajor losses of wetlands along the Fraser River in the last century. But a delicate andcomplex web of relations links margin notes to attempts to marginalize people, a BritishColumbian lake to some Great Men of Canadian history and mosquitos to modernization.Tracing the web may help to reconnect the social and natural realms within whichBarbara Beldam assures us she was able to thrive.2Barbara Beldam, “Sumas Prairie - A Mosaic of Memories,” in Millicent Lindo, ed.,Making Histoiy: An Anthology ofBritish Columbia (Victoria, B.C.: Lindo, 1974),35.49Maps and MotionBeldam concludes a story of the Sumas area with a tone of frustration and a flatdescription of one of its archival traces— a map. “It is interesting to note that SumasLake, long forgotten by today’s generation, is shown on a 1914 map of New Westminsterand Yale published by the B.C. Department of Land and now unobtainable.”3Unfortunately, even when individuals know where to copy maps in the public archives,two-dimensional maps reinforce the prevalent idea that space is static, flat and dead,unlike time, which provides life and richness to historical and geographic analysis.4Moistened with imagination and other archival resources, maps presenting synchronicspatial relationships yet may be enlivened within an historical framework. But a map —a selection of geographic reality no more accurate than words — is perhaps a better placeto begin than to end an encounter with a disappeared lake.Perusing the Boundary Commission map, we see that Sumas Lake connects up tothe Pacific Ocean eighty kilometers away — and thus the Pacific Rim — via a riverwhich empties into the Fraser River. The map was made partly to assert authority overthe area and the 20,000 miners from the south who surged into the mouth of the Fraser inthe spring of 1858, rushing for gold. Sumas Lake felt the pull of the ocean tides and waspart of the route and rearing habitat of migratory salmon and other international fish.Lord’s subject is local but his description of the harvesting of “Round-fish”5on SumasPrairie is written in a romantic style popularized a continent and an ocean away inBritain.“One may journey a long way to witness a prettier or more pictuesque sight than Round-fish harvesting on the Sumass prairie. The prairie bright and lovely, the grass fresh green3Beldam, “Sumas,” 36.4 Allan Pred, Making Histories and Constructing Human Geographies (Boulder:Westview Press, 1990), 7.5Grant Keddie in “The Archeology of Mosquito Victims: A Unique Settlement Patternon the Lower Fraser River,” British Columbia Provincial Museum, Unpublished, 1980,takes the Round-fish for oollchan. Bob Joe, interviewed by Oliver Wells suggests thatthe fish were “q’oxel” small fish “they came in sehools...full of bones, smallbones.”Wells, Chilliwacks, 117.50FI)PORTMOODYETFIISW?redial/BritishNorthAmericanBoundaryCommission.MapsoftheBoundary,1871.UBCSpecial Collections.and waving lazily; various wild flowers, peeping coyly out from their cosy hiding-places,seem making the most of the summer; a fresh, joyous hilarity everywhere, pervading eventhe Indians, whose lodges in great numbers lie scattered about. From the edges of thepine-forest, where the little streams caine out from the dark shadow into the sunshine, upto the lake, the prairie was like a fair. Indians, old and young; chiefs, braves, squaws,children, and slaves; were alike busy in capturing the round-fish, that were swarming upthe streams in thousands: so thick were they that baits and traps were thrown aside andhands, baskets, little nets and wooden bowls did the work; it was only requisite to stand inthe stream and bale out the fish. Thousands were drying, thousands had been eaten, andas many more were wasting and decomposing on the bank.6In a map representing the time after the 1894 flood, the Chilliwack River takes over theVedder Creek and flows west as the Vedder River into Sumas Lake.7 Plans to redivertthe river into its northward channel were resisted strenuously by those whose farms werenow safe from river action.8 Students of Sto:lo history and geomorphology assert that theNooksack River also once emptied into Sumas LakeY The American end of the SumasValley in Whatcom County is 24 metres higher than the bottom of the prairie in BritishColumbia. The rising ground water levels and the flooding Nooksack periodicallyoverflow into the Sumas Basin, unregulated by the Canada-U.S. Free TradeAgreement.10Perhaps we can envision the contours of this tense area of the InternationalBoundary and the furrowed brow of the Mayor of Abbotsford.6 cited in Wells, Chilliwacks, 116-117, ftn. See John Keast Lord, The Naturalist inVancouver Island and B.C. Vol. 1 (London: Richard Bentley, 1866), 99.7Native tradition speaks of the Chilliwack River once flowing into Sumas Lake before alog-jam diverted it towards the Fraser: Wayne Suttles, ed. Northwest Coast, Vol. 7 ofHandbook ofthe North American Indians (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution,Press, 1990), 455. According to Horatio Webb’s observance of Mr. Vedder’s lost diary,the Chiffiwack River in freshet began taking over the bed of Vedder Creek on March 8,1873, which in recent memory had been a small stream pouring into Sumas Lake:CHSA, Horatio Webb, “History of the Chilukweyuk River with the Vedder andLuckukuk as I saw them in 1870.”8NAC, RG 89, Vol. 533, file 841, P.A. Carson, D.L.S., “Report on the Sumas DykingProject,” (July 2, 1912), 17.9Marian W. Smith map in “The Nooksack, the Chilliwack, and the Middle Fraser,”Paczfic Northwest Quarterly 41 no. 4 (October 1950): 340. Valerie Cameron, “The LateQuaternary Geomorphic History of the Sumas Valley,” (M.A.) Department of Geography,SFU, 1989, 111.10The Nooksack flooded the western edge of Sumas Prairie in 1986, 1989 and 1990.The Americans refuse to build dykes or dredge deeply, insisting that the Nooksack issimply following a natural course.52-Zi’e,-n,,;o.,qf-‘“y51e1.ICanada.Department of theInterior.RG89,vol.575.P.A. Carson,Chief Engineer,HydrographicSurvey, RailwayBelt,B.C.,1912.-==-,..z;—z-__“r-—-ikHn/zu‘T’’VI\--Q&irI‘1;::,Y7?——‘-#:-(--4_1:>tt:.2•‘tierL.\‘g--;-“8-“-•t”,I•.1•.I•40206H\*1(8i(JtC——&18J—13HLH*—.-——————‘1) ———T——-)‘4.”:ii:-I..-..-IIII•I._Slt”II21\‘,-1/IIj::.’:i77’R-WapiI--.-,SO/WAHL-—4--—___I//-I/,•i--ji,.‘-_15\‘.-.—--291—IJ-1j1’2•/,‘so.ssts.POTOLItI1OIIIAPHEDAT•-J4.The shape of the lake is rarely constant from map to map. Set in a very largetime-frame, such variation in any lake is expected. All lakes are being filled in by sand,gravel, sediments and in the absence of human or divine intervention, Sumas Lakeeventually would have become land, filling up to the height of the Fraser RiverFloodplain.11 But this post-glacial, perhaps ancient lake had some special features. Forthose locals who occupied the region of Sumas Lake during the last 2500 years,12seasonal variations in the depth and area of the lake were events that changed their natureas the people related to them: as the locals innovated and adapted or periodically moved,the freshets could be understood as blessings or threats. Before the drainage commenced,Canada’s resource inventory team, the Commission of Conservation, regarded the lake assomething to measure. They did not attempt to conserve the lake but during brief visits,their pre-mortem examinations of the body of water related that it was 9 feet deep at lowwater and 36 feet at extremely high water.13 Deeper than the high altitude Lake Myvatnin Iceland (famous for its diverse waterfowl population), with much less variation in areathan the flooding and evaporating Lake Chad in West Africa, Sumas Lake was — and thelake bottom still is — situated close to sea level in the floodplain of several NorthAmerican rivers.Space need not become the fixed surroundings for the tale, as lifeless as thechapter on “environment” full of forgettable descriptions of flora and fauna that rarelyintersect with the action to follow. Environmental historian William Cronon counselsthat “Any geographical description, no matter how static, can be set in motion by asking:how does this place cyt4 Such a question may reanimate the century-old specimenst1Cameron, “Geomorphic History,” 111.12Ten registered archeological sites ring the Sumas Lake region. Gordon Mohs in his“Sumas Lake: Review of Reclamation & Native Use,” (Sto:lo Tribal Council), notes that“undoubtedly there are many more as a systematic inventory of the area has never beenconducted.”13Arthur V. White, Water Powers ofB.C.. (Dominion Commission of Conservation,1919), 45, 233: the book also reports that the lake is 6 miles long and 4 miles wide at 9foot elevation.14 Cronon, “Kennecott Journey,” in Open Sky, 35.54of Sumas Lake birds and mammals stored in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology down atBerkeley, California,15reduce the stings of mosquitos to a seasonal, intermittentexperience, and render Sumas Lake not as part of pristine, timeless wilderness, but ahuman resource base in the Pacific Flyway of migratory birds that was showing signs ofstrain before the turn of the century. An examination of documents concerning the firstattempt to dyke the Sumas area and drain the lake links the federal and provincialgovernmental powers to the agency of a local ecosystem.Defining the MarginsThe margin depends not only on who is doing the defming, but also when it isdefined and why. Marginal land is, in economic terms, “land so poor as to remain unuseduntil the lack of more desirable land forces its development.”’6Desirability is, of course,a relative concept, but to be sure — a lake and surrounding wetlands is poor land. I.G.Simmon’s environmental history text defines wetlands as a marginal land-form “wherethe substrate is subject either to periodic (diurnial, seasonal, unpredictable) or permanentinundation.”17 Because the wetlands covering approximately six percent of the Earth’sland surface18generally are dispersed in relatively small areas, the conversions of theseplaces to land by people — often for profitable agricultural purposes — remain attractivethough open-ended projects. Wetlands around the North Sea have been claimed forcenturies; although, due to the shrinkage of the Fenland once it dries, such areas must bepumped and thus are now linked closely with industrialism. 19 of hectares ofwetlands have been destroyed more recently through dyking and drainage in the Lower‘5According to Ned Johnson, Curator in Ornithology & Professor of Integrative Biology,the Museum holds 59 specimens of birds and 3 specimens of mammals taken by thecelebrated naturalist, Allan Brooks, in the Sumas Lake, British Columbia region.16Funk & Wagnalls, Standard College Dictionary (Toronto: Fitzhenry & WhitesideLimited, 1978).17.G. Simmons, Environmental Histoiy, 118.19b1d., 119.55Mainland.20 Without its powerful pumps transforming the “margins” into valuableagricultural land each year, Sumas Lake would begin to refill its old lakebed like it didwhen the dykes burst and the pumps could not handle the flood in 1935, 1951 and 1975.The human experience of Sumas Lake shifted profoundly through seasonal time.Records of certain short-term observors provide insight into a range of local activitieswhich varied as the earth changed its position in relation to the sun. Winter temperaturesin the Fraser Valley seem to have been irregular.21 The journals of Fort Langley report arelatively mild November in 1828. On the 5th, Hudson’s Bay employee, Francois NoelAnnance (a Metis nicknamed “The Scholar”) and his party navigated up the Sumas riverwhere they found “300 or 400 Indians of the different tribes from this neighborhoodencamped — leaving them, taking a couple with him as guides, he continued a shortdistance through a large lake.”22 Annance left hurriedly as the villages were preparing forattack from a Coastal tribe and returned to the Fort with two beaver from “the Indians atthe Lake.” The weather was rougher upon their return in December, but the riversremained clear: “their course was up the main river for about 25 miles, and ascended theSmoise [Sumas] River the distance of about 5 miles; when they arrived at a Lake of 10miles long and 6 wide [Sumas Lake]— at the extreme end of this lake they found aconsiderable extent of low clear country, intersected with a number of little creeks &ponds well adapted for wild fowl— here they spent the best part of three days, and killed4 Swans —3 Cranes— 10 Geese & 40 Ducks.”2320Peggy Ward, Wetlands ofthe Fraser Lowland: Ownership, Management andProtection Status, 1992 (Technical Report Series No. 200, Pacific and Yukon Region1994, Canadian Wildlife Service), 1. Geraldine Irby in “Wetlands: How can we define -and protect - them?” The Sierra Report 12 no.4 (Winter 1993/94): 7, reports that 70%of the wetlands in BC and Washington state have been lost.21Allan Brooks, “Birds of the Chihiwack District, BC” AUK 34 (1917): 29.2cited in Bruce Ramsey, Five Corners: The Story ofChilliwack (Vancouver: AgencyPress, 1975), 12. See UBCSPE, Journal ofFort Langley Commencing With VoyagefromFort Vancouver June 27, 1827 to July 30, 1830, 87-94.23JbW, 15.56As Sumas Lake receded to its lowest water level, floodwater mosquito eggs driedout and passed the winter waiting for the good chill that would allow them to hatch out inthe summer. Charles Wilson, another member of the Boundary Commission, recorded inearly November 1859 that everything was frozen: “we have to thaw our bread over thefire before eating it, beef, vinegar, ink all the same way.”24 They adopted the localcustom of wearing blankets. Communications both on the river and on the page becamedifficult during a freeze-up. At Camp Sumass, Wilson wrote “the process of thawing theink is to stick your pen into your mouth after every 5 or 6 words and keep it there till itthaws.”25Although the work of reorganizing Nature would be advanced by a largelyProtestant ethic that began to dominate the area in the Nineteenth Century, the work ofseparating the human from the non-human at Sumas Lake was also aided by men ofscience like the naturalist Lord. He made several observations about the wildlife of theSumas area in notebooks that are punctuated by the squashed remains of severalmosquitos, identified by later entomologists as the dominant floodwater species Aedessticticus and Aedes vexans.26 Understanding himself and his mission of documentationto represent a radical break with the Aboriginal people he encountered, Lord freelymingles descriptions of native life with the insects and animals he studied. As he reportson the lifecycle of the mosquito, Lord notes that eggs are laid on ground that is due to beflooded, or in small “canoes”27on water.Lord and Wilson each proclaimed the Sumas-Chilliwack area “a Second Eden”and despite the mosquito menace that also drove the greatly distressed Wilson to sleep24George F. G. Stanley, ed., Mapping the Frontier: Charles Wilson’s Diary ofthe Surveyofthe 49th Parallel, 1858-1862, While Secretary ofthe British Boundary Commission(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1970), 76.25Ibid, 77.26Colin Curtis, The Mosquitoes ofBritish Columbia; Occasional Papers of the B.C.Provincial Museum no. 15 (Victoria, B.C.: Department of Recreation and Conservation,1967): 3.27Lord, The Naturalist, Vol 1, 319.57with a dozen men, women and children “in the middle of the lake upon piles...aftersmoking no end of pipes of peace” with the chief,28 both men registered claims for landin the vicinity.9 They saw lush grassland to graze cattle “rapid beyond anything i havewitnessed elsewhere” growing, in two months, to a height of “four and seven feet.”30The grasslands of the Fraser Lowland are almost completely gone and thus the speciesthat astonished the surveyors are difficult to identify. But before the lake was drained,“wild” grasses were still being harvested by local farmers. Barbara Beldam reflected that“I believe Canadian blue-grass to be the most undervalued of all grasses; when the watersreceded it sprang instantly back to life so that there was always time for a good crop ofhay. I have seen droughts that Canadian blue-grass has taken in its stride, cowering underthe sun until the first rain brings it back, green and eager again.”3’Lord was recording an abundant and well-used food resource as the osprey andbald eagle fished in the lake with their claws. The anthropologist Wilson Duff, in hisfieldwork of the 1950’s, relates the past existence of a weir that crossed the Sumas Riverat the point where the river left the lake at a width of 200 feet and a depth of up to 20 feet.The weir was owned by the Sumas people but they allowed outsiders to use it: aftercatching what sturgeon they wanted, they opened the weir.32 The wild potato,xwoqw’o:ls, the wapato or arrow-leaf, was gathered around the shores of Sumas Lakeand provided a good source of carbohydrates eaten raw, boiled or roasted.33 TheNooksacks, now living south of the imposed border between the United States and their28Stanley, ed.,Mapping the Frontier, 61.29BCftJ5 Add MSS 700, F.W. Laing, “Colonial Farm Settlers on Mainland, B.C. 1858-71.30cited in Stanley, ed. Mapping the Frontier, 32, ftn. See Lord, The Naturalist, Vol. 2,64.3tBeldam, “Sumas,” 32.32Wjlson Duff, The Upper Stab Indians ofthe Fraser Valley, B.C., Memoir no. 1(Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1952), 69, 77.33”Upper Stab Fraser Valley Plant Gathering,” (Coqualeetza Education Training Center,1981).58relations in British Columbia, came up to use the west and southern shores to hunt andfish: if they wanted to make sinew-backed bows, they could also obtain sturgeon glue.34Lord wrote of the tremendous numbers of birds that arrived “as if by magic,”35todevour the insects as their numbers grew in the summer, including flycatchers, white-bellied swallows and sedgebirds (warbiers). Sumas Lake was also attractive to theSandhill Crane, Great Blue Heron. and the American Bittern.36 Lord hunted what helisted and was particularly annoyed by the “disagreeably bold” behavior of the BaldEagles when they flew off with his kill: sometimes he gave the robber “the benefit of asecond barrel, as punishment for his thievery.”37 “Immense flocks” of the now rareWhite-fronted Goose, as well as Whistling Swans and Hutchin’s Geese also spent part oftheir life cycle at Sumas Lake.He was hardly alone in the hunt. One way the locals captured birds was to stringnets between 15’ to 20’ high poles each attached to a canoe, with which they would slowlyenclose a roft of ducks.38 With the improvement of guns in the Nineteenth Century andincreasing trade and use of them, hunting methods changed. Lord described the use offirearms by unnamed Indians on White-Fronted Geese:“They arch light sticks by fixing the ends in the ground, just high enough for a man tocrawl under, and about six feet long; this they cover with grass, to resemble a mound andrushes; having crept in, the Indian lies still until a flock of geese pitch within shot; then,bowling over as many as he can, he loads again; the geese just circle round and pitch asbefore, and so he continues to fire until enough are slaughtered; then out he creeps, topick up the dead and wounded.”3934Marian Smith, “The Nooksack,” 332. Robert Ruby, A Guide to Indian Tribes ofthePacific Northwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986), 153.35Lord, The Naturalist, Vol. 2, 64.36cited in Barry Leach, Waterfowl on a Pacific Estuary, B.C. Provincial Museum SpecialPublication no. 5 (Victoria, B.C.: British Columbia Museum, 1982), 56.371b1d.38Reuben Ware and Albert Phillips, ed., “Sumas Lake,” Sto:lo History Fieldnotes,Coqualeetza Education Training Center, 1976-1979, 28.39cited in Leach, Waterfowl, 22.59The wary White-Fronted Geese already were seriously reduced by 1888.40 Huntingseasons and bag limits would be a new concept for some hunters, including the increasingclouds of newcomers whose object in the hunt was often to kill as many birds as possible.Short-term visitors began to stay for the long term. Migrants like the Chadseybrothers moved into the lake country not long after the Colony’s Pre-Emption Act of 1860that granted 160 acres of unsurveyed Crown lands to those who would take possession,pay no more than 10 shillings per acre and register title. In 1864, William McCollsurveyed Indian Reserves between New Westminster and Harrison River. According tothe oral instructions of James Douglas, all lands claimed by the Indians were to beincluded and, in no case was a reserve to be under 100 acres.41 The government engineermapped the area at the beginning of freshet season and he notes that the two SumasReserves (Lower Sumas with 6400 acres and Upper Sumas with 1200 acres) were bothmainly flooded at high water2 Three preemptors had already moved onto the LowerSumas Reserve where McColl listed a Native community of 93 people. In 1867, JosephTrutch, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, acted to reduce the size of the LowerFraser reserves for“the Indians regard these extensive tracts of land as their individual property; but of byfar the greater portion thereof they make no use whatever and are not likely to do so; andthus the land, much of which is either rich pasture or available for cultivation and greatlydesired for immediate settlement, remains in an unproductive conditon — is of no realvalue to the Indians and utterly unprofitable to the public interests.”43Trutch proceeded to allow forty thousand acres’ to be made “available” by taking it frompeople he once compared to dogs. ‘ The surveyor sent out that year to carry out thereductions reported that “in our reconnaissance in the Chilliwack District [east side ofIbid.41Papers Connected, 43.42Legal Surveys, Department of Lands, Victoria, New Westminster District, ChilliwackPlan Number 31T1, Map of Government and Indian Reserves, W. McColl, 16 May, 1864.43Papers Connected, 42.Paul Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: The Indian Land Question in BritishColumbia (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1990), 43.45Robin Fisher, Contact and Conflict (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1977), 161.60SBntis o1umbia ovincia1 Land Suweyors New.‘ Westmiitér District, Chilliwack plan number 31T1, Map ofS Goveinent and Indian Reserves, W. McColl. May’ 1864.Legal Siry.eys, Department of Latids, Victoria B.C.;Blue hihhts Sumas Reserves apshented with northatbott%-. .——— pqv.-.‘—— ‘7 -e IV.4-4-••1I -‘-4--4/r•4’.r - -1-4-AAa ..A-I - — -‘44- i- --4wL :Ay/ /.‘-Sumas Lake] we were accompanied by nearly all the settlers, some sixteen in number,who were very useful and obliging in pointing out. .surveyor’s posts.“ As the politicalscientist, Paul Tennant, notes, the surveyor was innocent of any suspicion that the settlersmay have previously moved the posts they knew so well.Although the white settlers were still in the minority in the Fraser Valley, theywere Trutch’s “public interest.” Between 1861 and 1871, their numbers grew from 300 tol,292. The imported smallpox virus was killing many Native people in BritishColumbia during the period, but the Sto:lo numbered at least 1,720 people in l864Some government outsiders were more sympathetic than others towards theSumas who were actively being separated from their territories. Surveyor J.B. Launderswas unable to satisfy some very disraught Sumas Band members within the scope of hissurveillance duties. Sumass No. 2 on the Sumas River49 “is chiefly wet prairie with a beltof stunted willows along bank of river. The Indians were not well satisfied: they wantedall their original claim...”50After British Columbia joined Confederation, the Provinceand the Dominion had difficulty merging their conflicting policies towards Native people.Sto:lo grievances filled petitions1 The Province’s refusal to recognize Aboriginal titleand reluctance to extend existing reserves led to the formation of the Joint AllotmentCommission in 1876.52 Three Commissioners were given the task of conclusivelysettling the Land Question for British Columbia. Band populations were noted as well asindividuals’ names, numbers of livestock and implements.53‘Tennant, Aboriginal People, 43.47Leach, Waterfowl, 57.48Duff, The Upper Stab Indians, 2849Aylechootlook on Capt. Jemmett’s 1881 survey.50Papers Connected, 57.51See for instance the 1874 Petition of the L.ower Fraser Chiefs: Sumaas (at the junctionof Sumass River and Fraser) with a population of seventeen families, is allowed 43 acresof meadow for their hay, and 32 acres of dry land;” “Special Joint Committee,” 103.52McFarland, “Cut-Offs,” 38.53Sumass tribe listed with 126 people and 78 cattle on 6 Reserves. “Stab Bands List. AnEarly Census of the Sto:bo Villages, Yale to Katzie,” Department of Indian Affairs, RG62By 1878 Gilbert Sproat, the most enthusiastic member, was the onlyCommissioner left on the job. Prior to the Commission, Sproat had been absent fromB.C. for nine years, but his earlier observations on B.C. Indians during his life in Albernishowed him to be a remarkably thoughtful setter54 Geographer Cole Harris writes thatSproat met with Lower Fraser Chiefs in 1878 to hear their complaints that the incomingsettlers were claiming land the Natives wanted, but nothing was done to remedy thesituation.55 Harris is right to say that the situation remained dire, but Sproat’s lengthywritten attempt to argue for fairness is a story that has special relevance to Sumas Lake asit magnifies the interdependent relationship of its water and ground. After the passing ofthe Sumas Dyking Act that same year, the unsatisfactory situation for the first inhabitantsof the area worsened.Engineer Edgar Dewdney was one of the first to survey the Sumas District andscheme to drain the lake6 In April 1878, the first legislation relating to Sumas waswritten and adopted, enabling Ellis Luther Derby “to drain Sumas Lake and other lands”in the Chilliwhack, Sumas and Matsqui disthcts.57 Derby did not begin construction untilNovember, waiting perhaps for low water. Just after Christmas, Derby received a darkwarning from Gilbert Sproat.ToE.L DerbyDec. 26, 1878Sir,I have to inform you that it is the intention ofthe Dominion Government to take legalsteps agaitist you as a trespasser upon the Indian Reserve at this place and to restrain10, Vol. 10012. See Stab Source Book, A Documentary ofthe Sto:lo People 1800-1970(Coqualeetza Education Training Center), 159-163.54Fisher, Contact, 189.55Harris, “Lower Mainland,” 59.56Guide to the Province ofBritish Columbiafor 1877-8 (Victoria: T.N. Hibben & Co.Publishers, 1877), 117-125.57British Columbia, Swnas Dyking Act Statutes of B.C. 1878, c. 6.63youfromfurther similarproceedings with respect to Indian reserves at Sunws andChilliwhack.It is considered that the Sunws Dyking Act cannot give you any authority to touch IndianReserves, that can be given by the Superintendan: General ofIndians alone acting withthe consent ofthe Indians.I have the honour to be Sir,Your obedient servant,Gilbert Malcolm SproatCommissioner58Derby protested59and Sproat countered with a volley of angry letters. Sproat apparentlyhad sent a letter of protest against the Sumas Dyking Act the previous spring, but henoted that such a letter would hardly seem necessary based on the province’s knowledgethat the lands in the Derby grant had not been examined by a Reserve Commission.Authorized by the Act, Derby began his dyke in Matsqui and planned to run itacross the Sumass Indian Reserve. All the Crown lands near the Matsqui, Sumass andChilliwhack Indian reserves were granted to Mr. Derby and Sproat was outraged that thequestion of “sufficiency of these reserves” had thus been resolved. “Derby now pleadsthat the general effect of the dyking could be beneficial to the Indian reserves” but thecrucial question remained. How could sufficiency be judged when every acre of Crownland beside and near the Indian Reserves was granted to Mr. Derby?Sproat challenged Ottawa on behalf of the Matsqui people who “had been told bywhite men that if they or their cattle injured the dyke they would be put in prison...” Thepeople felt not only that the dyke was useless, but that the reserve was unsuitable. “Theeffect of draining lakes and diverting the course of streams touching or near the Indian58NAC, RG 10, Vol. 7538, file 27, Sproat to Derby, 26 December 1878.59lbid., Derby to Chief Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 31 December 1878.60Ibid., Sproat to Superintendant General of Indian Affairs, 27 January 1879.64reserves has also to be considered: in short, the whole question preeminently requires thewell considered sanction of the Dominion Government and requires it now.”61 For theshort-term stay of Sproat, the time to act was slipping away. He thus recommended thedisallowance of the Sumas Dyking Act.B.C.’s Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, G.A. Walkem wrote Sproat totell him to drop the issue and in a telegram assured Prime Minister John A. Macdonaldthat he would “immediately protect Indians from contribution for benefits by anammending act.”62 Walkem’s record in regard to Indian interests was hardly exemplary.As Premier in 1875, Walkem opposed the motion to publish all papers relating to theIndian Land Question and, in the end, successfully suppressed the report. Sproat hadagreed to continue as the only Reserve Commissioner only after being assured that theChief Commissioner of Lands and Works would not interfere in his work unless the casewas extreme.63 A letter from Walkem provided Ottawa with “some important facts.” Hehad it “upon good authority that the land [under the lake] is a rich loam” and that itsvalue, to Indians as well as whites, would be increased by drainage.M Again, he askedthat the Act, which still could be disallowed by the Dominion Government before the 8thof May, continue to stand.The question of land sufficiency for the Indians remained open due, as ever, toseasonal considerations. Sproat was unable to answer the question in January because ofthe snow on the ground. Sproat was instructed to “proceed at once to Chilliwack, Sumassand Matsqui — ascertain if Reserves sufficient, when drained, if not what further requiredand report the result by telegraph.”65 Strangely, the words “when drained” were added as61Jbjd 25 January 1879.62Jkj Walkem to Macdonald, 6 March 1879.63Duane Thomson, “A History of the Okanagan: Indians and Whites in the SettlementEra, 1860-1920,” (PHD) Department of History UBC, 1985, 138.64NAC, RG 10, Vol. 7538, file 27, Wailcem to Superintendant General of Indian Affairs,17 March 1879.65Jbjd., Vankoughnet to Sproat, 3 April 1879.65a marginal correction on the telegraph: in a corresponding letter to the Prime Minister thesame day which explained the instructions to Sproat, the concept sufficient “whendrained” was omitted.66 The May deadline passed and the Sumas Dyking Act remainedin place.Surveying in the June freshet of 1881, Captain Jemmett noted wifiows, crabapple,fir, cedar, maple, hazel, vine maple, berry, fern, spruce, alder, grass on the Upper SumasReserve. As his handwriting becomes messier and messier, he also notes over three feetof water, hardhack, a beaver dam, a swamp, and unearthed survey markers.67 As early as1879, the sufficiency of land for Indians in the Lower Fraser was tied to a drainagescheme that cyclically stopped and restarted repeatedly for the next forty years as whitefarmers argued and capital remained elusive. Although Sproat raised the distinctpossibility that lake drainage may not be in the best interests of Native people, the debatewas cut short. He stated that the Indians “must have winter and summer grazing land....reasonable area and their fishing places” and asked, “is this unreasonable for a lawabiding people whose land title is inextinguished?”68But the Dominion, the fiduciaryguardian of Indians, was mute. Sumas and Chilliwack Natives would not have to pay fordrainage or dyking: but Indian agents would thereafter assume that the Indians, on theirincreasingly tiny pieces of dry land, not only favoured but required drainage.The Railway Belt, 20 miles on each side of the promised Canadian PacificRailway, was transferred from B.C. to the Dominion in 1883. 45,000 acres of the “SumasDyking Lands,” excluding Sumas Lake, Indian Reserves and certain “marginal” lands,were reconveyed to B.C. in 1896 to facilitate the administration of settlement.6966Jbid., Vankoughnet to Macdonald, 3 April 1879.67pd, Surveyor General, W. S. Jemmett, 1881, Yaalstrick Indian Reserve No. 1,Lakaway Indian Reserve No.2, Timber Reserve No. 3, Aylechootlook Indian ReserveNo.4, Upper Sumas Indian Reserve No.6, Sumas Indian Reserve No.7, BC Field Books,No.9.68NAC, RG 10, 7538, ifie 27, Sproat to Vankoughnet, 17 March 1879.69NAC, RG 15, Vol. 778, file 540515, Extractfrom a Report ofthe Committee oftheHonorable, the Privy Council, approved by His Excellency on the 21st October, 1896.The Dominion actually had title to the lake bottom as the Province administered water66CD- —LMP)OI-.rJ C -tL) CD —ICDThe 1884 lynching of Louis Sam, a 15 year-old Sumas boy, by U.S. citizens incooperation with white Sumas Prairie residents, indicates that the relationship betweenNatives and newcomers was strained.70 The great grey owl stopped coming to SumasPrairie in the winter, birds of prey, the gyrfalcons, became the prey of market hunters.New settlers occupied most of the available agricultural land by 188871 and successivedyking commissioners felt justified in urging a revision of the amendment which“unfairly” prevented the taxation of Indians for dyking projects.72But apart from any discussion of land rights and use, let alone actual control ofwater and land, Indians could be portrayed by white settlers quite sympathetically.Charles Evans, a farmer who grew up in the area, wrote in the local paper in 1904 of the“Fraser Indians” as they appeared to him in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century:The only obtainable help at that time was the Indian. He was the pioneer’s live capital.He was the man who cut down the bush and the trees. He cleared all those first fields; hehelped cut the hay and grain that grew on them. He baled hay, made roads and bridges,and did all manner of farm work. In some cases the rivers were our thoroughfares at thattime. The Indian took the produce down the streams to the Fraser, where he could have itloaded on the steamer. Large or small, he could take it just the same in his canoe, andsometimes for heavy articles two or three canoes side by side. He was always reliable.73In the early Twentieth Century, the same farmer seems to have employed the services ofgrowing numbers of migrant labourers and local farmers, both Asian and white, muchmore often than the “reliable” Indian.74 The Indians to depict favorably were the Indiansof the past— not contemporary holders of valued land and competitors for resources.But certainly, qualities of sensitivity and insensitivity may coexist in one person.70MSA, Louis Sam Papers, S.A.M..71Donna Cook, “Early Settlement in the Chilliwack Valley,” (MA), Department ofGeography, UBC, 1979, 12.72NAC, RG 10, Vol. 7538, file 27, Memorandum from S.Bray to Deputy Minister ofIndian Affairs, 19 January 1907; G.W. Chadsey to Daly, Minister of the Interior, 6 June1995.73CHSA, Add. MSS 27, file 13, Charles Evans, “Reminiscences of the Fraser RiverIndian.” Published in the Progress 24 February 1904.74CHSA, Add. MSS 27, files 1-2, Charles Evans, “Account Book and Stock BreedingRecords, 1896-1904. See Dianne Newell’s Tangled Webs ofHistory for moreinformation on this general trend: Newell analyzes the increasing obstacles to Nativeparticipation in the Pacific Coast fishing industry.69In Beldam’s poem “The Return of Chief Sumas” the Sumas Indians havedisappeared completely from the valley, struck down by land dispossession, alcoholismand disease. The Chief, upon returning from the spiritual realm, remembers the valleyand is horrified by its present reality: “0 my Father, I am ready to return unto my people,I have seen my old-time homeland / but the land is mine no longer, for the great whitehand has killed it. I Once the Garden of My People, it is now the White Man’s Burden ITwill leave it now forever...”75 Beldam reflected that her father, W. C. Bowman,sheltered two families of Indians in a driving north wind storm and froze his cheek andsome toes in the process of saving their team.76 She did not note that her father was alsoa dyking commissioner who traveled to Ottawa to advance drainage. In 1910, Bowmancomplained to Indian Affairs that the existing Reserve land was “practically unused,” the“Indians were diminishing in number....not suited for intensive farming” and suggestedthat they be confmed “in as small an area as reasonable and possible.”77Out of sight andout of mind: a timeless and empty place shared with the diminishing wild spaces, andone day, hopefully, attendant bits of troublesome nature like the mosquito pest.Mosquito RhetoricRegardless of what local or federal officials had in mind for the Sto:lo and thelake area, neither of which had disappeared by World War I, they had clearly definedplans for mosquitos. Most information written about mosquitos has been gathered withthe intent to eradicate them. For instance, before the lake was drained, Aedes aidrichi (A.sticticus Meigen) 78 was the most significant species in the Fraser Valley in terms ofabundance and vicious biting behavior towards mammals, especially in the evening. But75NSC, Barbara Beldam, “May to December (Looking Backwards), Beldam, 1979, 57.76Beldam, “Sumas,” p. 34.77RG 10, Vol. 7538, file 27, W.C. Bowman to Deputy Superintendant of Indian Affairs, 2March 1910.78D.M. Wood, P.T. Dang, and R.A. Effis, The Insects and Arachnids ofCanada, Part 6,The Mosquitoes ofCanada, Diptera: Culicidae (Ottawa: Research Branch, AgricultureCanada., 1979), 251.70Aedes vexans was the most important mosquito for entomologist mammals near SumasLake itself.79 This species still irritates many people in the Lower Fraser Valley aroundJuly and usually it is considered to be the worst mosquito pest in Canada. No malarialoutbreaks are known to have occurred in British Columbia; the only diseases carried byindigenous mosquitos are the encephalitides which on rare occasion have been known toaffect horses, people and wild rabbits.8°In the perceived war between man andmosquito, mosquito science is not neutral. Nevertheless, the rhetoric of science and theLaws of Nature produced by entomologists in the laboratory, offered a persuasive meansof plucking the drainage debate from the fabric of Sumas society. The scientific remedyof drainage, promoted intensively after World War I, produced new knowledge as ithelped to destroy wetlands — and a way of life — in the Fraser Valley.Locals had long developed mosquito-coping manoeuvers. Although the platformhouses seem to have been out of use by the late 1 86(Ys, smudge fires remained important.A surveyor on the Boundary Commission was soothed by a Native woman’s applicationof vermilion onto his face and hands. Sto:lo historian, Dan Milo spoke of “t’ehm-ehKWIY-ehl,” an important campsite east of the lake where the Sto:lo came to get awayfrom the mosquitos.81 Later locals put screens on windows, swished themselves withsticks, applied creosote to the wails and repellents like oils of lemon grass and lavender totheir skin. Packaged relief was sold at the drugstore. Common control measuresincluded pouring crude oil on mosquito breeding areas, a practice detrimental to fish,fowl and other insects. Some people, women especially, could simply work indoors. Asa young person, Ms. Belirose spent a considerable amount of time inside the family house79Eric Hearle, “The Mosquitoes of the Lower Fraser Valley and their Control,” NationalResearch Council Report no. 17 (Ottawa: Kings Printer, 1926), 27-41.8OCwtjs, The Mosquitoes ofB.C., 6. See Peter Belton, The Mosquitoes ofBritishColumbia. Handbook no. 41 (Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1983), 19.See also Andy Tomec, “Valley braces for mosquito outbreak,” Chilliwack Times, 17 April1990.81Oliver Wells, Wocabulary of Native Words in the Halkomelem Language,”(VedderB.C.: Wells, 1965), 27.71by the lake, all year round. Her diary of constant indoor chores and her daugher’s oralreflection on the loss of a “scene”and a “view” rather than a lake, reflect a domesticexistence82— a stark contrast to the experience of Barbara Bowman (Beldam) whosehunting and horseback riding enabled close and constant contact with the outdoors.Beldam writes, “How glorious it was when spring came, and how short! For, withwarm weather came literally clouds of mosquitoes, especially if it was a flood year. Mysister and I wore long black stockings lined with paper. Heavens! No girl wore pants inthose days! The haymakers wore big straw hats with mosquito-netting veils that could besuffocatingly hot. All the animals suffered but particularly the horses. I rememberrunning my hand down my horse’s neck and seeing the blood run off my elbow. Then thedragonflies came and that meant the beginning of the end for the mosquitoes. How Iloved them and how beautiful I thought they were. I still think so.”83 Though Beldamdoes not underrate the irritation caused by mosquitos, she also focuses on attendantbeauty, thus underlining the point that making life more pleasant in the valley meantaccomodation to the mosquito, not necessarily extermination of habitat.Mosquito imagery, however, is suffused with the violence of war. A title passedon within the Sumas Band is kwal, meaning mosquito, which was the name of a warriorfamous for his quick “in and out” style of attack.84 Extensive studies on mosquitos,especially concerning disease vectors and control through pesticides like DDT,85 werecarried out during World War II; a renowned fighter aircraft was dubbed the Mosquito.Storytellers searching for historical causality often connect the political will to completethe Sumas Reclamation with the outbreak of World War I, the demand for agricultural82CHSA, Add. MSS 435, Effie Jane Belirose, “Diary January 1898 to December 1902.”See also CHSA, Add. MSS 435, Myrtle Ferguson.83Beldam, “Sumas,” 34.84Duff, The Upper Sto:lo Indians, 82, 96.85DDT is now banned in North America but the United States exports as much as 18million kilograms each year for use in developing countries. David Israelson, SilentEarth (Markham: Penguin, 1990), 34.72products and later, the need of arable land for soldier settlement. Oddly enough, eventhe official protectors of migratory wildlife were strong advocates of wetlands drainage inthe Lower Fraser Valley. Framed in wartime rhetoric, this irony becomes less curious.The campaign to drain the lake was aided considerably not just by the war waged inEurope but by the civil war against the mosquito. The operative word was “control.”From 1887 until 1898, the region of Sumas Lake was, due to the hunting andrecording skills of Canada’s esteemed naturalist-artist, Major Allan Brooks, “morethoroughly worked omithologically than any other portion of the Province.”87 Brooks,“eighteen and chuck full of enthusiasm” first came to the area in May 1887 with hisfather, the late W.E. Brooks who had bought a farm close to the village of Chilliwack.Like other naturalists of his generation who focused more on structure than behavior,Brooks killed to know, and he shot and trapped many of his listed 253 species of birds inthe area, as well as 60 species of mammals.88 In late fall of 1894, Brooks noted a dozenlarge flocks of Whistling Swans on Sumas Lake and he also recorded many changesduring these years and thereafter, especially due to harrassment and over-hunting.Brooks, himself, was a market hunter for museums in Europe and North America: hisSumas Lake specimens of Sandpipers in the Berkeley Museum (Pectoral Sandpiper,Baird’s Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Western Sandpiper), all now vanished from theSumas area, are in groups of threes and fours, several females containing eggs, shotmainly in late summer and early fall.89 In 1917, he wrote that many species such as86Kris Foulds, “The Land Beneath the Lake,” (MSA Museum Society, 1991), 7;Margaret Ormsby, British Columbia: A History (Macmillans in Canada, 1958), 407; JeanBarman, The West Beyond the West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), 241.87Allan Brooks, “Birds of the Chilliwack District, B.C.” Auk 34(1917): 30.88Barry Leach, Waterfowl, 61. See also Hamilton M. Laing, Allan Brooks: ArtistNaturaiis4 British Columbia Provincial Museum Special Publication no. 3 (Victoria:British Columbia Provincial Museum: 1979).89Museum of Vertebrate Zoology collection holdings data (not viewed personally and notto be considered primary data) University of California Berkeley, printed March 16th,1994. Brooks notes in “Birds of the Chilliwack District, B.C.” that he sent “numbers” ofthe Semipalmated Sandpiper “to the large eastern collections.” The Semipalmated73Hutchin’s Goose [Taverner’s Canada Goose] “mostly pass over now, as they are toomuch disturbed.”90The lake full of Dolly Varden trout, salmon and sturgeon continued to provide“happy and profitable hunting grounds”91 for locals, but fish were a prized and contestedresource. Terry Glavin recently called sturgeon “living dinosaurs that emerged in theUpper Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era 98 million years ago and have remainedunchanged for the past two million years.”92 But he also noted that the IndianSuperintendant Vowell declared in 1905 that these fish, known to grow over 12 feet inlength, were practically extinct through commercial overfishing. That April, the FisheriesDepartment seized the nets of Indians fishing for sturgeon in Sumas Lake, apparentlybecause their nets were blocking the passage of salmon to the spawning grounds.93A concern with regulations and wildlife conservation in Canada originated — on afederal level— with civil servants, not elected officials, and not until very late in theNineteenth Century. Janet Foster, scholar of Canadian conservation, blamed this belatedinterest to “an uninhabited frontier, the myth of superabundance, an em of exploitationand lack of knowledge about wildlife, the political climate of the National Policy and thedivision of powers under the British North America Act.”94 Questioning several areas ofFoster’s “uninhabited frontier,” the rapid flooding of British Columbia with people whodevalued the local land and waterscape, and those who first lived there, also encourageddisinterest in local habitat conservation.Sandpiper is also extinct in the Chilliwack/Sumas district according to naturalist DenisKnopf in his 1992 list of “Birds of the Chilliwack District, B.C.”90Brooks, “Birds,” 34.91cited in CA, Sto:lo Source Book:, 200. “Rod fishing is being injured,” ChilliwackProgress, 30 April 1913.92Terry Glavin, “An Ancient Enigma and a Death on the River,” The Georgia Straight,December 3-10, 1993,7.93cited in CA, Sto.1o Source Book, 199. Chilliwack Progress, 26 April 1905 and “TheGovernment Seizure,” Chilliwack Progress, 3 May 1905.94Janet Foster, Workingfor Wildlfe: The Beginning ofPreservation in Canada (Toronto:University of Toronto Press, 1978), 12.74Protection of land by the federal government meant strict control and a highdegree of management. Divided into seven small parcels of seasonally dry land, theSumas Indian Reserves were vulnerable to further reductions. One Sumas Reservesouthwest of the Lake, was considered for surrender as early as 1903 to a farmer inAbbotsford, B.C.. The Indian Superintendant asked the local Indian Agent to enquire andhe reported that [while] “It is true they are not making a great deal of use of their ground,[one old man plants potatoes there each year] but we expect better from the youngergeneration growing up.... I have not called the Indians together to discuss the surrender ofthis Reserve as knowing their sentiments on this matter I know it would be useless.”95 Alingering irritant to the Sumas newcomers, the issue of sale was again raised during theMcKenna-McBride Commission. Although lands were reduced from the Upper SumasReserve (Reserve #6, Kilgard), this particular Reserve (#7) was not sold at this timeeither. However, the notorious Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendant Generalof Indian Affairs, pressuring the sale with the cause of “Returned Soldier Settlement”persisted, and he succeeded in obtaining a surrender on Hallowe’en 1919.The extension of the net of control over land, fish, fowl and mosquitos, required aspecialist, a manager— a new breed of person altogether. Dominion EntomologistGordon Hewitt was the most energetic and influential of the civil officials interested inconservation. Hewitt secured the momentous Treatyfor International Protection ofMigratoiy Birds signed with the United States in 1916. The federal government thuswas empowered to make rules enhancing the protection of migratory birds, establishingclosed seasons, issuing hunting permits and designating endangered species.95NAC, RG I0,Vol. 7545, file 29, MacAdam to Minister of Indian Affairs, Ottawa, 12January 1904: Devlin to Vowell, 6 February 1903.Under Interim Report no. 17, the Maclure Tramway of the Victoria, Vancouver andEasterm Railway & Navigation Company claimed a 32.6 acre right-of-way from theUpper Sumas reserve in the New Westminster agency. Abandoned in the 1940’s the landwas sold and subdivided, without compensation. Reuben Ware, The Lands We Lost: AHistory ofCutoffLands and Land Lossesfrom Indian Reserves in British Colwnbia(Vancouver Union of BC Chiefs, 1974), 21.97NAC, RG 10, Vol 7535, file 26.75Sumas Lake, mainly used by wildfowl as a stopping place or wintering area onflights to and from Arctic breeding grounds,98was a prime candidate for regulation.Unfortunately, these geese, ducks and swans who needed undisturbed habitat for feeding,loafing and preening were aided very little by the Treaty. Although it ignored Aboriginalrights to hunt, British Columbia representatives were intransigent on their frontier rightsto hunt wherever, whenever and whatever they wanted. Hewitt negotiated majorconcessions for the province which became major concessions for the market hunters atSumas Lake. Wildfowl could be shot by sportsmen with permits after March 31 “ifinjurious to agriculture” which Hewitt admitted was an unlikely occurence; the 5-yearclosed season on wood duck was rescinded and B.C. was specially exempted from a 10-year closed season on cranes, swans and curlews.99Vancouver’s small armies of weekend hunters, who had used the B.C. ElectricRailway since its completion in the fall of 1910, continued to stop off at the Sumas Lakeshooting range until the Lake was divided into private fields in which soon even thegrazing geese were diminished by good aim and gunshot. The B.C. Electric Railway“brought the first radical change” to the sportswoman Beldam’s “security” and “privilegedisolation”— not new regulations. Hewitt also revised Northwest Game Act,100 sat on theinterdepartmental Wild Life Protection Advisory Board with Scott’01and transformed theDominion Entomological Service into a major branch of the Department of Agriculturewith twelve laboratories spread across Canada. He even managed to squeeze in a visit tothe Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia to address the burgeoning mosquito issue.98Lch, Waterfowl, 32.99Foster, Workingfor Wildlife, 140. See Migratory Birds Convention Act, Statutes ofCanada 1917, c. 18.100Foster, Workingfor Wild4fe, 141. See Northwest Game Act, Statutes of Canada 1917,c. 36.101 Brian Titley, A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration ofIndian Affairs in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1986), 54.76A change in government in 1916 at the provincial level prioritized “progressive”agricultural strategies and land settlement. Prior to the war’s end, Premier “Honest” JohnOliver, a farmer from Delta, encouraged the drainage in his plans for the employment andreestablishment of returning soldiers.102 His Minister of Agriculture, the farmer-politician from Chilliwack, “Honest Abe” ED. Barrow would consider the SumasReclamation Project his finest political achievement.103 In 1917, the locally-elected dykecommissioners were deposed and the government’s Land Settlement Board assumed theirdebts and responsibilities. The cost of dyking and drainage was to be shared between thesale of the lake bottom lands and the taxation of the local farmers. Thus any proposedscheme required cooperation from the Dominion government, as well as the Sumaslandowners. The Advisory board meeting in July, 1918 concluded, according to TheAbbotsford Post that “the district did not want a political dyke, it wanted a scientificdyke, and it was generally conceded that unanimity was the essential factor in success andthat discussions on engineering schemes led to nothing.”104Barrow needed to sustain the project’s momentum and what had been aparticularly intense mosquito season in 1918 provided both a political and scientificopportunity. As in 1859, the July of 1918 was an abundant month for mosquitopopulations. The papers lamented and blamed as female mosquitos searched for theprotein blood meals that would mature their eggs. A newspaper article argued in favourof drainage that “had it not been for the mosquito pest, the Fraser Valley would have hadhundreds more settlers.”105 That September, Barrow organized the first conference everheld to specifically discuss the mosquito. The newspapers, with headlines declaring“Mighty Mosquito Must Migrate,” to the “wilds of Potsdam” exuded the battle rhetoric ofwartime and quoted Barrow’s honoring of women who, acting as courageously as thet02Ormsby, British Columbia, 407.103Jim Bowman, “Few As Popular as E.D. Barrow,” Chilliwack Times, 24 November1992.104MSA Sumas Lake Papers, The Abbotsford Post; 18 July 1918.105The Fraser Valley Record, 5 September 1918.77women of Great Britain, “stuck to their fruitpicking despite the fierce offensive of themosquito.”1Barrow declared that “to further delay action looking towards the eradication ofthe mosquito pest in the Fraser Valley, is nothing short of criminal neglect.” Thefollowing speech of Hewitt, quoted extensively in the local newspaper, supported theexperiential knowledge of the popular farmer, Barrow, with the rhetoric of specialistscientific authority. He advised that the “best policy would be to obtain a smallcommission, covering the whole mosquito area, but lifted out of local interests and partypolitics. An independent body should be responsible for this work getting the advicefrom an expert. This would give authority of action.” The fewer locals to be involved ingiving orders, the greater the extent of the mobilization.Amongst the assembled was the dairy farmer, Sam Smith, “whose cows eat thegrass even if the oil was on it and he thought it did them good.” Hewitt informed thecrowd that oil “is not a cure-all. Reclamation and drainage were the only true remediesfor the mosquito.” Hewitt’s chief assistant in B.C., who until 1917 was in charge of theEntomological Laboratory at the Dominion’s Agassiz Experimental Farm, urged fullcooperation. A year earlier he also had advised biological control measures, including themeasure of stocking permanent bodies of water with small fish to keep the mosquitopopulation in check.107In October 20th, 1917, Sumas Lake fish were identified as important creatures inthemselves by the head bureaucrat in the federal department responsible for fisheries “asthis lake, together with Sumas river, Vedder river arid Cultus lake, — all of which it isunderstood would be affected, — form an extensive and valuable spawning area for thedifferent species of salmon, it is important to know, before such work is undertaken,‘06MSA, Sumas Lake Papers, The Abbotsford Pos, 13 September 1918.107Belton, Mosquitoes, 30.78whether it would be detrimental to the fisheries....”108 The Department of the Interiorreplied thatWith the diversion of the Vedder directly into the Fraser, the spawning grounds on thisstream should not be interfered with, as the salmon would be able to swim up the newchannel and spawn in the upper reaches of the river. Cultus lake, to which you refer inyour letter, would not be affected by the scheme. Sumas Lake, however, would beentirely drained and the lands forming the bed and shores thereof transformed into mostvaluable agricultural land. With the intimate knowledge of the Province of B.C. whichyou possess, you will readily realize the value a level tract, comprising approximately30,000 acres, possessing soil as fertile as any in the Province, and which is situatedpractically at the door of two of our largest coast cities... It is necessary to apppreciatethe tremendous value of this area and effect the agricultural development of the same willhave on this whole district, when considering the case.”1Subsequently, save for a telegram from the Chief Inspector of Fisheries to the LandSettlement Board in 1922 asking “when action may be expected to permit ascentspawning salmon to Sumas Lake,” fish do not appear as a major topic of drainageconsiderations.110The political discussion was not about keeping expansive bodies of water fornatural mosquito control, not about maintaining wildlife, fishing places and huntinggrounds, but about reclaiming and controlling land for agriculture and mosquitoextermination. If Gordon Hewitt, touted as Canada’s Father of Conservation, had takenthe time to gaze out onto the wetlands surrounding the lake, what would he have seen?Perhaps he saw a foregone conclusion: the indigenous willow, rose, cranberry bushes andcrabapple were increasingly cleared away and the over-hunted Dominion grasslandsdedicated to pasture were not ideal habitat for wildfowl. Two years earlier, the hunter-naturalist Brooks wrote of the Chilhiwack-Sumas area that “most of the marshes havebeen drained so the region will never accommodate breeding waterfowl to any extent.”111108NAC, RG 89, Vol. 269, file 3594, Desbarats to Dept. of Interior, 20 October 1917.109b1d., S. Maber to Desbarats, 3 November 1917.110BCARS, GR 929, Box 52, file 1, JA Motherwell, Chief Inspector of Fisheries to theCommissioner, Land Settlement Board, Victoria, B.C. 11 August 1922. The LandSettlement Board answered, “Your wire eleventh. re passage salmon into Sumas Lake.Our Engineer Sinclair fully authorized to take any possible action.”1t1Brooks, “Birds,” 29. Allan Brooks changed his opinion in 1945 after visiting the birdsanctuary established by farmer-historian Oliver Wells in Sardis: He told Oliver that79But if Hewitt, the man supposedly most sensitive to the need for wildiands and birdhabitat was struck with mosquito myopia — who would represent Sumas Lake?That year the Dominion government extended more than a helping hand in theProvincial government’s propaganda effort to drain Sumas Lake. United against themosquito, the scientific and strategic resources of the Dominion and the Province joinedforces in a post-war geopolitical campaign that helped to eliminate Sumas Lakeefficiently, profitably and finally. The control of the water and land under the auspices ofthe “mosquito pest” became an extension of the war effort. In 1919, the NationalResearch Council in cooperation with the Dominion Department of Agriculture,sponsored an investigation of the Lower Fraser Valley mosquito populations. The studycontinued to 1921 when the Canadian Air Board and the Department of Agriculture sentaircraft to conduct one of the first aerial entomological surveys in Canada’s history. Thecompleted report of Eric Hearle, Assistant Entomologist in charge of MosquitoInvestigations for the Dominion Department of Agriculture, became grist for his Masterof Science degree, as well as the basis for the eradication of the mosquito, through thedraining of their breeding places, throughout the Fraser Valley.Hearle centered his campaign, not at Sumas, but at Mission, the area of the worstmosquito problem. Hearle flew over Sumas Lake and the local paper reported that Hearleannounced, upon landing, that “the draining of a mile of the lake shore would result in theelimination of the greatest mosquito breeding ground in the Lower Mainland.”112Hearleadvanced the education of the public with exhibits, lectures, magazine and newspaperarticles, for “Until recently, very few people in the affected area had any idea thatmosquitoes were controllable, and the pest was suffered as a necessary evil. Like the tide“duck shooting might be increased by establishing areas of complete protection forholding birds in the valley. Otherwise (there is) not enough water for loafmg grounds.”Leach, Waterfowl, 25.112cited in Robert J. McKinnon, “Mosquito Land: 1808-1980,” Prepared for theChilliwack Museum and Historical Society, July 1985. See Chilliwack Progress, 14August 1919.80and the weather it was considered to be unaffected by human intervention.”113 Dr. H.G.Dyar of the Washington National Museum, one of the world’s leading experts onmosquitos, came to visit Hearle in mid-July in 1920, and, as a newspaper article reported,collected many specimens and reinforced Hearle’s recommendation that the only way toget rid of the pest was through dyking and pumping. At this time, Hearle made what hefelt to be an important discovery— a new specimen of mosquito in the Fraser Canyon —and he named it hewitti, probably after Gordon Hewitt who died at age 36 in 1920.114Curiously, in Hearle’s tabulation of of information since 1910, mosquitos provedto be troublesome in only 50 percent of the summers.115 Hearle’s report admittedly paysonly incidental attention to natural predators of the mosquitos. Nevertheless, he notesthat considerable numbers were eaten by other insects in permanent bodies of water.Controlled tests showed one dragonfly consuming 195 mosquito larva in 19 hours. Thefry of trout and other fish were noted by entomologists “on several occasions destroyinggreat numbers of mosquito larvae. Large shoals of fry were sometimes seen followingeach other in constant succession around the edges of flood water, wherever it was fairlydeep and free from much vegetation.”116 Shore birds at Sumas Lake were observeddestroying great numbers of mosquitos. Although no examinations of stomach contentswere made, he notes that in New Jersey, the stomach contents of one species of shorebirdwas found to consist of 53 percent mosquito larvae. Hearle also briefly mentions bats,salamanders, and a recent damaging infection of parasitic worms in Aedes Vexans, butagain, few tests were made and no follow-up suggested.113Hearle, “Mosquitoes,” 16.114Eric Hearle, “A New Mosquito from British Columbia,” Canadian Entomologist. 55:5.(1923) 4. Hearle in “Mosquitoes,” 61, later suggested it to be synonymous with Aedesmutatus Dyar and in Richard Matheson’s Handbook ofthe Mosquitoes ofNorth America,Vol. 5 (New York: Comstock Publishing Company, 1944) it is listed under AedesIncrepitus Dyar at a spot where, in my borrowed edition, a library patron placed twofour-leaf clovers.‘t5Hearle, “Mosquitoes,” 13.‘16b1d, 81.81k)I’LATEXI.Fig,1.MapofLowerFraservalleyshowingmainflood—waterbreedingareasat21footriverkvel(‘oiiipiledfromaerialphotographsandobservations,1921.EricHearle, National ResearchCouncil.Mosquitos oftheLowerFraserValleyandtheir Control,Report No.17,(Ottawa:King’sPrinter,1926),68.2.1A[1GIY1’r’JHis final report was on the mosquito, not an ecosystem and the remedy —drainage— had already disappeared the lake by the time his report was published in1926. Specializing, zeroing in on the topic, he exterminated as many needless words aspossible and ignored the whole. The major work of dyking and dredging was completedby the fall of 1923. When thoughts about a flood lake are reduced to one of its tiniest andmost irritating members, answers are straightforward. Hearle’s conclusion was to guidedyking and drainage policy for the next several years.”7 The Sumas Lake sphere ofalternatives was drained, in part, by the farmer-politician’s experience and the expertise ofentomological science, a combination producing powerful suasory discourse.For the engineers and the white drainage supporters who in the winter of 1919voted 144-2 1 in favour of the Frank Sinclair plan— the one that would finally drain thelake— Sumas Lake simply was part of a “great and intricate problem” that had found itssolution.118 The anxious letter of the Director of the Reclamation Service for theDepartment of the Interior, complaining of the “difficulty of accurately defining themarginal lands” that were under federal control and due to be transferred to the provinceafter drainage, has a bleak poignancy. Writing during a blizzard on February 15, 1923, herepeats the advice that, “the bed of Sumas Lake has never been subdivided and if requiredthis work could not be done until the water has been drained away.””9 What becameclear was not the definition of the “useless” marginal land, but the uselessness of thismission of cartographic translation.Although hidden by eighteen inches of snow, the lake was indeed disappearing.Twenty-seven acres of the forty-nine acre Aylechootlook (Sumas Reserve #5) had been“wiped out” by the dyke constructed by the authority of the Land Settlement Board to117Curtis, The Mosquitoes ofB. C, 4.118Vancouver Province, 24 November 1919.119NAC, RG 89, Vol 269, file 3594, Drake to Minister, Department of the Interior, 15Feb. 1923.83divert and contain the Vedder River — an integral part of the lake drainage project. Inthis instance of land reduction, permission was not even requested. The L.S.B. chairmanadmitted to the Chief Inspector of Indian Agencies that the Board had failed to make anapplication for the land as they were instructed to do, but he felt that he owed nothing tothe Indians whose remaining twenty-two acres obviously was improved owing to theconstruction of the dyke.’20After almost a full year of pumping with the largest pump facility in the Dominionof Canada, the last waters of Sumas Lake were drained into the Fraser River in June of1924. The Cultus Lake Park Committee formed and in May was tendering boat and ice-cream concessions in their bid to promote and manage the nearest existing lake as apublic park.’21 Beldam writes that after the drainage, “the peaceful, leisurely times weregone.”’22 Slowed by the first glorious crop of willow trees, the lake bottom land was cutup and the sandy soil eventually began nurturing clover, hops and tobacco. The wildsweet potato that grew beside the lake could no longer be harvested by Sto:lo families.Stories are told of giant sturgeon that remained in the marshy areas of the fields, met bythe plow rather than the returning waters of the lake. A local farmer reports that flocks ofducks maintained their landing patterns onto the “lake” for many years. Seventy yearsafter the “Reclamation Project,” small fish get stuck in the drainpipes, salmon are foundin the drainage ditches and sturgeon are sighted swimming back and forth in front of thepumphouse. They move along ancient routes to homewaters, caught in the mechanismsof eradication.‘20NAC, RG 10, Vol. 7886, file 36153-13, Ditchburn, Chief Inspector of Indian Agenciesto Secretary, Dept of Indian Affairs, 31 Oct. 1923.121CHSA, Acc. 992.35, Cultus Lake Park Board General (1924-1 926).‘22Beldam, “Sumas,”. 36.85Sumas Lake, as seen from the BC. Electric substation on Vedder Mountain, Ca. 1916.MSA Museum Archive, P5005.Sumas Prairie, also from the substation, ca, 1926. MSA Museum Archive, P4998,1. --86Chapter ThreeMEMORY DEVICEThe landscape and the waterscape— what my mother calls our homeseape’— isfull of stories. Sometimes encountering these stories is simply a pleasant matter ofwalking outdoors with a knowledgeable elder. Sometimes, because not all narrativetraditions are passed down and people die, and the land and water have been altered somuch that the story perhaps is lost, our access to homescape history is restricted. Today,if you. drive east between the rapidly growing cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, youwould have little sense that your car travels over land that was once covered by water,past lakefront beaches and ridges that for a few decades bore settler homesteads andsettler names like York, Bowman and Michaud. There is a government “stop of interest”plaque beside the road describing the benefits of the Reclamation Project and thusreflecting the general thrust of official history. You would know Sumas Lake only aswater thankfully gone, unless you were fortunate to learn a few good stories which helpyou to care about where you are and what was there.Sumas Lake images are forms of restricted access to the lake. Yet they play animportant role in reminding us of life in the community before drainage. When visitingthe homes of men and women that remembered the lake, I was struck by the presence ofSumas Lake photographs and paintings. Mrs. M led me down her hallway and pointed toa framed photograph. “There it is,” she burst out, “that lake.”2 And by its shore she sat,gazing at a camera almost three-quarters of a century ago. Later she showed me apainting of Sumas Lake, composed in warm blues and yellows, by Louie Alexander, ayoung woman from Winnipeg who would visit every summer and allow Mrs. M to watchher work, if she was quiet.‘Jody Cameron, “A Longer View: Preserve Present, Future,”Chilliwack ProgressWeekender, 4 June 1993.2Mrs. M, interview at her home, March 8, 1994.8701 LJjJ iEII -I• 7LJ1 .)AA)1L1t± zzJp JEEStop of interest, TransCanath Highway. Photo John B, Cameron, August 1994.88i 1Iif-: :‘Mr. 0 was reluctant to be pegged as a lake lover. “It was just a lake, “ he wouldsay, perhaps reminding me that my subjectivity was becoming too apparent. His livingroom deeply impressed me; not only did his picture windows offer a view of the lakebottom lands, but a large painting of Sumas Lake, in golds and greens, took the place ofprivilege in his living room. Yes, it matched the furniture; but what came first, thepainting or the couch, I failed to ask. Mr. G had painted it years after the drainage,working from a photograph and visiting the spot where the picture had been taken.At home, Mr. 0 modestly denounced his own talent and memory. But, later, ashe drove me around the lake bottom, he displayed great knowledge of absent landmarks:community halls, roads, altered ridges. He said he often drove the route on his ownthough it was “ust a lake.” Mr. 0’s memory tour formed a clear pattern in an admittedlysmall sample of interviewees: when those who remembered the lake accompanied me tothe place where the lake used to be, when they gestured to familiar yet altered sites,memory and story flowed.Mrs. M pointed out a remnant of the old Yale Road which used to take her to hergrandparents’ home by the lake. She asked, “Can you just see yourselfin a horse andbuggy trotting along here?” Beside her, I could. “There’s the c4(fwhere the waves usedto splash up.”4 Mr. H was quick to say he had little to offer me because he was so youngwhen the lake was drained. But then he gestured across the road at the Kilgard Reserve.At the site where his brother had drowned in Sumas Lake, he had constructed andencouraged a small pond.5 As men and women invested painting, photographs anddrained landscape with story, they offered not only new content for history, but new eyes.3Mr. 0, lake bottom tour, March 9, 1994.4Mrs. M, lake bottom tour, March 22, 1994.5Mr. H, interview at his home, July 21, 1994.89Painting of Sumas Lake by Mr. G, Photo L Cameron, March 1994.Mr. G at home, looking towards Sumas Prairie. Photo L Cameron, March 1994.90Painting of Sumas Lake by Louie Alexander, owned by Mrs. M.Photo L. Cameron, March 1994.The former interurban tracks, and still used today to haul freight to and southeast corner of Sumas Prairie where Beirose Road rises fromfrom Chilliwack, run along the south shore of Sumas Lake. This photograph flattand to the Mauba Hill ridge of Vedder Mountain.was taken in 1916 at “Belrose Station”, now an area of lush farmland in theLouie Alexander painting beside Sumas Lake, AS.M News, Neil Smith Collection.91The American environmental historian William Cronon recently stated that storiesare our “chief moral compass in the world.” To extend his metaphor a little, stories helpto orient us in respect to our lives and, in no small measure, in respect to the places inwhich we live. Our storytellers invest places with meaning, and reflexively, these placesorient the stories they tell. In the context of the debate regarding the value of oraltradition for historical research, such a provocative idea poses many questions. One ofthe most challenging is posed by Julie Cruikshank when she says, “all societies havecharacteristic narrative structures that help members construct and maintain knowledge ofthe wrl’ If historians affirm this view from anthropology— and I think they should— can the stories about the same place told by people with potentially very differentnarrative structures be effectively compared? And what happens to stories, these moralcompasses, when places change?In order to diversify ways of knowing Sumas Lake, I have chosen to focus onstories that were told to me indirectly. They all come from the 1950’s and early 60’s whenI. was not alive and Sumas Lake bad been dead for thirty years. Some were written intohistory books, some were told orally to another person who tapecior transcribed the story.These latter stories were told by men and women who composed in an indigenousnarrative tradition, a tradition of storytelling that first made this lake meaningful topeople. Sto:lo oral tradition thrives in certain places. But one reason for my analysis ofthe archive rather than my own fieldwork is perhaps best summed up by a woman whotold me 7 went to school before the lake was drained and when I caine back, it wasgone.” 81 was trying to learn stories about the rupture of community through lakedrainage, but I was made to understand that being sent away from home to residentialschools was an experience that often removed the opportunity to learn stories about6Wffljam Cronon, “A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative,” The Journal ofAmerican History 78 no. 4 (March 1992), 1375.7Julie Cruilcshank, “Oral Traditions and Written Accounts: An Incident from theKiondike Gold Rush,” Culture 12 no. 2 (1989), 26.Sfj J, speaking untaped with her at the Sumas Days festival in July, 1994.92home. I understand many of the political and methodological dangers of considering oraland written narrative in the same discussion, but I seek a place of warmth, a gatheringtogether, in the midst of shifting and disputed intellectual territory.The question “how deep, how big was Sumas Lake?” is not irrelevant but here Iwant to stress that each measurement of the lake comes with its own story. Note that thelake is measured in acreage (a unit of measurement relating to land) that the drainageproject is termed a “reclamation” of land, not a “draining of water.” Water is somethingsuperfluous, something floating on top. To reclaim something is to assume you somehowlost it. Can one lose a lake bottom? But a reclamation is also a redemption— a turningfrom sinful ways. To reclaim is also to bring something like a desert or a marsh into acondition that can support crops or life. I am not interested here in making two separatepiles of reliable versus non-reliable descriptions. I aim to learn from— not simplydebunk— different ways of storytelling while asking, what makes certain stories stick?A blatant and localized example of what I tend to worry about might be myexperience of listening to the thirty year-old reel-to-reel tapes of a Fraser Valley historianand radio broadcaster named Casey Wells. One tape made in the 1960’s was aneducational acousti-guide— an audio tour of valley history— using designated places totell a story about the past. As Wells promised his student-listeners, “We will visit theactual places where many exciting and important events took place — where disastersoccurred and where there were achievements by both. native Indians and white pioneers.You will visit the exact locations; you will hear the authentic stories; and you can say, ‘ithappened here,”9a statement that Wells always solemnized by striking a gong. Butdespite his clear voice and crisp directions, the experience of listening to these storiestoday, in our present landscape, is a disorienting experience. Only thirty years later,many of his designated places are gone or are significantly altered. The stories, thoughpreserved on tape, have lost their moorings and the tour becomes semi-incoherent.9Casey Wells, Old Chilliwack River North (School District #33, ca. 1968).93Now as the Fraser Valley continues to be one of the fastest changing places withinone of the most rapidly growing regions in Canada, similar Weilsian accounts ofincoherency become commonplace. And the practicing historian’s job becomes moredifficult though as necessary as ever to the community to which she or he belongs.Sumas Lake historiography offers insight into how historians have made dramatic changeunderstandable and perhaps surviveable. An English naturalist on the InternationalBoundary Survey dubbed Sumas Lake a “Second Eden”10 romantic and beautiful beyondcompare; a chief of the Sumas Indians called it “one of the greatest spawning groundsthere is”11; a UBC geographer wrote of Sumas Lake as “the great impediment to east-west transportation through the Lower Mainland.”12 These descriptions are not merelyright or wrong. For as we stand in the ironic position of knowing that Sumas Lake nolonger exists, each phrase implies a different possible environmental history of the area,each articulating a particular origin and destiny.13Written histories about Sumas Lake have two basic plotlines. Unilinear, theseplotlines are extensions of the understanding that continuous narrative helps to lendcoherence to life. Recent ecological histories and personal memoirs have the form of adownhill slope— a degression into a life that is less satisfying, less abundant and lessfree. But by far the dominant plotline is that of increasing human progress: thereclamation of Sumas Lake serves to illustrate another step in Civilization’s growingcontrol of the place it had come to inhabit. The story is one of the most compellingstories of the West: sturdy farmers turn undeveloped vastness into an abudant garden. In1948, George White concludes his article on the “The Development of the Eastern FraserValley” with the following: “Looking over the whole reclamation project after a periodof twenty years, one cannot but feel that it was well worth while and that it will repay all10 Lord, The Naturalist, 315.‘1BCARS, Add MSS 1056. Chief Ned, Royal Commission On Indian Affairs, 155.12Alfred Siemens, Lower Fraser Valley: Evolution ofA Cultural Landscape (Vancouver:Tantalus, 1968), 38.13Cronon, “A Place for Stories,” 1376.94the time and money spent on it. For countless years there lay an 8,000 acre area of mudand water that was too shallow for navigation and probably too deep for the comfort ofduck-hunters, who were the only ones to get even a few thy’s use of it. In addition, it wasprobably the finest breeding-ground in the whole Dominion of Canada for mosquitoes.Today there exists as fine a stretch of farming country as one could wish to see, withexcellent soil, ample water-supply, a splendid system of drainage, and only 50 miles froman urban community that already contains nearly 400,000 people. It is difficult toconceive of any farm lands in North America more favorably situated.”14Repeating almost word for word the official report of the Provincial LandSettlement Board that was in charge of the drainage project15,the phrase “probably thefinest breeding ground for mosquitoes in the Dominion of Canada,” continues to appearin Sumas Lake histories.16 The beauty of the fmal pastoral image is underlined byWhite’s assertion that the lake was worthless, deserving to be transformed.The lake was also a formidable opponent and thus its drainage reinforces themagnitude of mankind’s accomplishment. Bruce Hutchinson, in his 1950 book TheFraser, linked the taming of the formidable Fraser River, “forever mad, ravenous andlonely,”17 with the drainage of Sumas Lake. The Fraser River, “the prodigal waste of‘4George White, “The Development of the Eastern Fraser Valley,” British ColwnbiãHistorical Quarterly 12 no. 4 (1948), 290.15BCARS, GR 929, Box 48, ifie 3, W.S. Latta, Director Land Settlement Board, “Recordof Events- Sumas,” 31 December 1926, 37.: Latta writes: “Looking over the projectnow that it is completed, and taking into consideration its past history and futureprospects, there can be no question of the tremendously beneficial affects this reclamationwork will have on the Fraser Valley in particular and the Province in general. Where 4years ago there lay an 8000 acre area of mud and water too shallow for navigation and toodeep for the comfort of the occasional duck hunter who was the only one to get even afew days use out of it, and which formed probably the finest breeding ground formosquitoes in the Dominion of Canada, there now exists as fine a stretch of famingcoutry as the eye could wish to see; excellent soil, level land, ample water supply forstock and domestic purposes, splendid system of drainage, close to transportation, lessthan 50 miles from an urban community of nearly 300,000 people, combined with anequable climate and adequate rainfall. It is difficult to conceive of any farm lands morefavorably situated on the North American Continent.”16”Drainage of Sumas Lake: the dream that took 50 years,” Valley Magazine, 26 May1982.t7Bruce Hutchinson, The Fraser(Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co., 1950), 5.95energy,” would often flood into the tidal lake during the spring freshets and Hutchinsonlauds Ed Barrow, the politician/farmer who pushed for the lake’s drainage for realizing“the dream that has become one of British Columbia’s proudest possessions.” Even whenit enters the gentle and open Fraser Valley where “man now grows his crops and feeds hisdairy herds” on its silt, “still the river is not to be trusted. It continually threatens andoften overflows the dikes he has built against it.”18 Putting the Vedder River in a“straitjacket” and pumping out Sumas Lake was, in Hutchinson’s analysis, the greatestwork of man’s Fraser River mastery. The madness was tamed— wrongs were righted —due to strong faith in a technological dream.The words of older general histories weave into the most recent histories.Margaret Ormsby’s highly influential 1958 British Colwnbia: A History very brieflyrecounts the reclamation of the “marshy lands of Sumas Prairie.”19 In her 1991 The WestBeyond the West, Jean Barman similarly chooses the word “marsh” over “lake” when shewrites, “the Sumas reclamation project drained thirty thousand marshy acres of the fertileLower Fraser Valley for mixed and dairy farming.”20 Sumas Lake is drained and framedin policy cause and effect, within the linear logic of print and the spatial expansion of ayoung province. And the agricultural communities like Yarrow, that extend their rootsonto the claimed lakebed, are indebted to these scholarly stories and to the disappearanceof the lake as they, in their local histories, write of their origins and destiny.The success and coherence of these local histories is also indebted todisappearance of First Peoples: passing descriptions of static native cultures simply setthe stage for the dramatic action of reclamation that follows. Named landscapes andwaterscapes are recognized but absorbed. Obviously my tone indicates derision for thiswhite-washing of history, but I must stop to point out that at one time most newcomers18IbW., 12.t9Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, 407.2OBarnii, The West Beyond the West, 241.96believed these stories, lived by these stories. That many still do is perhaps reason enoughto analyze and deconstruct their “mythical” status, but we are not obligated to deridesettlers’ myth while we uphold others’ myth. By focusing on the lake in the same timeperiod, we may — through listening to tapes and reading transcripts — begin toappreciate how the productions of oral and written knowlege are not unrelated, but indeedhelp to interilluminate each other.Not all non-Native storytellers ignored Native voices and ideas. In part, thesepeople reinforced the notion of peaceful Native-newcomer relations, removing anyculpability of Native dispossession from the hands of honest and decent Christian folks.But despite the potentially uneven power dynamic, non-Native interest in Native historyqualified the garden myth with voices that did not belong to Adam nor Eve. Thatparticular story did not capture all imaginations perhaps because, as the historian DonaldWorster suggests, it was “filled with all the unresolved contradictions of innocence.”21The garden story optimistically affirmed the story of progress through economicdevelopment; nevertheless, the same story was a celebration of man’s successful escapefrom “civilized” development.Under the auspices of the investigative expertise of a modern and more advancedculture, ethnographers have been recording and transcribing indigenous stories of theFraser Valley for several decades. Charles Hill-Tout declared in the 1890’s that the areasaround Sumas “seem to possess but few folk-tales, or else they have forgotten them.’22But later students of oral tradition and oral history in the 50’s and 60’s were morefortunate listeners. In the summer of 1950, Norman Lerman, an anthropology studentfrom Western Washington, listened to large numbers of stories from Native people in theNooksack/Sumas/Chilliwack region and analyzed their plots and motifs.2lDonald Worster, “Beyond the Agrarian Myth,” Under Western Skies (New York:Oxford University Press, 1992), 6.22Charles Hill-Tout, ed. by Ralph Maud, The Salish People: The Local Contribution ofCharles Hill-Tout Volume III: The Mainland Halkomelem (Vancouver: Talonbooks,1978), 14.97Oliver Wells, brother of Casey, was intent to discover the location and meaning of place-names in the Fraser Valley and recorded many Native friends in the 1960’s. CBC Radio’sImbert Orchard traveled around the Fraser Valley recording stories for a radiodocumentary in the early 1960’s. All these stories exist as fragments, some written intobooks, some archived on cassette and reel to reel tapes, pulled from their fieldworkcontext to exist in the world of libraries and archives around the region.To explore these stories by focusing on place— just as I explored the stories ofWhite and Hutchinson — is to risk misrepresentation and misuse once again. I am likelyto underestimate the story’s complexity. Further, the oral traditions that I have listened toon tape and read in books from the 50’s and 60’s are mediated by the ethnographer’sdocumenting techniques and driven by the ethnographer’s questions. But they have valuebeyond the mere fact they exist. By attending to how these stories may helpcontextualize and understand contemporary events, we yet may find an authentic openingto historical knowledge of Sumas Lake.As I listened to the voices and read the transcriptions aloud, I began to understandthe highly physical significance of a generalization asserted by scholars who study oralculture in North America and Australia.23 While written narrative tends to rely on time— the time line of dates — to talk about events in space, oral traditions tend to employthe place names of space to talk about events in time. Books contain stories but in aworld of lakes and mountains there are many other possibly durable visual loci capable ofholding, reinforcing and retaining stories. Within Lerman’s field notes, he gives someindication of how his informants used the land and waterscapes around them to reinforceparticular points of a story, to show how and where it happened.23see for example, Julie Cruikshank, Lfe Lived Like A Story (Vancouver: UBC Press,1992) and Keith Basso, Western Apache Language and Culture (Tucson, Ariz: TheUniversity of Arizona Press, 1990).98For instance, as Gus Commodore told the story of Thunderbird, Lerman noteshow Commodore “pointed to the hills above Kilgard”24 (the Sumas #6 Reserve) to showwhere a young man had a dream-vision in which he is told how to become Thunderbird.A 1993 field-trip with Sonny MeHalsie of the Sto:lo Tribal Council drove home to me thecontinuing importance of pointing, touching and witnessing tangible landscape features inthe present to ground oral tradition transmitted from the past. Story thereby was and isattached to territory and anyone listening can never look at the hills in the same way.What I knew only as a strip of highway heading up the TransCanada to Hope became anamed homescape full of story and strong relationships. One oral narrative says a greatflood occured in the Fraser Valley and the people saved themselves by climbing up onSumas Mountain — which they then called Kw’ekw’e’iqw (meaning head sticking up outof the ground). You can still see the caves where they stayed dry.25 A local perhaps canpoint them out.Not surprisingly, the place name Sumas appears in many stories from the Sumasarea in the 1950’s. All the storytellers were old enough to remember the lake and itsdrainage. In 1950, Mrs. Agnes James, born at Matsqui, west of Sumas in 1885, tells thestory of Mink to Lerman: the scene is set at Sumas Lake and the mention of the toponymallows the opportunity to explain that Sumas Prairie was recently covered by a largelake.26 Food gathering activity is described as Blue Crane digs for wild vegetables at thelake’s edge. Gus Commodore tells the Mosquito Story (similar to a plot used by coastalgroups) placing it at a beach at Sumas Lake. In condensed form,27 the young people whogo there to swim, fail to share the best parts of their lunch with their friend Humpysalmon; Humpy hollers for the giant, Saskts, who hears and comes with a basket to24(A, Norman Lerman, Lower Fraser Indian Folktales, 1950-51 (UnpublishedTranscript, Coqualeetza Education Training Centre), Gus Commodore, “Thunderbird I(Sumas Lake).”25For one version of the story see Wells, Chilliwacks, 88.26CA, Lerman, Lower Fraser Indian Folkuiles, Agnes James, “Mink I - 3rd Version(Kilgard).”27See HyperCard stack for full transcript.99capture the children, including Humpy. The children manage to outwit the giant whointends to eat them and they shove him into his own fire. “When he was burning, thegiant said, 7 won’t be killing or eating anybody else.’ The children said, ‘We’ll notdestroy you altogether. We’ll have something to remember you by.’ The leader ofthebigger boys said to the sparks that were going up, ‘You’ll be mosquiros...’ He said to thebigger sparks, ‘You’ll be sandflies.’ That’s it.”28More commonly there are stories of the lake bottom. Time is rarely specific inthese stories, the speakers use terms like “long ago.” But place certainly is specific.Place also appears to be consistent across many accounts of dramatic events like drought.The origin story of the drought was told by different storytellers to different interviewersin different places and at different times. Yet each storyteller linked the story to the areawhere the Sumas Lake used to be. In brief, the story begins with disaster, a famine, adrought in which all life dries up. Everyone dies except for one man and one woman.The woman lives at the south end of the prairie near a creek or a puddle and is able tosurvive through her ingenuity and the few remnants of living things. The man andwoman eventually find each other and together they repopulate and bring back life andlanguage.The variations in the stories are instructive and, in part, are gendered. Mrs. HarryUslick, born in Sardis, east of Sumas Lake, was interviewed by Norman Lerman in1950.29 Her narration follows the activities of the woman who survives in south Sumasby a creek. This woman’s amazing innovations are able to save the starving man whofinds her by crawling over to the creek. Uslick relates that the woman, after noticingsome trouts, “took her hairs, one at a time, and spliced them to make them longer. Thenshe took wild gooseberry thorn for her hook.” Uslick’s story is laden with “traditional”28CA, Lerman, Lower Fraser Indian Folktales, Gus Commodore, “Mosquito I (SumasLake).” The “Mosquito Story” is now also in storybook form - told by Doily Felix andedited by LaVerne Adams for Coqualeetza Education Training Centre: there is a lake inthis version, but it is unnamed.291b1d, Mrs. Harry Uslick, “The Drought (Kilgard).”100information relevant to Sto:lo women including ways to make fire with “old timematches” and methods of drying and curing fish. Conversely, the male storytellers followthe male protagonist as he travels alone from territory to territory looking for people andfinding nothing and no one. Joe Louie, interviewed by Imbert Orchard in 1967 inEverson, Washington, was a well-traveled man like the character in his story who hikesfrom Nooksack in Washington State to the Sumas Band’s Kilgard Reserve before he findsthe woman from Cultus Lake down on Sumas Flat living off little red pinfish in theremaining puddles of water.30The variations on this story, by Dan Milo of Skowkale31 and Amy Cooper ofSoowhalie32are told in the 1960’s. Each emphasizes the post-drainage landscape context— places you can still go to. After the drought, any lake has, of course, disappeared; allthat is left is creeks and puddles. The listener is given familiar place names and acontemporary landscape context in which to situate the story: Kilgard, Yarrow, SouthSumas. “They call it South Sumas now. There’s a creek that runs from here over toSouth Sumas.”33 But the link between contemporary landscape and story becamedramatically apparent as I listened to Joe Louie. Slowly I began to realize that he tied thedrought story explicitly to the dry lake bottom, helping Imbert Orchard to understand thestory’s geography. He says,“You see, yeah...they brought life, you see, and all living to the Fraser River. .. .It was atthe lake that theyfirst met,...you see they come down there to gatherfood and soforth,down to the lake. There was a big lake down there, you know, where they’re drained outthere, they use to come down there and gather up their sturgeon and steelheads in thespring ofthe year. Before they drained that.... That’s where they met...you see deep holes30BCARS, Sound and Moving Image Division, Imbert Orchard, “Mr. Joe Louie,”(4/1/67), cassettes 437-1&2.31Wells, Chilliwacks, 40.32Wells, Chilliwacks, 50.33CA, Lerman, Lower Fraser Indian Folkiales, Mrs. Harry lJslick, “The Drought(Kilgard).”101in there, you see, that left some water in the bottom, you see. And that’s where she wasfound, you know, by this man there...”Here Louie seems to be using the origin story to discuss and contextualize the lakedrainage. In turn, this drainage story of catastrophe, more familiar as history to Orchard,perhaps because he read about it somewhere, helps the listener to locate the actual placeof the origin story. Using space to talk about events in time, Louie reflects on humaninnovation, the value of water and the “life and living” that comes with it.Places and stories may interact in both written and oral traditions of storytelling.To encourage a continuation of the story about different stories, I wish to emphasize someconnections.First, places ale significant symbolically and physically for the stories we tell.Stories are shaped by people living in a particular time and place with a particularheritage. The place of Sumas Lake, as “impediment,” “beach,” or “breadbasket” isimplanted with meaning through story. Landscapes or waterscapes for an oral culturecontain clues to the location of stories. The connection between place and story is neitherdirect nor linear, but places can act as memory devices which allow the transmission andmaintenance of cultural knowledge.34 When written stories are taken out in memory tothe place they refer to — whenever we drive over the lake bottom on the TransCanadaHighway— they also rely on the memory device of place. We simply look or point foremphasis at the lake bottom, and the spatial anchor, the rhetorical landscape, reminds usof origins. We can say, “it happened here.”Understood this way, even the buildings of former residential schools can be seenas powerful memory devices. Coqualeetza, a cultural organization serving the Sto:lo, hasretained the principal’s house of the former Coqualeetza Residential School. As anartifact on the landscape, it reminds the community of the story of segregated education34Brian Stock, “Reading, Community and a Sense of Place,” Place, Culture andRepresentation (London: Routledge, 1993), 323.102and removals from homes. Now a Sto:lo craft store, it was recently used for the storageof their archive and library, acting as a place that also helps to assess that story.Secondly, stories about dramatically changed places act as adaptive techniques tohelp people make dynamic environments coherent. When places with physicalsignificance are gone, the rhetorical force of the stories to which they were connected isweakened; one can no longer point. In reference to altered landscapes from theTransCanada to the Transvaal, such a comment would seem to have relevance in anyindigenous community experiencing “development.” History is archived in thelandscape. When place names no longer refer to anything tangible, the storytellers whohave learned to use them will find fewer and fewer listeners who can appreciate thespatial anchors and thus the stories.But storytellers belong to a dynamic and flexible tradition. Their stories helpcommunities deal with change. Certainly the drought story of Uslick and Louie and thereclamation story of White and Hutchinson have many differences. One laments aterrible drought, the other celebrates drainage: in one, the water — without explanation— disappears: in the other, the lake is actively disappeared by people. The drought isframed by a very long time dimension and a small area of space: the reclamation isframed by a very short time dimension and the spatial expansion of a nation. But viewedat the site where it happens, the natural disaster and the technological marvel are aspectsof the same “outside” force that continues to regulate the blood of the land.103Lakemount Marsh, a remaining part of Sumas Lake currently operated by a privatehunting club. Photo L. Cameron, February 1994.A Sumas Lake ridge (McGregor). Photo L, Cameron, February 1994.104Perhaps surprisingly, both are stories of human progress. Beginning with imageryof an environment harsh to human life, both end with the affirmation of human ingenuityand expansion on or near the lake bottom land. There is survival. Such happy endingsare always up for alteration when a space is contested, as the bite out of the environmentbegins to itch and the monster we are creating becomes visible. The local school districtis currently writing histories for its K to 12 curriculum, creating “lake” tours andreassessing Sto:lo history in light of lake drainage. Legal histories are being written forNative land and water claims. As the Bàrrowtown station continues to pump the lakebed,experts lament soil erosion and admit the flood hazard can not be eliminated. Frequenthandlers of soil aie advised to wear gloves to prevent potential injury from toxins in thewater and ground. Engaged storytellers have much to make coherent if the landscape isto continue supporting our stories of progress.Thirdly and most importantly, stories about place can inspire our moralawareness. Our histories undoubtedly do many things. Yet, to ask what stories are goodfor us is, in some significant measure, to ask what places are good for us. A good storymight make us care about the places where we spend our time and help us to realize thatthese places affect who we are and the stories— whose stories, which stories — we areable to tell. Historians might be persuaded to become time/space (environmental)activists; the idea that the job is simply to record it before it disappears might make moresense if the description included the proactive life of land and water stewardship. Storiesabout places may help bring back “the life and the living,” reawakening a sense of wonderand respect for our homescapes. Combined with story, even the bite of a mosquito canreconnect us to a sense of place and the challenge of sharing it.105•._JI)vl....*•.ij.Old growth fir with M, Rogaisky beside lake bottom (above floodplain).Photo L, Cameron, June 1994.1065•?Chapter 4ONE MORE BYTEEver since Laura began this work on Sumas Lake, I have been her muse. Sheseems to have no affection for mosquitos although she declares herself to be extremelydesirable to us. On the coldest winter day, she has seen one hover slowly, as if in trance,across her computer screen towards her exposed typing fmgers. The task waschallenging, but after initial resistance, we pursued and persuaded her to see the wisdomof Marston Bates’s lifelong attempt “to look at the world from the mosquito point ofview.”1 Bates was a scientist who did not shun anthropomorphism but identified thedifficulties of avoiding it and even praised metaphoric language ascribing emotions toinsects. “Angry bees” aided his understanding of necessarily mediated reality. In the1940’s, he extended his humanity to write an exceptional book — one of the fewmosquito studies that was not simply a manual for the extermination of my kind.2 Batesand others3have identified me as Aedes Vexwis of the tribe Culicini from the order ofDiptera. Although the mosquito’s wpestH or “monster” persona through which I nowspeak has a universal dimension, please understand that my particular perspective onhistory is also just that — particular.In order for you to hear a history about Sumas Lake, someone must represent it. Idepict the place in word, but I also represent the lake in a slightly different sense. Electedby the popular demand of local storytellers, I frequently represent (in the sense of apolitical agent)4 the interests of Sumas Lake and its right to have existed. As peoplekeep saying, “it was probably the finest breeding-ground in the whole....” You know howit goes. Perhaps it is time for a new election. I feel pretty close to death so let me begin.By all means wave your arms about, increase the blood circulation, but save your1Marston Bates,Forest and the Sea (New York: Random House, 1960), 175.2Marston Bates, Natural History ofMosquitoes (New York: MacMillan Company,1949).3Matheson, Handbook ofthe Mosquitoes, 191.4Latour, Never Been Modern, 29.107questions. Interaction is a special interest of mine and I always make time for myaudience.Water is a particularly good subject for reflection. James Joyce praised, amongstmany other qualities, its “universality, its democratic equality and constancy to its naturein seeking its own level: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow,hail..its ubiquity as constituting 90% of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluviain lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waningmoon.”5 You may have heard my story before: indeed, I hope you have. It is hardly adeparture from everything that has come before. That is a task for modernizers and Ileave it to them.6 I am no limnologist, that is to say, no lake expert, but with AedesVexans being one of the species most attracted to light, to firesides and desk lamps wherestorytellers gather, I am a great observer of historical documents. Aedes Vexans has oneof the widest ranges of all mosquitos and have been found in the Palearctic, Nearctic,Oriental Regions; Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia.7 One was trapped by an airplane inLouisiana airspace at 5000 feet. 8 As Bates seemed to suggest, with all these studiesgoing on, all this data being created, how can the scientist say the mosquito is of no use tohumans?But let us stop talking about utility. People have become weary and wary ofclaims of redemption through the technological fix, of DDT to fight us, and now, after theflooding in the Midwest of the United States, of darns to counter flood. Many are awareof trouble in the environment due to technological intervention, but one of the biggestsleeper issues, one of the greatest problems of environmental degradation is people’s realhuman capacity to forget a disappeared environment. With few physical reminders,heritage trees, lakes and buildings connected to stories that keep them in consciousness,5James Joyce, Ulysses (London: Chancellor Press, 1993), 649-650.6Latour, Never Been Modern, 130.7Bates, Natural Histoiy, 2828IbkL, 41.108people forget things that once were so important to their lives. Perhaps a purpose ofhistory is to make people miss what they haven’t experienced and help them to understandwhere they are.Interaction is quite the buzz word amongst users of electronic media. But actionon each other is not something that the interface between computer and humannecessarily exemplifies best. That medium is a little too predictable, not necessarilythrusting life into history, but possibly reducing the little that is there while consuming somuch energy in the debugging process. Alternatively, oral history — an interactivemethod of learning stories from people in the flesh— is full of surprises. One does notbegin an oral history project with the idea that one’s assumptions will remain unchanged.The power dynamic is not controlled completely by the interviewer. “What sort of insectsdo you rejoice in where you come from?” the Gnat inquired. “I don’t rejoice in insectsat all,” Alice explained, “because I’m rather afraid of them— at least the large kinds.But I can tell you the names of some of them.”9 Good questions shape answers, but Aliceneed not satisfy the Gnat’s agenda.The archive, that place containing amongst other important documents, anaturalist’s journal acting as a mausoleum for my squashed relations, is also a lively andcreative arena of debate. Here, in bits and pieces, lie stories in their seasons: the eggs,pupas, wrigglers and final flight of an event, ideas emerging in the interface between pastand present, document and rhetoric. But outside, out on the water and the land, touchingthe ancient and sacred, is where the wonderful interactive history occurs. And that iswhere the mosquito poses its greatest challenge to history. How far are historians willingto go to honor time through the honoring of place? Where will they break the dividebetween the human and the non-human? What discomfort are they willing to accept,where are their flood limits? Electronics may connect us to an overflowing reservoir of9Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass (NewYork: Grosset and Dunlap, n.d.), 180.109information but I suggest that a mosquito’s bite is, amongst other things, a big reminderthat you are part of a greater network of relationships beyond those of your people-centered communites. And so I ask: how many bites of memory does the historianrequire?Autograph of Clytie (Bowman) Greeno, from Ida (Bowman) Campbell’sautograph book, 1889. Neil Smith Collection.110BibliographySources are listed, when possible, by the name of the archive from which theywere gathered. Many thanks to the living “links,” the women and men who helped toconnect me to the following materials. The private photograph and manuscriptcollections of Neil Smith, a farmer and historian in Sumas, provided many afternoons ofabsorbing study. Oral interviews conducted during this project may be archived in thenear future, depending on the wishes of the participants, as stipulated by the terms of myagreement with the University of British Columbia’s “Ethical Review of ActivitiesInvolving Human Subjects in Questionnaries, Interviews, Observations, Testing, Video &Audio Tapes.”ARCHIVAL SOURCESBritish Columbia Archives and Record Services (BCARS)British Columbia. Papers Connected with the indian Land Question, 1850-1875.Reprinted in 1987. Victoria: Government Printer, 1875.• Land Settlement Board, 1916-196Z GR 929.• Inspector ofDykes, 1916-1975. GR 1569.• Royal Commission on Indian Affairsfor the Province ofB.C. 1913-1915.Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. AdcL MSS 1056.Sumas Dyking District Commission, 1929. GR 1089.Canada. Commission on indian Affairs in General, 1913-1915. (B-1457).Guide to the Province ofB.C. for 1877-8. Victoria: T.N. Hibben & Co. Publishers, 1877.Laing, F.W. “Colonial Farm Settlers on Mainland, B.C. 1858-71.” Add MSS 700.Oral History:Orchard, Imbert. “Mr. Joe Louie.” (4/1/67), 437-1&2, Sound and Moving ImageDivision.Chilliwack Historical Society Archives (CHSA)Beldam (Bowman), Barbara. “Chilliwack Lake and Beyond.” Acc. 988.82.Belirose, Effie Jane. “Diary January 1898 to December 1902.” Add. MSS 435.ill“Cultus Lake Park Board General Correspondence, 1924-26.” Acc. 992.35.Evans, Charles H. “Account Book and Stock Breeding Records. 1896-1904.” Add. MSS27, files 1,2.Evans, Charles H. “Reminiscences of the Fraser River Indian.” Add. MSS 27, file 13.Webb, Horatio. “History of the Chilukweyuk River with the Vedder and Luckacuck as Isaw them in 1870.”Oral Histories:Myrtle Ferguson, Add. MSS 435.Charlie Power, Add. MSS 401.Stanley Webb, Add. MSS 408.City of Vancouver Archives (CVA)Oral History:Mrs. Thomas Fraser York, Huntingdon, B.C. 1945. Add MSS 54, Vol. 13.Photographs:Sumas Lake 1905, skating, Out P. 841, N. 392.Sumas Lake 1901, picnic, Out P. 840, N. 391.Sumas Lake, ci 1912, Out P. 268.Coqualeetza Archives (CMDuff, Wilson. “Fieldnotes.” 1950-52.Felix, Dolly. ed. by LaVerne Adams. “The Mosquito Story.” Coqualeetza EducationTraining Center, 1979.Lerman, Norman. “Lower Fraser Indian Folktales, 1950-5 1.” Unpublished Transcript,Coqualeetza Education Training Center.Map of Sto:lo Lands. Coqualeetza Education Training Center, 1982.“Sto:lo Source Book, A Documentary of the Sto:lo People 1800-1970.” CoqualeetzaEducation Training Center.“Upper Sto:lo Fraser Valley Plant Gathering.” Coqualeetza Education Training Center,1981.Ware, Reuben and Albert Phillips. “Sto:lo History Fieldnotes.” Coqualeetza EducationTraining Center, 1976-1979.Matsgui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Society Archives (MSA)Foulds, Kris. “Land Beneath the Lake.” M.S.A. Museum Society, 1991.112Louis Sam Papers. S.A.M.Sumas Lake Papers. S.A.M.Oral Histories:Edward Kelly. AH#97.George Ferguson. AH#98.Edith Lamson. AH#105.David Mathers. AH#1.Fritz Stromberg. AH#100.Photographs:Edward Kelly, Sumas, B.C., 1912. P1554.Sunday School Picnic in the Lake, 1918. N512.Sumas Prairie Panorama, post-drainage. P4998Sumas Lake Panorama. P5005.National Archives of Canada (NAC)• Department of Indian Affairs. Central Registiy Files, 1868-1970. RecordGroup (RG)10, Vols. 7535,7538, 7545, 7886.Department of Agriculture. RG 17, Vol. 1276.Department of Interior. Water Resources Branch. RG 89, VoIs. 269, 270, 273,274, 275, 575.• Department of Interior. RG 15, Vol. 778.National Research Council. Report ofthe President and Financial Statement1926-2 ZNeil Smith Collection (NSC)Belthm, Barbara. May to December (Looking Backwards). Beldam, 1979.Ida (Bowman) Campbell’s Autograph Book, 1889.Log of the Argo, 1897. (photostat).Photographs:Beaver #2 tied up at Fook’s Barn, Sumas Lake, Ca. 1905.Cousins Clytie and Ida Bowman swimming in the lake, ca 1897.Canoeing in the dug-out, ca. 1919Crew of the Argo, Ca. 1897.Picnic on shore of Sumas Lake with the Argo. ca. 1897.Sumas Lake 1913: Miss Katie Walker and Miss Maitland.McConnell sisters at Belirose, B.C. July 1920.Re2ipnal District of Fraser Cheam Archive IRDFCA)113Furnell, Allan and EJ. Jordan. “Lower Mainland Regional District& Mosquito ControlBoard.” Morrow Engineering Ltd, 1987.Furnell, Allan. “1989 Year End Report, Lower Mainland Regional District’s MosquitoControl Program.” Morrow and Associates Engineering mc, 1989.Furnell, Allan. “1990 Year End Report, Lower Mainland Regional District’s MosquitoControl Program.” Morrow and Associates Engineering mc, 1990.McKinnon, Robert J. “Mosquito Land: 1808-1930.” Prepared for the ChilliwackMuseum and Historical Society, July 1985.“Summary of the 1992 Mosquito Control Program.” Regional District of Fraser Cheam,1992.Ward, Peggy and Michael McPhee. Wetlands ofthe Fraser Lowland: Ownership,Management and Protection Status, 1992. Technical Report Series no. 200. Pacific andYukon Region Canadian Wildlife Service, 1994.Ward, Peggy. Wetlands ofthe Fraser Lowland, 1989: An Inventory. Technical ReportSeries no. 146. Pacific and Yukon Region Canadian Wildlife Service, 1992.Sumas Band Collection (SBC)Hudson, Doug. Coast Salish Reader. Draft Copy, 1992.Photograph: Chief Ned greeting visitors to smokehouse, Kilgard, B.C. ca. 1915.Sto:lo Tribal Council Collection (STCC)Mohs, Gordon. “Sto:lo Origins.” Report for the Sto:lo Tribal Council, September, 1992.Mohs, Gordon. “Sumas Lake: Review of Reclamation & Native Use.” For Roy Mussel(Sto:lo Tribal Council), 198-.Mohs, Gordon. “The Upper Sto:lo Indians of British Columbia: An EthnoArchaeological review.” Report for the Alliance of Tribal Councils, February, 1990.UBC Special Collectionsl Maps Division (UBCSPE)British North American Boundary Commission. Maps of the Boundary, 1871.Lord, John Keast. The Naturalist in Vancouver Island and B.C. London: RichardBentley, 1866.Lord, John Keast. At Home in the Wilderness: l4lzat to Do There and How to Do It: AHandbookfor Travelers and Emigrants. London: Hardwicke & Bogue, 1876.McDonald, Archibald. (author from Oct. 16, 1828 to end). Journal ofFort LangleyCommencing With Voyagefrom Fort Vancouver June 27, 1827to July 30, 1830.Photostat of original.New Westminster District Map, 1913.114Sumas Dyking District Lands for Sale, Sumas Dyking Commissioners; Chihiwack andVictoria, B.C., January 1926.Vancouver Public Library Historical Photograph CollectionPhotographs: Leonard Frank, photos no. 12524-12527.ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT PUBUCATIONSBritish Columbia. Provincial Land Surveyors. New Westminster Disthct, Chilliwack PlanNumber 31T1, Map of Government and Indian Reserves, W. McColl, 16 May, 1864.Legal Surveys, Department of Lands, Victoria.• Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of B.C. (McKennaMcBride Commission). Report. 4 vols. Victoria: Acme Press, 1916.• Swnas Dyking Act. Statutes of British Columbia 1878, c. 6.• Water Act. Statutes of British Columbia 1914, c. 81.Belton, Peter. The Mosquitoes ofBritish Colwnbia. Handbook no. 41, Victoria: BritishColumbia Provincial Museum, 1983.Canada. B.C. Field Books. Number 9, W.S. Jemmett, 1881, Yaalstrick Indian ReserveNo. 1, Lakaway Indian Reserve No. 2, Timber Reserve No. 3, Aylechootlook IndianReserve No.5, Upper Sumas Indian Reserve No. 6, Sumas Indian Reserve No. 7.• Department of Indian Affairs Records, 1875-19 16.• Destructive Insects and Pests Act. Revised Statutes of Canada 1927, c. 47.House of Commons. Sessional Papers.Migratory Birds Convention Act. Statutes of Canada 1917, c. 18.Northwest Game Act. Statutes of Canada 1917, c. 36.Railway Belt Water Act. Revised Statutes of Canada 1927, c. 211.Special Joint Committee ofthe Senate and House of Commons Appointed toInquire Into the Claims ofthe Allied Indian Tribes ofBritish Columbia, As Set Forth InTheir Petition Submitted To Parliament In June 1926. Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1927.Water Power Act. Revised Statutes of Canada 1927, c. 210.Conference Minutes Between the Allied Indian Tribes of B.C. and Dr. D. Scott, August7- 11, 1923. Reprinted by NESIKA.Curtis, Cohn. 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Water Powers ofB.C. Dominion Commission of Conservation, 1919.Wood, D.M., P.T. Dang and R.A. Ellis. The Insects and Arachnids ofCanada, Part 6,The Mosquitoes ofCanada, Diptera: Culicidae. Hull: Ottawa: Research Branch,Agriculture Canada, 1979.Wright, D. Frank. Barrowtown Pump Station. Abbotsford, B.C.: District of Abbotsford,1993.NEWSPAPERSIMAGAZINESAbbotsford PostAbbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News116Chilliwack Museum & Historical Society NewsletterChilliwack TimesChilliwack ProgressDay and KnightThe Fraser Valley RecordLynden TribuneVancouver ProvinceVancouver SunValley MagazineTHESES! UNPUBLISHE1) SOURCESArnett, Terrance, C. “The Chilliwack Valley Continuum: A Search for a Canadian LandEthic.” (M. Arch), UBC, 1976.Beyond Gutenberg: Hypertext and the Future ofthe Humanities Conference. YaleUniversity, New Haven, CT. Personal conference notes, May 13, 1994.Cameron, Laura. Unit Exam on Canadian History in Social Studies 10. Chiffiwack JuniorHigh School, 1982.Cameron, Valerie. “The Late Quaternary Geomorphic History of the Sumas Valley.”(M.A.) Department of Geography, SFU, 1989.Cook, Donna H. “Early Settlement in the Chilliwack Valley.” (M.A.), Department ofGeography, UBC, 1979.Douglas, Sir. dougmc@netcom.com, posting on alt.sex.bondage. 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Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: The Indian Land Question in BritishColumbia, 1849-1989. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1990.Thomas, Keith. Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, 1500-1800. London: Penguin Books, 1983.Thompson, Paul. The Voice ofthe Past: Oral History. Oxford: Oxford University Press,1988.Titley, E. Brian. A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration ofIndian Affairs in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1986.Trigger, Bruce. Natives and Newcomers: Canada’s “Heroic Age” Reconsidered.Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1985.125Turner, Frederick. Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit Against the Wilderness. NewYork: Viking Press, 1980.Vansina, Jan. Oral Tradition As History. Madison,Wisc.: University of WisconsinPress, 1985.Ware, Reuben. The Lands We Lost: A History ofCutoffLands and Land LossesfromIndian Reserves in British Columbia. Vancouver: Union of B.C. Chiefs, 1974.Wells, Oliver. ed. by Ralph Maud, Brent Galloway and Marie Weeden. The Chilliwacksand their Neighbors. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1987.Wells, Oliver. Vocabulary ofNative Words in the Halkomelem Language. Vedder, B.C.:Wells, 1965.Where All Trails Meet. Matsqui, Sumas and Abbotsford Centennial Society HistoricalCommittee, 1959.White, George. “The Development of the Eastern Fraser Valley.” British ColumbiaHistorical Quarterly 12 no. 4 (1948): 259-291.White, Hayden. “Foucault Decoded: Notes from Underground.” History and Theory 12no. 1 (1973): 23-54.White, Hayden. The Content ofthe Form: Narrative Discourse and HistoricalRepresentation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.White, Hayden. Metahistory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.White, Hayden. Tropics ofDiscourse: Essa s in Cultural Criticism. Baltimore: JohnsHopkins University Press, 1978.White, James. When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions ofLanguage, Character and Community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.Worster, Donald. The Wealth ofNature: Environmental History and the EcologicalImagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.Worster, Donald. Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West. NewYork: Oxford University Press, 1992.Wynn, Graeme, ed. People, Places, Patterns, Processes: Geographical Perspectives onthe Canadian Past. Mississauga, Ont.: Copp, Clark, Pitman, 1990.Wynn, Graeme and Timothy Oke, eds. Vancouver and Its Region. Vancouver: UBCPress, 1992.Young, Robert. White Mythologies. Writing History and the West. London: Routledge,1990.126DISAPPEARINGALAKEAMeditationonMethodandMosquitost IAHyperCardStackbyLauraCameronUniversityofBthishColumbiaApril1993LegendClickonthisicontoaddpage-by-pagecomments.Thanks.Clickinthiscornertoview/heartheflood.A1V!echtationonMethodandMc:qu!tcs00Clickonfootnotenumbers9AI-1ycCatdStackbyLL;raCwie?;rnUnw€rsztjorBntwncoh(rnbiaApnl2593Clickonthisicontoquitthestack.ClicktheContinuebuttontoreturntothecardyoucamefrom.Clickonarrowstogoforwardorbackward. 4+0DISAPPEARINGALAKE(ContinueFLOODINGTHELAKEIDeepLakeLandDevelopmentIRecreationalAreaIRealEstatejOriginStory1IFloodStoryIIMosquitoStory]fMarshyLands)IEcosystem]BeautifulSight]CommonLands1SourceofSturgeonISiteofMassacre1BirdSanctuary-L [ [ [ [ [ [ [ Fj 1 I I I I I 1CrownLandMosquitoProblemNewWestDistrictIndianTerritoryStó:loTerritoryIBlankNotBlankControversy:GeorgeFergusonScenery:MyrtleFergusonCommonLands:CharliePowerPlaceofTwoCultures:CharliePowerGreatExpanseofSand:EdithLamsonGod’sCountry:GeorgeFergusonCommonLand:EdKellySuperabundance:DavidMathersHumour:DavidMathersSundayOuting:EdKellyfSourceofSweetPotatoes:EdKellySourceofPleasure:EdKellyIImpediment:StanleyWebbPoliticalDecision:GeorgeFerguson(turntoBeginning)LContinue)DISAPPEARING A LAKEA Meditation on Method and NosquttosA HyterCard Stack by Laura Cam2ronApril 2993+Special Thanks ToDr. Dianne NewellMatt RogaiskyDr. WI’. WardChiiliwack Historical Society ArchivesCoqualeetza ArchivesMatsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Society ArchivesSt6lo Tribal Council Research CollectionsVancouver Public LibraiyThe flow of human life in any given place - the pattern of socialinteraction in any given unit of scttlensent, the continual unfolding ofreproduction and transformation within any given territory, or what takesplace in any given area- is riddled with complexities, is marked bysimultaneous diCrst., and successive variation, is an admixture of themore widely gnr.cra and the locally specific, owing to the side-by-sideexistence of practices whose associated power relations, whose associatedstructuring processes, are of different spatial and temporal dimensions.Allan Prod, Makine Histories andConstructln Human (eoaranhies.(Boulder: Westvicw Press, 1990). p. 0The idea that htstosy is both a science and an art is old and intimate knowledge formany practicing historians. However an understanding that the art of history is not justthe way we “write up’ the facts, but is embedded in the research process itself, is rarelyacknowledged, let alone articulated as an integral part of the resulting thesis or book. Todeepen so appreciation for the historical process, the iotallectual historian DominickLaCapia urges historians to consider history a dialogue between past and present.interplay of the ‘documentary” and “rhetorical’ aspects of historiography in relation to theobject of inquiry. In his senle, a documentary model of history privileges the discoveryof new information through empirical research in the archives. Conversely, appropriaterhetorii usage insists that historians objective analysis is limited self-consciously by aproceu of crestive mediation and active transformation of her sources which, in turn,transform her thought. By embracing the rhetorical arm of history, we may explore aninteractive understanding of knowledge through a rereading and replaying of materialscurrently in circulation.w 0My study concerns the representation of Sumas Lake, a lake that once filled pert of theLower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Sumas Lake was drained in the early 1920’s when agovernment led by farmer-politicians invested time, rhetoric and considerable amounts ofmoney 2 to create new areas for agriculture in the Fraser Valley, settle returning soldiers anderadicate the mosquito. Today, a traveler driving east towarda Aisbotiford, past the 30,000acres of neatly parcelled fields north of Vedder Mountain, has no sense that her car skims theedge of what was once an expansive body of water. Since the ‘event’ of its drainage, theexperience of thia aqueous space has been mediated by photography and cartography, throughthe mental maps of both written narrative and indigenous oral trsditions as well as throughoral testimonies exchanged in the process of making oral history. A meditation on thescmethods of representation may not unmask the “real” place, but it may provide some insightinto tIe way people, including myself, shape the historical space of Suntas Lake.4,0The significance of LaCapras “history as dialogue” model becomes obvious whendocumezst-based scholars step off the paper trail to adopt the methoda of oral historyor cultural anthropology. Active engagement with the infortostion of memory culturemay cause the researcher to reexsmine his own role as mediator and his assumptionsabout what source materials are to act as the standard by which to judge the“factualness’ of an scccunt. Historians thus enter s process of inquiry that engagesboth head and heart. A dialogue with my materials is not strictly oppositional nor is ita one-sided question and answer session. As I attempt to open my researchframework to alternative histories and geographies that dissect and reconstruct SuznasLake. my understanding of the lake becomes beterogeneous and may appearintellectually “messy.” But to restrict the conversation to dominant and specializedperspectives on the lake, to the viewpoint which militates agsinst the mosquito “pest”for inataxsce. would be to repeat the intellectual process of fragmentation thatfacilitated the lake’s physical disappearance seventy years ago.1320Sumas Lake was a multiple-use, multiple-meaning habitat for the Stólo whocontinue to live near the drained lake and the non-Native settlers who came to thevalley after the 1870’s. Both cultures were dynamic and thus a stable drsnnption olthe lake is misleading to assert: furthermore, the meanings we derive from SumasLake geO8raPhie. and histories are tied to the methodologie, which help crease andshape them. Harold Adams Innia wrote in his Empire and Communication usetcivilization was a precarious balance of visual and oral culture: visual culture whichprivileges the written word is related to territorial expansion and the coin ofspace whereas oral culture is associated with individuality sod stability of traditionover time.3 lnnis, thesis intrigues me because he did not view visual and ottltraditions as unrelated entities: like the interplay of document and rhetoric. these twoaspects of knowledge production may interilluminate eachother. As we explore therhetotical strategies of the visual and aural materials that Inform my current studyand decode particular metaphors 5that are employed to define the lake, my hope isthat this research will gain a depth not permitted by a less reflective attitude towatdsthe archive. Your decisions will affect its poasibilitiei and you may choose, as anytime, to add your own thoughts by ‘clicking’ the notebook in the upper left craner, orperuse the selected metaphors that flood Sumas Lake by ‘clicking’ the upper rightcornet.0Tony Hiss writes that ‘whatever we experience in a place ia both a sericasaenvironmental issue and a deeply perional one.’ 6 My proximity to my materteis hasbeen influenced considerably by the fact that this history Ii directly connected to myown history, that the territory that ii defamilianzed by the document, of the past isviewed in the context of a familiar, though rapidly changing, present enviroa.A rereading of currently available materials in a new, flexible way expands myadmittedly local awareuess and provides a basis for future work In one tranalation.Sumac from Sum’ahl means ‘big opening’ 71n recognition of its historic openings tothe Fra,er River when in flood. Although metaphor has the dangerous ability todrain individuality even when it allowi tia to perceive the world in new ways. Sums,Lake may provide a ‘big opening’ to an increasingly sensitive and productivemethodological framework.4,1330The visual materials of the photograph and the map are powerful and persuasiverepresentations of reality. Decades before the inveniion and widespread use of the‘miniature camera,’ several photographem chose to take pictures of Sunias Lake.Many images are family portraits of picnici on the beach expressing sit harmoniousrelationship with sand and water.I Racrs.tio.si Area IBut of the photos existing in archives throughout the Fraser Valley, the vastmajority docnmeot the changes that techeological change wrought. Roland Bartheswrote that ‘The photographs essence is to ratify what it reprasents...no writing cangive ma this certainty.’ Leonard Franks panorama of Sumas Lake, photographedduring low a’atar season on March 22, 1922, Is indeed a powerful ratification of SumasLake. However, by excluding people from the image, he depicts the Sumas Lake to beeliminated, 001 cherished.____________________I Chaagis Last.op. IThe importance of Sumaa Lake as an aqueous entity often is linked with the issueof its depth. How much of a lake was it? Harry Quadlings appearance in the YAUgy_Magazine with the hand-forged object that he found on the drained lake bed suggests,quite persuasively, that Suxnaa Lake was not always shallow.Ds.1,L.ks0The photograph doen not reproduce reality and as Henri Lefebvre writes.‘where there is error or illusion, the image is more likely to Secrete it andreinforce it than to reveal it.’9 A critical examination of the photographerspoint of view is not unfamiliar so people who regularly tiocument theirexperience with their own camera. Such analysis is less coon whenviewing the visual information provided by cartography. Indeed,csrtogrsphers themselves have only recently questioned their own objectivemethodology and dispassionate motivation. Modem cartographers have aimedto produce a correct verifiable analogue of the terrain with increasinglyprecise instruments. tOMany yet adhere to the idea of linear progress: by theapplication of scientific methods, their production of maps can only get better.Nevertheless, some simple observations are worth repeating: a dynamic,three-dimensional universe will never translate perfectly onto a sheet ofpaper or computer screen, This criticism is hardly new, but requires constantrepetition as we are bombarded with increasingly attractive, clean sod boldgraphics which empower the map with authority.134I U’F;Y+ÁTb. bait bttwe.a tha d.ph of the l.k. aed Lb. ..owble ,aohoo o ott .et,jd,abod hotdooe.00a,y cotton. de.oe.b. Sea.. Lab. ca a dy.waio bot, of water. Na dopth .i.ieg..od 6111.9 d.e t.O Lb. coat... the oha.g,.g ooaot.o of the eveoe that fed otto it eoN thefaot it we. a tithi lab.. Aoaoedi.g to Nativ. teetttio,. the Chiujmeok River oeo. flowedjet. Sea.. Lobe before g.jat. divo.Lod it toward. the Petcer. The Sat... la.dow,.ee.bed p.twhe..d their hod bofooo Lb. flood, of 1875 aod 1894 ooototd tho ChilliwaokRiver to redreeft it. roe,,. ft... it. ,oothw.rd j000e.y thoo.gb the Lt.okaoeoh. tedaway ft.. th, heN of the Sa,dio &rrn. to flow o,or.ato.gly we.tw.rd 1.10 S....Lake. Tb. Cbilliwa.,k beoogbt tilt aloag with flc wet,.. aed Lb. lake boo.... ,hollower.Safflo. to ny, so hadaw..t w..tod the over ad lit. ant region wet. pr.parad toa.. tfraaiLo and gene to defead their tort a tttttttjea 11th. ateelioe.ted whoa lodgeHomey doea.d Sam.. Lake the e,t.o.1 doctieatiea of the Chitliwsok Rivet.W.5et S.erir,. Rondbook of Nroeh Awer.rwt h.41oao. WO.ItIOftOtt. Se.itk,o,U.,.ld.tha_oi.,., 191, Vol. 7. p. 456.Bob Swab, Fro,o., Volley C.Il.. Moo.,y prefo.oor, Tho Rorl.,.,aotko. of Lb. Soeo.Lead., ...p,áSiek.d typeor,ipe, 1983. pp. 3-4. 8,tte Ro.aooy, Fir. Coo,,.,.. Th. Stot’e ofCkilfl,oook (Vooro...r: Agony Pt’.oo, 19751, F 52-53.0.. .rbool of geog.e me.,. that the Fm.., River rnd to flow ott peat, b.tthoe,gh S..... Lob. to it. tttoio.t roan. that ompti.d jet. B.Uiegbaea Bay, •eppoeto,go ,i..iJ.o ol.i.. by LI,. Noek.aok ladia. of Wa.hiogtot. State. V.1... Cam....’. 1989fl.oapby th..i. rejeote thi. byptoh.aie that the P...., River 0e flow.d through theS.... Vail.y (dnoiag th. flolootot), b..iag her oo,ol..ioe a Lb. .b...o, of Pie.er.etbooeot, a.d Lb. ..i.t..o. of a. obN..le to lb. Fm.,, a Lobe of Nooha.ok g.av.l i.Lb. .o.th of Son.. Volley.B,e.ro Via... Dj*it.g Co.oniooio,tor. to WlZoo.. Doff Moe.h 12, 1951. Copy i. CoqoobooreoArriti cc..Vobooie Coo.rrr... Th. L.a. Qnw.n.ory (fr.eaorpftir Hi.rory of the Soot.. Volley,’Si.. F,.o.r iJ,.io.o.ie-., MA eAi. IranI Citatio. ( Continue JCitotto.__Continue__j view prrnorama.wa, a pop’dar noe..tio...1 avow for eamyf.. theAbleotafeod Poal, .1... 4th. 1920 repe.te ,. it. ..or,ol 000.1. ..otioethat on 0. may 24th a p.Oy of Rid,.d,l. people woo. the go....of Moeco. I. So,.ader. aed C, foot o. a motor boat ploao to S.tmooLobe, Two boat. oto,yieg .boat 45 pe..o.. left the loodieg ot 9em, with Capt. ICellobee eX the wheat of tho leading waft. Theweather woe booted the thy with ho b..t good. aed the .0.1 opo toter ..d the lab, wet. m.to doligbf.l. All woo. ready forhe piottio thea., whieh Wa. cowed oe Spoo, 1.laed, aBet wb,ohjmoty .,ov.d to the to.ad of the Lobe where there we. a,.,,jghtfet pirmo greend. (Low.. woo. eag.god i, by ow, of they000ger people, while many of tho geetlom,e we.. be.y wtthheob aed lit.. A elight .bow.r .lightly •ho.te.ed Oh. thy of .eat,Lad.. w,th wild flow.., ..d Lb. epoti of th, N.y. the r.t.,o hapera. mod. i. let. than two horn, • choppy tea on th. lake oddi.glb. .eoit.m..t, AU •geo.N that . moat e.1oyabL. day bed boo..peet cod that CInode aed iohoey were •joiiy good fellow..’Cit.tio. ff1 Continue ‘,Lb. thedg.eg of the tek.botto.. beddy comwe.oed. Mcoo*og to Fea.k’.pb.t. Cy.ti B. Looeoff, Ao flot.o.er..a.I..oeaoN Fmek, (Vaeoooroo T01o.book..1. p. 51. Preek wee ,eleotl... io the pewait oftietoty I. the mebieg,’ .,p.oiatly i,de.tneldor.lop..nt .,d fe.t-oh..gteg l..d.oap.. Thednisi.g of Sean l.ake mao on of lb. majorUedntah.ge of Job. Oliver. gov.reae.1 and a.ebvio.. target for Pnah. cone...136The following examples of cartography are altered slightly to clarify my ownreading of the map a, welt as tense lines which have been distorted by the lowresolution of this computer scr But whether the author intendsmisrepresentation or not, all snaps are distortion,. All maps challenge theboundary between the imaginary and the real. The poatstructuralist critique, ofMichel Foucault and Jacques DeoritiA2 have infiltrated geography departments andmany adherents read the map tics as a ‘mirror of natore but as a rhetoricalconstruction regulated by the outmoded rules of positivistic epistemology aridproduced in specific social contti Mapa become texts and the task ofdecon,truction is to decode then, and reveal their deceptive naturalness. Wedepend on the roadtnap but rarely hold up the map and see whet thepostitructuraliat geographer J.B. Harley sees, an “instrument of state policy,” an“afftmiation of dominion over territory,” a ‘mythic geography full of ‘points ofinterest,” end so affirmation of our love affair with the automobile. t The Provincialgovernments poat’drainagc map of the lake bottom is aU of these: it is also anadvertisement selling newly created private real estate.I.ada far Ssls.:O’YXING DISTRICt ILANDS FOR SALE5,.. .e,-tg ‘s-.ctr CbZ.s4S.5 NEnt ). C ... •-: .. -.1SThe Dosaiaias oov.,...a had title so the t.ksbattoss which wsa is:1: the ssslwny belt bat sold it Sc the Psorseojal 500eeweeat for a dellsrdaei,g the draisj,5 of the lake. “Hos..t Abe” ED. Esreew. the popsiarMimater at Ancslt.e. fro Cbiliiw,ok. aba oosndned the &siae..N: preject to be his Pont oriwa achi.v.maS. eaparvissd the ad macwigs- which we, .xtaad.d to she Ua,a.d K$sjdom. tlotlaad sad Sosaáeaviaq. Uneasy was omitted te the pan-war ampaigs sad atlantIs war. sot• .‘ welcome to pants.. the .oaiva. $200/acre lake-bestow lsad whichoaly .01d briskly abcs the poreoseset thopped the price to St 23/soreia 1929.free Chitliwaak A.ohiai.t. ii Series,. “Pew a. popalar a, ED. Banaw.”Chilliwsolr Tie.,. (Noeombse 24 1992. p. lOt sad Bob Smith. “TheEsaleesuos of the Same, lceob.” p.t7.C,tst.ea I (, ContInue__j04+:.-. .. ...::.:..-:DYXING DISTRICtFORe5t_. VtcI cpJ,e. .gpr5cncIcAS -n.a.I Citatie, ( COfltIfltl ) I______________137m 6Th1Read as metaphors, maps can help us perceive past environments in newways: they not only orient, maps reorient. The British Maps of the 49th Parallel ofLatitude (1858-1862) provide an early glimpse at the straight lines claimingBritish authority on their western possessions. The map employs the approximatetoponyms of local usage hut does not mark Native settlensents in the territory.thus inaugsrati.ng the myth of an empty land owned, without question, by theCrown.Crows PropsstyCartographic lines led to more lines which sought and reflected theaspirations of government to control people and property. In reference to theincreasing surveillance of aboriginal people, Cole Harris writes, ‘aurvey lines andfences were pervasive forms of diaciplinary power hacked by a property owner.backed by the law sod requiring little official supervision.’Nan W’sseiaiattr Ojisriat/ te--’r N%1. .. ... .p”” —7.,, t5\” 2 A l’IXftF \N.,...—-c, “D_--4t>” &..‘.1 — A /r— WIt 3%....: ç3r,arjf,rr ‘1 1,’ .t P -X,/ ,‘/ . /. ‘.11 .J,.—1 c.a4sun.sn j—“r— .-=—‘—.,.-____(—--A—’.— ——r’-’-’ ‘r’———‘4 ci 44c.-__—. ,.1. ACitstias Continue ) ftaaaasast jS138i,4r‘l’___- _L- +:-;Psgeen SeIstiag to the ladles Land____0The surveyor Chest.. Vsttsoe ned the netseslist and ines99tt officer.SIselcy lCeaat Lord, both left joorttais tint dcsaetba life ted wtlduIe at CampSaffisss which .hoeld be nnd.oetsod in the coatsat of thee wep and that,search ted roosool .tisaioe. Stanley Keaet Lord reoarded that Nat.. peopl, didnet evaoae the sew of Seas. Lake dining the icoeqanto lemon. bat. on theecstasy. sosght ooafoft ther..We hare those most n.wolaeme visitant wet. to he rnpenad. from lento.raformettos. I nasa confess I had e vagae sueyecics that Oat pests won to bedtwaded- for the or.fty realekiea bed stag.. erected. or esther has Isioesd tostoat pole. ifrivee like pile, iato the and at the boUom of the l.k.. Ta thoseplatform, over the meter they will ratio,, on the fiat epennace of aonqeitoe.Mesqaiton never ventur, far ant ever vhs waler after once qaittiag theirshea-nsa., this fact 1k. wily snvnge has takes sdveemg. of. Deeaeg th.tcreige of tee000. the ledleel seve, cone Oe shorn if they or. help it. sed ifthey do. they is’s. good or,. to flog eveoy ietoad.r oat of the vesose beforerasheeg tin stage. Thee. sisga. each with s family of Isdiass living nethem, have s moat ptotaresqn, apprsmnoe. The littl, lost of Canoe. teemoored to the pets. and the piatfeenta ncr reached by a ledd asde ef twistedcooler hark. Ofte, have I slept ee those flagon ameag the savages, to avoidbrieg devoured. If yo. are restless cad roll chant ie yosa slee.e ye. standvy good chance of finding ynan.lf sensed a, the lake.Stanley Kanet Lord. The Nst.seIist I. Vceceev.r iiIa.d sd British Colamhen.Loader Richnod Bentley. p. 19./ i.“0(lt7 Citstiea I L, Continue JImniigsasts moved into tho Ponser Ve.tley sot long efter the Colosyc Pe,-BmptiosAct of 1860 genoesit 160 sores of acserveyed Crown lands te theee who woald takeposse.aioa, pey so more thea 10 shilling. per sore and register tel.. Is 1864, WilliamMaCoil nere.yed Indian Reset.,. between Now Weetisceatar and Unreason River.Aaeordiag to Mofcll’a ooore.peed.ne.. the orel instosation. of Irate. Dongles told hintto mated. eli lasdi alaimad by the lsohae. ned. Ia no ans. was s anne,., to ha nader100 saran.William MoCofl ‘s Repeat. New Weatetialater. 16th May, 1064. 1. P.p.ra llelaoisg to theIndian l.aad Oseatice. 1875, p. 43.In 1g67, Joseph Tentsh, Chief Creim.asaoaer of Leads and Wads,. acted to redse. Ikealo, of thea. raanvn for the lathan regard these axteasivt inane of lard en theioiadivid,at peopn.ty; but of by far the greater poetise thereof they make no sacwh.t.vur sad cat not likely to do so, and taut ‘sn land, mnek of whiefa ia ,ith rio’spanteaw or svailabl. far oslinatnen s.d greatly doei,ed for immediats settlement.remains is an aagred.aniv. cecettie. - is of no real v.1.. to the ledin.a and sttsdyeage’tnfanbl. to the pnbhio istren,te.’Jes.ph Tr,itch, Lower Peaser ledian Rm.e.en.__________________________Os.ntia,. 1g75, p. 42.The oitgaenl sense... nieelmd off by MaCoil wee. redeend from 40.000 san.. is theCheUiwao Nicetnea Inlsad, Sans. and Ms.tnqai areas to .booat 6,000 no....see nbc Peal Tonassl, Ahormniaal Proote ..d Petition. (Vseooener UBC Prone, 1991).sad Robin Fisher. lonsph Tretch and ladles Land Pohoy. jC,.,,Slgdiea. Nebe, 12(1971-1972). 5-33.Citstise 4 Continue ..139As a body of water subject to overflow in fresher season. Sums. Lake did notencourage ensensive settlement around its edges: the metaphor describing Sums.Lake as an imnediment thus had a certain resonance even in the early days ofimmigrant settlcment. ffon. to drain the lake intensified after World War I as theProvincial and Dominion governments sought settlement area, for returningsoldier.. The propaganda campaign to convince the taxpayers that the drainageproject was absolutely and immediately necessary employed the powetful rhetoricof the Dvtnrniona entomological expert.. 16A seal of approval on the decision toeliminate Sum.a Lake is a map of the floodlands that intermittently ,urtounded iton Ihe cast and we.t prairie., revealing just how significant Sumas Lake can lookonce the lake area become, identified as a problem. The 1921 map of the FraserValley ‘moaquito problem was prepared aftet aerial mosquito surveys, the first inCanada, were conducted by entomologist, Eric Hearle.I Mr.qssta Probl..s I0Una.a.to,.d is Heart.’. map, bst ervesled is bce tent (p. 53 .a.t,tieal. I. hi. fi,dieg that the aatioi5.tad olasci of sdslt ma.qsito.ad am .taanli.. I. 1921 d.ep.t. the teased nyse Lava!. !.dgsa methe tat. .1 the Ss.saa Pmi.i. bseath.a an... we might expect themaqess.. La be av..wh.haisg here. Bat th. tea., saver. prsbl. nsaa Mi.ai. where El east.’a b... af opse.sso.. a,. established.-‘a 1926 repset to, the D.partmam .1 A5aiaslts,. bees. grist“‘‘t far bee hEs.tse of Sciesa. depea .. ccli a. the bs.ie for the eesdimt,a,af the a.qsita, thcoa5 Sb. deaisia5 of their hreediag pIes...theoeghoeet lb. Fester V.lley.Of hi. .dsesitaeat osmpes5., Head, welt., SisaL ‘Ustil sensestly.v.57 fec peaple is the .ffectad area b.d a.y ides that aco.qsisaa. wereoosuvlteha.. sad the peat css saffa,.d as 5 emo..asy evsL Like Lb.-‘e wtb.r, it an. ao.aidered Ca be .eaffad by bans.....Uafa.t..ataly. 0,0.5 is the latsrmitt.st sster, at thea .gitauaa. which may be veey .esak.d dsriea . bad ‘a.....away halo, it is bro.g65 to a pates where defiaii. sctco,It was freed tt.t a areas aumhn .1 9.5$. ‘a the LowerPearar V.11.3, were ,sal,1. to reaogm. mo,qisLa terre sad lashed .ayclear uSes of the habit. ..d life hiotam. of me.qse.to.s. Is order toromady this sa .desatio.al catapaige we, eedesntires by the Oaasieiae•tomal.giaal Bes.ah is 1919 sad 1920. By mes, of e.w.paper s.dsgsas aetiole., Isetar. L.os.r.o. sad asbtbita at the large,exhibit.... ..d diaseict faire. pop.lar dals.io.. r.rfa.5 nssqsitaeas.d these hahst, ases. La tome sorest, disp.Uod.’ (p. 17 sea aslatisa)imtt,f, S- Cit.tiae- [ Contlnui] Dae.m.atC,Lssioa I __Conilnue__J140Historical geographers produce sww maps of old places. Neverthelcaa.the geographic present, the up-to-date accurate base snap, it a mostpersuasive map. Volume Three of the illustrious Historical Atlas of Canada isintroduced with a cartographic quote from 19th Century, ‘Words followingwords in long succenion....can cever cenvey so distinct an idea of the visibleforms of the earth as the first glance at a good map.’ And in the satucvolume, Robert Galoia 1891 and 1912 maps of the Lower Fraser Valleyradically reduce the size of Susnas Lake and include the Vedder Canal whidawas not treated until the lake was drained in the 1920’s.Blasti1410Citstios 1 [__ContinuePatricia Roys map of the Lower Fraser Valley railway system in 1914dissolves the lake altogether, a decade before its actual disappearance.I BlaskA reliance on the base map ii not a sufficient explanation for this authorialor editorial ommisalon as other maps in the same collection of essayi. AlfredSiemeni Lower Eraser Valley: Evolution of a Colteral Landscav, do includeSuntan Lake.plot BleakThe maps of Roy and Galois simply are flawed and need not be implicated inan anti-Suntan Lake conspiracy: in fact, they provide an illuminatingmetaphor which addresses any tendency on my part to navel-gaze. SumaiLake ii a blank even in the mind, of many, if not most, Fraser Valleyinhabitant,. My own mental map of Staas Lake formed only when I firstlearned of lake, existence a few month, ago, after living most of my lifenear the lake bottom.LOWER PRASER VALLEY RAILWAYSc. 1q140I Citatias I C Continue ) ILOWER FRASER VALLEYRoad. aisd Trail. B.for. 1965Citetiaa I ContInu)142The Australian historian Lyn kiddett recently asserted that ‘allcommunities if left unchallenged, will construct a history based on a socialmemory which ignore, uncomfortable and negative facts.’ Transient andrapidly growing communities like Abbotsford and Chilliwack in the FraserValley often depend on key individuals with long-term roots in the area tomaintain these memories. For Oliver Wells, whose grandfather was one of therust White settlers in the area, Sumac Lake is Indian Territoty in 1858. Thecelebrated local writer-farmer imaginatively mapped the region in 1966 as itmight have looked in 1858, employing ethnographic fielduotes and oralhistory. Credited with the reawakening of Salish wesving in the Fraser Valley.and documentation of what appeared to him to be a disappearing Std:loculture, Wells is intent to reinforce the image of a working, named resourcebase before the inundation of setters into a mythically empty land.Non.professioiial efforti at Sumaa Lake cartography may disrupt officialhistorical images, reflecting an awarenesi that the power of the map-makermust not be wielded by experts and servants of state policy alone.Isdisa Tosritoay0.4..-, —‘lW47.tthkRlvip-ck tfor the Sasat. People so.I) Ssa-AHt, 2) Tsk-AQUL. 3) IAN TERRITORYtY.ook peasostiby lLilgsrd whioh 1858is ta. sit. of to. oa1y eases., lead left to the •.- .S,oaas Pasd sad 4) N.h.NEBTS. tha sitleg. •.that eso..d oat oats the hiss to e.capa the .Ia their a.Continue-VV143At part of a Canada-wide First Nations movement, the Std:lo arcbecoming ever-stronger as an assertive, culturally dafuwd community. TheCoqualcetza Center, a cultural education haloing center for the Std:lo Nation.produced a map of present-day reserves in [982 as part of theit curriculumdevelopment. The map employs the persuasive aesthetic of clear, colorfulgraphics and is mass-produced for distribution. I was particularly movedby this representation of the region because despite its depiction oh presentlandacape, the area appeared far less familiar to tue when Indian lands werermpbaaized. The map excludes Sumas Lake, which is now of considerablecurrent interest to the Sumas Band and the Std:lo Tribal Council whocontinue to gather and share historical materials for possible land claimactions as well as for the reinforcement of their cultural identity and longterm ties to the land, water and air of the Fraser Valley.0St6ta Territory____________ltoldte 19201Citatios I ( Cunfinue ] Daaa.,rst144w 0Narratives that describe the envifoument provide an altemattve type of map,what Margaret Atwood calls a geography of mind.’ 19 Different cultures mayproduce different mental geographies. Historians recently awarded anthropologistJulie Cruikshank the Macdonald Prize in History for the contribution of her recantcollaboration, Life Lived Like A Story. Scholar. were challenged to accept oraltradition of Yukon women as an indigenous, intact narrative framework whosestone, must not be plundered for buried facts, but understood in the context oftheig use by storytellers to integrate past meanings into the present and navigate inthe world. Robin Ridingtons work with the Dunne-za of Northern British Columbiaalsorts a similar argument and a growing body of scholarship from Africa andAustralia that explores oral tradition together with documentary history makesmemory culture so increasingly compelling source for Native history. 20.40To benefit from these rich sources, historians must not only reassess an exclusiveuse of written, document-based narrative, but must view their own stories as pars of aprocess in whlcth they too employ plot and imagination in order to confront temporalchaos in the present. 21 This challenge need not be viewed as a demand for a totalrelativization of the historians craft, but as an opportunity to reveal its rhetoricalaspects which, indeed, can only make the work more honest. Taking my cue from SumasLake, my hope is that an opening” between the written and oral tradition perhaps maybe crested by examining metaphor and its use by writers and speakers to make the pestcoherent.In recant general histories fonising on the development of a region, on theteleological ‘evolution ot cultural landscape’ or ‘the growth of a province,’ Sumas Lakeis described implicitly or even explicitly as an impediment or barrier to progress. Suchmetaphoric language servea many functions: Hayden White, indebted to the tropiccategories of Northrop Frye. suggests that dead metaphors give the impression of realitythrough objective, non-vivid language whereas living metsphor changes the way we lookat things.22 A metaphor like ‘barrier’ may function as a dead metaphor when employedto describe Sumas Lake. whereas ‘big opening’ may appear more vital and thus, moresuspect to those who link rhetoric with deception and dead language With reality.1450By situatsog the language ot Sunias Lake. or rather, the Sums,Reclamation Project, withtn thesr ditcourw of progress, many historian, haveplayed a major role in the subjective disappearance of the lake. The word, ofolder general histories weave into the most recent histories. MargaretOrxn.by works an historical alchemy in her highly influential BrilithColumbia: A History wherein she transforms the Sums. area into “marshylands,” 23 without mention of a lake. In her recent West Beyond the West.Jean Rarman invokes 1kw same image when she writes, “the Sumasreclamation project drained thirty thousand marshy acres of the fertile LowerFraser Valley for mixed and dairy farming.” 24 Despite the historiographic andmoral ease of draining a low, wet, muddy tract of marsh rather than aninland, equally “fertile” body of water, a ‘marsh is potentially a veryinappropriate metaphor until its negligible depth has been confirmed..40Sumas Lake was just outside the geographical area targeted by the l99lVancouver and Its Realon. the recent offering of the tJBC geography department. Yet itdoes refer to Sumas Lake by name in a paragraph inside Graeme Wynn’s essay “The Riseof Vancouver,” describing John Olivers attempts to move B.C.’. economy away frren “itsheavy dependence upon extractive industries.’ 25AIong with his description of theimprovement of communications, the relocation of UBC to Point Grey, Wynn writes that“To encourage farming, Sumas Lake and the great marshes that surrounded it in theFraser Valley near Chilliwack were drained....’ The positive context of this statement issomewhat jarring given Wynos passionate prose in his introduction. ‘As the greed lineof development moves ever outward across the Fraser lowlands, and the speculativefrenzy of a society that inclines to value land (and place) in purely economic termsspirals onward, tender roots of familiarity and attachment to particular lanshnarks andlandscapes are severed by the accelerating cycle of change.’ 27 But in his chosen spatialand temporal framework in which th, growth of the city is central, a place lisa SuniasLake is understandably marginal to his regional geography.0In the L.ower Fraser Valley: Evolution of Cultural Landacarm edited byAlfred Siemens of UBCs geography department and published in 1968. Siemenswrites, “Official action was taken as early as 1878 to drain Sumas Lake, the greatimpediment to east-west transportation through the Lower mainland, and thus toexpose new and valuable land for agriculture as well as to secure agricultsare on ayear-round basis on the annually flooded lands around the periphery of thelake.”25 But remembering Ronald Meyers and Patricia Roy. maps within thesame book, the “great impediment” metaphor becomes less coherent. Indeed,roads and rails went through the valley price to the draining of the lake at a timewhen riverine transportation was also important.1460These scholarly histories intended for a general reading audience rcflet theintentions of the govesnmenl to ‘reclaim’ uitractable land for agriculture and alsoact to powerfully entrench those views. Sums. Lake is drained and framed inpolicy cause and effect, within the linear logic of print and the spatial expansionof a young province. These academics, working from inatitutisais like theUniversity of British Columbia, are in the provocative words of Noam Chonisky,“closely associated with power....tltey arc the ones who are in universities andthroughout the whole system constructing, shaping and presenting to us the pastas they want it to be scen.’ Certainly the conscious intention of these writerswa. not to conspire against other ways of knowing, but the result of their work isto empty Sumas Lake in the fast stream of societal development, a compelling,comforting choice for a place described, not in the Lois gist dsree of inhabitedterritory, but within a short temporal and a broad spatial framework.0Two unpublished MA, theses produced inside the university and reproducedfor the Chilliwack Archive., discos. the lake in a more intensive local framework.Of particulsr note is Donna Coors 1979 MA. thesis •Early Settlement In theChilliwack Valley,’ written for the UBCa Department of Geography. In it shedetails the early attempts of settlers to manage rationally the ‘extremelydisorganized drainage pattern” 30of the valley. Hat lalereit in settlement isfocused on White homestesdhig: although she briefly confirms the existence ofseveral hundred resident Sto:lo and says sosne snuat study them, she opens herpaper with the unfortunate statement that in 1863 there were only a handful ofpeople in the valley. Terrence Arnetts expansive 1976 curiosity ‘The ChilhiwackValley Continuum’ mentions the ‘inordinately friendly’ natives who offeredenvironmental advice and were ‘wisely grunted equitable land settlements,’ and ispeppered with cononents stressing the ‘otlternsss’ of the indigenous people like‘Who knows why the sro:io were such pushovers?” and ‘What do you expect frompeople who talk to ttees?’ 310Treatments of Sums. Lake in local histories stress the intrsctibility of the land inorder to reconfirm the image of whet George White in 1948 termed the ‘rugged pioneerswho laid the foundations of new settlements.’ 3 Whites perspective remain, alive andwell in recent local works such as Loretta Riggina 199! Heart of the Fraser Valley. KrisFoulds 1992 “Land Beneath the Lake, and lawyer and author. John Cherringtons 1992The Fraser Valley A History. Terms like “biggest,’ hr.t,” and ‘worst’ are prevalent.Chorrington writes that the Sumas accomplishment was considerable and he justifies theReclamation Project in terms of the ‘loamy soil beneaslL’ The pump. that drained thelake were the largest in Canada emptying 300,000 cubic feet per minute enabling thecreation of whet Cherrington calls the ‘richest, most efficient dairy, berry and hop growingregion of the province.’ The hundred. of ‘dead and flopping fish’ including large sturgeonon the lake bottom becomes nothing more than a ‘unique sight.’ And the rhetoricaltopper is, as per usual, the mosquitos. ‘Even the mosqwtoes which had so tormented ibeRoyal engineer survey parties in earlier days all hut vanished from the dry prairie.’1470But written narratives are not devoid of positive metaphors for the lake, and mayarise particularly when the spatial framework contracts to an individual perspective orexpands to a more global environmental awareness. A published memoir of •SumaaPrairie- A Mosaic of Memories.’ by Barbara Beldam reflects nostalgically on herpersonal experience of life near Sumas Lake. Her Grandfather Bowman came to B.C. as ageological surveyor and remained on the Sumas Prairie to farm: Barbara was born inthia area in 1904 and remeniberi her childhood as deeply satisfying and ‘a time of realsecurity’ until the arrival of the B.C. Electric Railway in 1911, and its passengers whocame to hunt at Susnas Lake, brought the fsrst major change. Settlers lived on thenumerous ridges that surrounded the lake, protected from flood on land no one couldtake from them. Barbara and her sister roamed freely by horseback ‘aitting backwardsor forwards or standing up, picked wild strawberries, collected buckets of wildhazelnuts and hunted for ducks and pheasants for the family table. If the mosquitoseason was bad, ‘soy sister and I wore long black stockings lined with paper.’ But then•the dragon flies came and that meant the beginning of the end for the mosquitoes. HowI loved them and how beautiful I thought they were. I still think so.’0By focusing on the seasons and the totality of experience, the mosquitobecomes an integral part of the lake environment. Ecologists who view SumasLake as an ecosystem underscore a similar awsreness: mosquitos attract andsustain other forms of life. An interdisciplinary narrative written from aconscious environmentalist stance provides a critical and persuasive perspectiveon the man/lake relationship. Barry Leach, a retired college professor ofEnvironmental Science and key figure in the establishment of the ReifelMigratory Bird Sanctuary, offers a passionate and well-researched natural historyof the Fraser Delta in Waterfowl On A Pacific Estuary, produced by the ProvincialMuieusn. Leach, a British-born naturalist himself, follows in the footsteps andstudies in the notebooka of the naturalists Stanley Keast Lord and theworld-renowned Allan Brooks, 36 both of whom spent considerable time studyingand shooting the waterfowl around Sumas Lake. Although the waterfowl was onthe decline with little aid from British Columbia’s lax conservation laws. Leachaaierts that the grazing geese of the Fraser Valley lost their last remainingundisturbed habitat after the lake was drained.w 0Our written historical narrativea undoubtedly do many things. Inone important respect, our stories give meaning and context to place andthat continuum may sustain us though we deodorize the sensory realm,me ears with traffic noise and reduce time to money. The equation ofecossnmio and industrial development with progress is no longer so simpleto formulate and the teleological tendencies of the historian must be opento moral and spiritual growth as well as economic development. To openour cars and eyes to the narratives of oral tradition is to understand‘where is here’ with the menial maps of the people who first gave theFraser Valley human shape.1480A significant generalization it asserted by scholars who study oral culture in NorthAmerica and Australia. While written narrative tend, to rely on Lime to talk about events inspace, oral traditions tend to employ the toponyms or space to talk about event, intime.38Flood and local topography figure prominently in the traditional storie, of the Sunias andChilliwack Indian,, an oral culture that did not disappear dcst,iie devestating epidemics. Thestories also survived in the minds of Native people selected for indoctrination by the Methodistmissionaries such as the Reverend C. M. Tate who founded the Coqualectza tplace of cleansing’)school for Native education in 1886. Dan Milo, born StoIt-kwi)s-LAH-Iok in1867 was one of thefirst students of Coqualeete.. A well-traveled historian of his people, Milo recounted stories oforigin and of the flood in Halkomelem and English to the writer-fanner Oliver Wells in 1964.each an archetypal story that may be told in different ways by different narostors. Both storiesemploy the toponyms of bust places, imbuing the Stanas area with meaning beyond it.geography. Although the chronology is not specific, Milo uses space and spatial metaphor totalk about events in time. Stories give the landscape meaning and the toponyms themselves actas big metaphors, allowing a simple place name to contain events of the pass and culturalknowledge.Gasp. Stoey Ftood StarrORIGIN STORYWelt, there was a boy from Kilgard. Itt them days they used to call thatplace Semath. That means Sums,. Well, that one boy was left by hiouclf.All his people died. So be went home. And 11ev text mooning he made uphis mind to come over there and see who was living at Yarrow. where hesaw that smoke coming out of a big house where there seas a lot of Indianaliving. When he come there, he went right into the house there. There wasjust that one girl left, after she had all the bodies put away. So that ii thefirit time hc ever saw this girl. So he got aoqsialnted with her. So he gotreal acquainted, and they married right there. So they stayed together. Andthat’s where the language that the Indiana are using started from. Theywent over to Nic,onoon, where there was a lot of indians there. That was theonly people that used the language that the indians are using now, today.Cit.tioa (__Continue__)TWB PL000My dear feasda. whoever toill be liatessag to this .tosy. 1 ssppa.. yos eli ha.,. ste. Danag Lii. flood ha..is this valley, th, what, ptaoa is the F,..er Valley nsa daowsdad.-.oppaa.d to be daowad.d, at that tim.. Well.there nsa a eisa talliag oaob Os, of hi. p.o8d. ‘Boild sp a goad ca.oa. There will be ae. mosatoie thsf. goiaato ha olser.-the top wilt he that., sad that’. mba.. the people goiag to be saved. ha., that’. pieg to isv. aaaaoe. But a lot of that. peopda thda’t belier, that st all. Tha..’. a lot of high aiasataias; ma at. olisib ‘pthee..’ that’s what otheo paopt. said.Well. whe. that to.. ow..., lb. flood .taotod. Thoy hogs, to fallow that Ssmsa Mo.stae.. The Isthas retls thatosasais Kw’ekw’.’iqw. Thai we. the .ema of the ,sos.tai. that than’S go ow of sight da.teg that flood Well.they gas ep to the top of tb. moaatai., sad they had a baa sop. that the l.a... nook, brnid.d of .osia toad of aaid. sod to.... a.d they tA. sp thoeiselv.a thor.. The .to.y said that there’s three mao.. west lost fro, thor..that beeh.d off sad sobody kaowa mba.. they west to.Par so stasy lye they we...p thae.; thea the w.ter hegss to saw. ,it,w,. They got don.. shoat batfeisy doats.to th. lower lasd, They stopped is a plaoo. sad ther.’s a save tat. the .o.atata. So they stay thee., eight titer..to he day. Aod they had that beg rep. oeitod op ioaideth. moo. A.d they stayed thosa, th000 paoyi., .tay.dright the... They amid .ee the tower had nsa day. tha go... hegsa to gas gee... The, they be8,. to costsdons. sod that 1mg sop. sad otbat .taffa that they bad the,., that. t.ft thee. Aoyhody ma see that cost ofiopa iaside the sara. Whoever will toe it, it will ha either goad tsok or had took, whoever wtlt too the ..d oftsp. tad the staff, that’s left I. thee.. Aad thae tbsp b.p.s to costa den.. They gas dow. th.ea. sod th. placeem. all day.Well, the stool I. thai’s why oar hag..g. chase... The old Suaiawiqw 1amge. what the White ma. 0.11.Chifliwsok. that .11 ihod ast sad they beg.. Lb. kagsaga that we ..o today, H.lkost.le,s. That’, the esd of thatstoop.Citsttoe L ContlnueJ1490Local animals, fish, and even the mosquito are givenmeaning through story. Nozmaii Lerman collectod stories inI 5O-5 I and presented them in his unpublished Lower ftoserIndian Folktale..’ Gus Commodore, an elder of the Sunias Band,narrated this Mosquito itory for Lerman, another variation on aplot similar to mosquito stories told by the Alaskan Tlingits, theKwakwakawak and Tshimshian. 39Lsaq.ita StoryMOSQUTO I (SUMAS LAKE)A bunch of young peopie, including a couple of Humpback Salmon, went to the beach and iand atSumas Lake to go sworursing. They took a lunch of a couple of fish. \Vlwn they ate, they took thedried fish, cut them op and divided it between them. When they divided the fish, they left the tailpart of the fish to Hcenpy. The tail is the bardeit part of the salmon. Humpy started hollering forthe giant - saskts. Hsnnpy didn’t moan any harm. The giant waint very far away that day and heheard the hollering. Saskia ran to his home and got his big basket. His basket was supposed tohave been utado of makes and frogs woven together. Whoa the giant got there, he pot Hunspy inthe basket first. (lie was sure to have bun, anyway..) When the giant put someone else in, Humpykept climbing up and geulng to the top again. When the giant was rat his way borne, he happenedto pass a limb that was a little low, sod Humpy got a hold of it. The giant just stooped and didn’tthink the basket would catch the tree, but little Humpy got out.When the giant got to the camp, he told his children, ‘Oh! I’ve got something extr, special for youtoday.’ He started taking the children out one by one. He was looking for Humpy, but Husapy wigone. When he got to thinking about it, he remembered bumping that limb and thought that thatmust have been when Humpy got out. When the giant got back to the beach again, Himipy wasquite a way out in the water. The giant picked up rocks, threw them at Humpy, and broke hispaddle. Everytime the giant would break Humpys paddle, he’d get another one. Humpy’s lastpaddle was one with a lot of knot hole, in it. The giant couldn’t break that one because the rocksjust went through the hoot holes. The giant gave it up and went home.Citstias I (__Continue__] ,nore lbsWhen she giant got home, he built a fire in a great big pit and a rock in the fire got hot.(That’s the way they used to do their cooking.) Before he had gone to chase Humpy heinstructed his children to put pitch on the other children’s eyes and behind the knees of theyoung people so they couldn’t run away, or see. When the giant’s children were putting onthe pitch, the older Children cloaed their eyes tightly so the pitch couldn’t affect their eyesand they could open them again. When the rock was ready, they were all sitting aroundand the giant started doing the Pesit Dance, They let hIm dance until he got worbed up andwasn’t expecting anything. When he got close to his fire, the bigger boys and girls shovedhim into it. They shoved hint in there, put in more dried wood and burnt him. When hewas burning, the giant said. ‘I won’t be killing or eating anybody else.’ The children said,‘We’ll not destroy yrea altogether. We’ll have something to remember you by.’ The leaderof the bigger boys said to the sparks that wore going up, ‘You’ll be mosquito..’ He said tothe bigger sparks, ‘You’ll be ssndflies,’ That’s it.( Continue j150wA versims of the Mosquito story is told by Sophie Joe (better knownas Dolly Felixl, an Elder who works with the Coqualeetza Elders Group.and is edited for publication by La Verne Adams in a booklet producedby the Coquaieetza Education Training Centre for use in elementarycla.e, 40 Felix makes the giant female and describe, the transgression ofthe children as not failing to share but staying out late withoutpermission, similarly reinforcing and contextualizing culturalexpectations and values. Although few of the Sumas elders speakHalkoaseiem and language education is an ongoing concern, such storiescontinue to be narrated orally in English at community gatherings.u1 0For the Sto:lo that lived with Sums, Lake. the moaquitos were one part or awhole in which story imparted meaning to even the smalleit, most trotsble,caaemember. The mosquito also was revered as a clever waariort mosquito inHalkoaseiem is Kw:a4 a title that was carried by the earliest known Stimas c*.iefrenowned for his quick ‘in and out’ style of attack on enemy villages. 4tpname now is held by the current chief of the Sums. Band. Places and anirnaiocontain story and these worda imbue the external world with meaning. Astangible reference points, mosquito., mountains and lakes may act as rhetoricaldevices that persuade members of a community to accept its values andstandards. To examine oral tradition is to open to an awareness that thedestruction of the lake is linked to a destruction of sacred texts and cultoralknowledge. Words and place mauen the library is all around us if we knowhow to see and to listen. My own limited temporal framework of research mayprevent more than a tuperficial study of Suana.s area oral tradition because anunderstanding of living tradition requires, amongst other commitments, thedevelopment of personal relationships with narrators. Nevertheless, I need netneglect the existing stories documented by other researchers.151IIIMETAPHORS OF ORAL HISTORY4,0Oral hiatosy Is a collaborative endeavor but it is not oral tradition. Certainly inthe sphere of academic history, the use of oral history has more persuasive powerbecause this methodology is comparatively established. Unlike oral tradition which, bythe definition of Jan Vansina, is not contemporary because it is passed mouth to mouthfor a period beyond the lifetime of the infcrmanzs, oral history consists of thereminisccacma, hearsay, or eyewitness accounts about events and situations which arecontemporary, that is, which occurred chicing the lifetime of the informants.’ 42Sthe 1960 a, oral history has garnered support from social historians like Paul Thooip.onwho call for the dcmocrstizatjoo of history and proclaim the ability of oral history togive expression to the unprivileged and defeated members of society. Ethnichistorians claim that ethnic oral history can emancipate minorities from colonizedhistory. The appeal of oral testimony to feminist historians, such as Joy Parr, lien partlyin the possibility that it can validate the voices of women, previously silent intraditional historical accounts. ‘ Following these trends of the wider world, several oralhistory projects were undertaken throughout the Fraser Valley in the past thirty years.w 0People who remember Stanas Lake are still alive, but before I began myown intensive oral history project, I thought I could benefit by listening toprevious colisborations. Memories of Sums. Lake exist on tape in archives inthe Fraser Valley and in Victoria. Some tapes have never been transcribed andothers arc retained partly sa an attempt to make oral history more accurate sothat meticulous reviewera may verify the findings of published materials.Researchers rarely do: th, concept of listening to hours of often ramblingconversations is daunting. Hut if the tape archive is viewed as a realm ofpossibility where we listen not merely as objective puzzle.solvers but as moralbeings with a potential role to play in making the past coherent for presentcolomtmity, the experience is transformed. I slowly began to realize thatalthough few facts were confirmed as I listened, my questions were alteredprofoundly. The metaphors for Sum.a. Lake multiplied: images flooded drypaper documcnta and the voices stayed with me long after I stopped the tape.Bditb L...oa Iboos 1910). jot.rc,.wsd by lsa.tl. Vie.s.ss. Sep. tO, 1957In the procoss, oral history often leads one back to paper documents.lGaora. Fermas (ro.r.sI mayor of Abbotsford) cat.reou.d by I.o.u. Vim..... A.5 24. 19541520No oral history project has focused exclusively oa Sumas Lake. but thequestion, ‘What do you remember about Sumas Lake?’ anchors the interastiousof many interviews with Sumas community elders. The Matsqui SumaaAbbotiford Museum Society and the Chilliwack Museum Society have sponsoredseveral of these collaborations with the help of government monies, thecooperation of White hotneitcadera and to a much lesser degree, the Nativeelders of the area. Other typical questions are ‘how did people help each otherout in times of trouble?” and what do you remember about the ice-storms andthe floods?’ The tone of the interviewer is typically empathetic, rarelychallenging and often leading. The interviews attempt a reconstruction of thehardships and joys of past community life while validating and celebrating theefforti of the early pioneers who forged the new world.0As the spatial framework shrinks to local concerns, oral history providesinoighti that often are not available in written records. In particular, the use andexperience of the commons of Stanzas Lake did not come to my attention until Ibeard Ed Kelly and Charlie Power talk about it on tape. Sumaa Lain, when it wasnot lu freabet, served as common grazing lands for the livestock of both Nativesand non-Natives and as a place to harvest natural fodder. These cattle farmershelped to form a vocal minority of Sumaa residents that opposed any Sumasreclamation because they correctly anticipated that once the lain was gone andthe lands sold, their cattle would be forbidden on the natural graaalands thattr*ditiooally were open to them in the low water iealces. Ed Kelly, born in 1900on the Sumas Indian Reserve, wal interviewed by Janelle Vienneau of the M.SA.Society in 1987 at his home and barbershop near the Tzcachten Reserve nearSardis. Charlie Power, also born ui 1900, was interviewed by Neil Grainger of theChilliwack Museum Society in 1983.Commas Lasd. Ed Kelly Coos Laadn Chaalie PowerPt.oe of Two Csltars. Ctmoiia PowerFew leterviewa with Natire elders have been pwdu by the local Museum sooietieQand Edward Kelly’s account here is privileged as a glimpse at community life from a Std:Ioperspective. Janelle Vietmeau, the interviewer, was unable to transcribe local place nameslike Coqualeetza” or Ha ikom clam words, so her interpretive powers were limited to someextent. Thoughts about the Std:lo are not high on the priority hat of questions or anawera inmany interviews with the White settlers and similarly, questions concerning problematicNative-White relations are rarely posed to Native people in any of the available oralsocei.The Sunias Band ii currently documenting its own oral histories regarding the lake.Doing oral history ii a process of redefining self as well as reconstructing past experience:it is perhaps instructive as an indication of the complexity of community memory to notethat the contemporary baseline of self-awareness must incorporate the Surnas Band’sccetuoversial recent proposal to build a toxic waste incinerator on their Kilgard Reservewhere they have owned and operated a brick factory since 1979. There is no simplereemirse to the most recent ‘noble savage’ stereotype, the ‘Indian as environmentaliat,’ ins.-hidi to frame a native versus newcomer scenario.Saaday Oaba Ed Kahn Paltar trossanpalobSoaras Of Pio.sss, howe. of Swaat Paeatoes153Edwood G.org. Ilelly woe hot. ot Kilp.cd i. 1900 cod .p..ke of bin femily’. o.pem.ooe Ottd on. of lb. hiketo Jan.11. Vie,t..., of the Motuqo,/Sesooo!Abbos.food Moa.. to ISO? ot bt. home .ed buoteoo.hop tearVedde, Cro.eing by the Tteaohte, lfeoerv..1. Did yoe mv. . goode. oo yoor p.op.o,y?IC. Ye. at Kilgood oh ye. my dod O.d to moo th,t’t bob.. lb. (Iteot Notbonc anme through ICilgu.d oh mydod hod oh .a o,oh.ed oud toed... j.ot .bo,t who.. lb. toil tho o..il..J. Raiho.d u..d to p.o. through?IC. oh y.., ye.1. IJh w000 did they get the .tnd do you boom?IC Tb. ...d?3. Tb. teed for tbe,r, to p1.01 their goode.?K. Oh I dooS mm.hor th.l . no, oO.3. Did be .ell .oy of the prodoot.?IC. No3. So it urn. for lb. family?IC. Yes.3. Yoer oh what kied of 00 omtmod did be hole?IC. He hod apple., ohne.ieo...thot’a shoot what I coo romoonber.3, Did y000 moot do o.y oee.i,g?K. Ye.. mothor did .1,0 of e.eeiog. oh my dad ma. h,.ejeg duokn, mother oucood duob.. mother ouo,ndphn..eto, mother conned oU blade of fruits conned...3. So whet other thing. did .h. no?K. My dod. oh my mother..., oh amoned deer .te.t. my dod did alot of benoang .ed oh o lot of fi.hi.g andmother named the Bob foe the family .ed the fish we.. nogho i. the Some., lobe.I Whet kind of flub?K. Oh there i, the S.,.. Coke ye. mv. .t.eg.o. cad vuato.. typo. of ealmon. and too... .1,0 of tee.t..3. So the.. wo.ld be the tbee kinthi yovo mo, would too?Lc!tinu.] +IC. A.d Jo the.. day. theee woe .o ouch thing no a oh oh oh oeo,o.o for h.nti.g. pret ope. oeo.o, .11y..r roeod thot’. io the early deyo.I. For wheereer poor o.odo.K. 3o.t for the ,eedo. That’. a,00her this0 too oh oh ope.kisg of who.,.,. .eed it. oh the poop. istho.. day. there. .0 ouch thing — .pon. flthetmeo. ,o nob thing a. opeflo hoed.g tome oh wewoes taught whoeoever wee. oat moth.. would cay now hid, we seed a nalmo, for .opp.v’ and we’doh oh go oth to the p.tohfo.k and we’d oh pick the eloset loohiog .elmo, a.d 1k.. ia the po.t andchose oh 500 yd. . oud we’d go book to the ,ooo.t looking ooe cod we would .h boat the oioe freehlooMog e.e again ‘til whome we o.oght it mod being thet home and the old folk. coed to tell .0 oowdo.’t ploy wok the .nlmoo fish, that. oar now., of food oar livelihood. doo’t moot.. j000 tab. oot whetyn. .boolco.ly o.od.1. So yomo dod did a lot of door ho.0iog.K. Ye., o lot of deer hooting, deck hoosog,S. tell me the .tooy oboe, the Vasoe.,ee hoot....K. This I. when the B.C. Bleoteio R.ilway woo opetotiog from V.oooovor to Chilliwook .h. theVeneer.,. hooter. oo.d to oom. op to S.moe Loke and oh then they would oh mm. r.000ming homeback to Vooooover they would bar. lb. duck. hooging 0000 thoio obooldneo tidiog the B.C. Eleomiet,wo hook hook hom, to V.,.eo,ee.1. How mnoy lot’, cay, each po,uoe. would lbey btiog..how rnaoy dt.oho?IC. They oold hove 01 1.0.1 a doo., de he.,..n the deck, wore plo.0ifol y’.b. d.nhu a.. p1.0115.1.(__Continue__)I. Did ye. do any io.-.kaling5K. Uh ie the.. doy. the wiotorn ore vety sold got a lot of noOw ond th, the S.m.. Lob. en. to loosen over tolb. pen where hoe... sould eh oh torvelliag who,. the te.m ho,.. cod lb. bebalnd ever Sam.. Lob, nodoh .1., the oh. Forcer River oa.d to free.. over i the mmet.r cod oh cod oh a gcosp of uO boy. one eldeolygrew. op by the come of Doe Commodore he woo v.ey good to lb. kid, ho won .lwoy, with 0. aed mod .hrnt.from Kilgood itt the oreek to the .ot.J1 oloogh lb.. to tho big clo.gh aed the big .loogb .rnpniad i,tO Sam..Lake to. it’. tolled Pumptow. bore where the pompe no. oh the. oh aed o, the may book oh 0.. Cornt.ader.would yell ‘it’. time to go homer So we’d .01.1 for hoot. cud uo.th wood bloom •0 hard in it ve.y ...y gottioghome boo..,. we’d joot pot 001 our oooto for nail., coil bosh home og.i. o, the in.1. That me.t’v. bee. foo.K. Ye.. .,efly fun, ye.3. Whet else did this Mo. Ge. Commode,. do?IC. He wotked at the book p1.01 at Kilgord.3. And yon bed rno,tio.nd .omelbi.g ahoot after hi, wife di.d,IC. Gb. ye. aft., hi. wife dod and oh end Os. Coot.d. oh oh p.00 a, Lb the e.. an our olobh000o we w000thm. we opeet a lot of tim, there gfey.g g.m.. oad the doooe. thu deuc.e wore held thee. cod oh ..d th.othe then S.t.y eight we would soil cro.ed ‘lii oboet oh 11 o’clook or .omothiog like thaI cod oO eecwould he around to we’d oil go home .04 probably o,e e’olook in the moamag the the eomeoo. would bewppg at lb. door and they nimoy. tom, to oar hoe.. flout oro.e I fuoo.,h.d lb. m.d. I ooed to ploy theciollo fo, the deuce. aed if I vt0 home they oould mv. . do.o. no whe,erer the. orb.. they woke me opthen 10 woke eon of the other hop. op oed lb., all the eel of kid. op aod the, we would deuce oil aigho coy‘liii 9 o’olok io the mooiog o,d the, oh relsa ‘Lii ereoiog .od oh oom. of the people olep a. the bo.oho.nod .h .ome .l.pt io my dod’. hoe. op io the.,...._ tod thee aheot 4 o’olook tboyd .11 oem. to the olshhom.and the deeee would at..t .goin thi, is S.adoy aftoeoooa oh ‘Lii 50111 oom.time Mottdey corrn.g theonte,yoo. gee. born..1. So you we the mom eotmthi.e,.K. I we. at the time and then wheme.., I hod te eb oh l.a.. th. .eom oh my mother coed to lobe ever ohoployed the msoth ergo. .04 eb.’d her, o g.sor o, her lop etoumming the gsit while oh. woe playing000th org.., Ibm. is by hen.lf ye. oea till I com, book then to eeo,me tb ployoog agoi..( Continue ,)1540A relationship to the Swnas Lake may be affected not only by race, but bygender or age. Oral history provides a window to these differences that diaries andmemoirs may not document. Myrtle Ferguson’s mother spent a considerable amountof time on chores inside the &lirose house by the lake, all year round. Myrtle wouldvisit in the summer and her reflection, seventy years later, on the loss of an intcrioi•scene’e.nd a ‘view’ when the lake was drained draw us inside her mother’s domesticexistence - a stark contrast to the experience of Barbara Bowman lBcldsm] whosehunting and horseback riding enabled close and constant contact with the outdoors.Ferguson was interviewed by ‘Jell Granger of the Chilliwack Museum Society in 1983Scasssy My,tia Fosgs.aa0Sumas Lake as so area of limitless sbsmdsnce is one of the moreprevslent of the descriptions that surface in the interviews with themen. David Mashers (boOt 1896 and arrived at Sumas ox 1912) wasinterviewed by past curator of the M.S.A. Museum Society, DianeKelly, in 1971. HIs grand-daughter, Lynne Wright, currently worksat the museum asid informed me one Friday afternoon in March thather Grandfather Mathers, ‘was full of blarney and liked to makethings more interesting.’Ttassase Darid athses ISsPeabssos: David MatharalTr.ssoriptDiane Kelly: Well, lets go back a little bit, Sumas Lake was drained hi 1922. Do youremember this?Mashers: Oh, I remember that sU right.D.K: Can you tell us something about how they drained it? The men who worked on it?Matiserit I could bemuse I had a job delivering loose of them pure alchohol to drink, themen that was running the machines.D,K: Pure alcohol?Mashers: Yeah, there was nothing else that was strong enough (or them. (laughterlD.K. I see. Do you remember hunting on the lake, did you hunt birds on the lake? Ducks?Matherit To a certain amosmt yeah, but more so fish.D.K. You fished on the lake?MaShers: Yeah. Fishing was not fishing, it was just going down and loading the boat.D.K. There was a lot ed fish, t2Mashers: You just tied your boar up sod throwed your line in and you couldn’t pull themout fast enough.D.K. I see. You remember the large flocks of ducks that came in?Malhers: Oh yes, oh yes. You couldnt go without ducks. It wssnt really sporteither you just went downn murdered them.[continue )1550But despite our ability to beat and analyze thcae memories, oral histocyhas not made the transmission of oral information any less subjective orethically problematic. Both interviewer and interviewee create the spatial adtemporal boundaries as well as the content of the oral record. Nevertheless.oral history, in published form, generally is read not heard and the authors oftranscribed texts must shape thu material. They do not, indeed, can not revealcompletely their active role in eliciting, mediating and editing the oraldocument. Thus some historians, such as Patrick Hagopian, contend thst theteclmique of oral history may be tainted by the abuse of rhetoric. The writer,without revealing her role in the creation of the record, may freely reinforceher own arguments with the rhetorical force of the participants ‘raw’ andcompelling testimony, seemingly innocent of this persons ideological agenda.0One popular and potentially abusive editorial strategy, familiar to thosewho probe documents, is to delete the questions from the final text. SoundHeritage, a project of the Sound and Moving Image Division of the ProvincialArchives has published several books of oral history including hobartOrchards 1982 Floodland and Forest. Memories of the Chilllwack Valley. inwhich Orchard weaves testimonies, gathered in 1963 for a CBC Radio series,with documentary research and photographs to reconstruct the valley sa itwas known in caner times. Oral information ii central rather thansupplemental for Orchard and be creates a collage of memory by arrangingtape excerpts by theme. His materials are archived in Victoria and it will beinteresting to check the quality of his tape after thirty years as well as hisquealioiii.Bird S.at.my Wia Padda.Basasifsl Sight: JoyCoa,aoa Las Prad ZiakI Citatics [ Continue 1UThere was between ten and twelve thousand acres of lake, andthere wa, no depth to it. When it wasnl in freahet I dontthink there would be an average depth of three feet,hardly....maybe four. There was always fish in it. There wassome quite large sturgeon taban out of SUmas Lake when theydrained it. In the fall it was a sanctuary for ducks; thercd beduck on there by the million, and they would come in to feed inthe marshes around the edge of the lake at night; and for anhour at dusk, why, a good shot would get anywhere from 20 to40 ducks in an evening, just shooting them in flight. That hasall been more or less forgotten about.Win Fadden was born in the early 1890’a, son of WilliamFadden, brother of Joy Starr, interviewed in 1963 by lmbettOrchard.156I would say that there was five or six thousand acres that was marginal land thatdidn’t belong to anybody. It was still goveninsant land; and hat was still anattraction when we moved here. We used the marginal lauda of the lake to cut hayor run a bunch of young cattle for pasturing. They had a kind of gentleman.agreement. If a man went out and cut a swatch around a certain tract of land, why,that was his hay. And nobody would ithinge on his rights to tint hay. Of course, itwasn’t only the people that lived right close to the lake bed that used the marginalland, especially for pasture. There were people even as far away as the other side ofChilliwack that used to drive cattle down in the early spring and pasture them there.The water, as it came up, drove the cattle back, and they wrold take them homewhcn they got up close to the farm.. Whets the water went down, they would bringthem back down again to pasture until their feeding time in the winter. So thatbenfited a lot of people.Fred Zink (1896-1979) whose father, Jacob Zink, cause from Germany and eventuallybought a farm in the Lower Suma. area. Interviewed in 1963 by Imbert Orchaid.I Citatios I (CoitInu’jThe high water was very pleasant to play around and swim in, and itwas a beautiful sight. Wild roses used to bloom just at the top of thewater. And there was the very lovely perfume that came from them asthe water came up to them - a sight that was pretty, even though it wasdisastrous. We made many rafts in those daya, as well as using thewooden tubs 10 sail in, Children had a good time playing in the highwater ‘ till the mosquitoes came; then you didn’t play very much.Mrs. Joy Starr, born in the 1890’s, daughter of William Fadden of UpperSumas, interviewed in 1963 by Iinbrt Orchard.Citatlo. (ç1unue157Profcsiional cthnograploers and anthropologists have collected asubstantial body of information about Sto:Co use of Some, Lake.Unquestionably their records are extremely valuable: nevertheless.historiana need to be able to contextuaiize interactions with‘informams,’ who often are credited only by their initials in the maintexts of older ethnographies. such as those by Wilson Doff. Fietdnotesprovide context for the exchange and if they are available, they enrichthe knowiege offered considerably.Soero. of Stsreo.Sit, of Ma,.aoroOn a Joly afternoon in 1950, informant Robert Joe toldanthropologist Wilson Doff about the past existence of alarge sturgeon weir that crossed the Sumas River at thepoint where the river left the lake at a width of 100ysxds and a depth of up to 20 feet. The were was ownedby the Sumai but they allowed outsiders to uoc iS: aftercatching what sturgeon they wanted, they opened thewelLaj ff, •5Fiald.onc. 1550-52, p.t7-lS.—— C contrnuJAccording to Suma Band members, the remaining SumasReserve was renamed Kilgard, dcrived from Kwekei:qw, meaning‘fish heads aticking up,’ in recognition of the trapped sturgeonthat were left exposed on the lake bottom. In an interview withGiwdon Mobs in 1985, elder Edna Douglas stated that live sturgeonwere being ploughed up by the farmera as late aa the late l930s,knowledge that still troubles her.froa o.mos Moe,.Saaaa Lak. Revi.w ofRsalsssstia. & NstivsUan’ for Roy M..,al,Sto,to Thb.i Cos.oAl.lot?___________________C Conflnue15800Oral history may highlight the creative, interactive and empathetic components osolid scholarship, but only if the historian self-consciously attempts to reveal theprocess by which the oral record was made. Post-structural ethnography has produceda great deal of self-critical literature on the inherent, but rarely acknowledged, powerstructures that underlay aU interactions between informer and interviewer. StevenTyler berates those anthropologists who exchange the pen for a tape recorder and stealthe last posaesaictn of the informant, her voice. 46 Alternatively, the pen of literary criticGaystri Chakrsvorry Spivak condemns the patronizing attititude held towards theinformant who is considered incapable of strategy towards the interviewer. Yet fewcthnngraphers or oral hiatorians are ready to submit, as Tyler does, that norepresentation is better than continued attempts to make more sensitiverepresentations. Some scholars experiment with dialogical models of oral history thatdispute monophonic authority and emphasize that culture is relational, existing betweensubjects in relations of power.48 The dialogue self-reflexively creates and reflects theseparation of subjects and forces the oval historian to scccpt responsibility for the text.4,0Whether or not these theoretical and moral considerations affected the editorialdecisions concerning Oliver Wells’ posthumous work, The Chilliwacks and theirNeiahbors. the book is a fine example of self-conscious rhetorical usage of oral history.The editors, Ralph Maud, Brent Galloway and Wells’ daughter, Marie Weeden, retain thequestions of Oliver Wells as well as the answers and attempt to ccsitoxtualize theinterview in terms of place and time. The interviews gain depth and value as we learnabout the St&lo interviewees as well as WeUs’ strategies to reinforce “friendly’relationships between Natives and Newcosoers. Well, was a sell-taught linguist andresearchers from the Stnilo Tribal Council and scholars like Cole Harris remark on theirfrustration upon reading the transcripts. Interviews arc cut short and pertinent remarksare left unexplored. Nevettheless, the edItorial detail and honesty of the book makes it arich source of knowledge shout Sumas Lake. Before it was drained, the lake wsa afavored location for those Natives who wanted to escape a bed mosquito season. Mr. andMrs. KeUeher, both cIder, from Mstsqui with Native mothers, described the exodus in aninterview with Oliver Wells in 1966.As Rstasst Prora tha Mosqaitas4’,Oliver Wells: The draining of Sumas Lake made a difference In the country, didn’t it?Mrs. Kellcbst, Oh, my, yeah. My, we used to have a good tints up on that lake, when we badthe gas boat, and wed get a crowd sod go way up there to gel mat of the mosquitoes.Wells: Do you have any remembrance of the IndIan village on Sumas Lake on top of thewater? The Boundary Line Survey people, they described this village; and the people wouldtake their canoes, and go out to the village; and they would get rid of all the mosquitoesbefore they left the land.Kelleher No, we never seen one of them. Its a funny thing- we used to roots from Matsquihere and go up there and have a good tints in them sandbars there. No mosquitoes: andthey’d be thick down here.I Citatias I [ ContlnU’J1590Certainly oral history may contain factual Information. Nevertheless, iforal history is valued as an interactive community process and not strictly asa document to be mined for factual content. these oral “artifacts” havehistorical value beyond their individual existence on cassette tape or inpublished records. The dialogues themselves are historical events ashostorisna and interviewees addres, the past people can live with. Those oralhistorians who rely on technology and arc±tiv.l procedures for accurateresultS may view an emphasis on the rhetorical, aesthetic dimension of theoral record with some anxiety. Nevethelesa. as LaCapra note., the defense ofa transparent medium is also a quest for a certain rhetoric “unmoved byentotion. unclouded by images anal miveraalistic in its conceptual ormathematical scope.’ If oral history is understood as a vital component ofthe rhetorical dimension of history, expanding an historical culture ofargument and transforming our own perspectives in the process of ourresearch, we have located it in a position of strength.4+0Sinus. Lake begins to disappear as an objective entity when we meditate onthe layers of mediation between past and present consciousness, and threatens toevaporate altogether when we attempt to deflate it through a metaphoric link withother things. Like the people and the envirtxsmenls It depicts, history is frsgile.Nevertheless, as we self-consciously and creatively attempt a critical andempathetic dialogue with ow materials, we aLso begin to give the lake depth. Bymeditating on the power of rhetoric, ow own as well as the rhetoiic of ow sotnoes,we reveal the creative aspect of the historical process. We also assert thattnntsphors matter. Metaphors persuade us to scuept their way of knowing thelake and we must choose them carefully. Justice McEacberns recent judgemeut inwhich he described a “vast emptiness” 50 within the Gitk,sn and Wetsuwetenterritories is a powerful reminder that there is no neutral objective spaceanymore, mental or physical, past, present or future. Empty for whom? SuanasLake no longer physically exists but is various individuals and community groupsseek to make the landscape of the past coherent, the ntemoay of Suntan Lainbecomes active both as an loatrumeot and ii a goal.0Viawed as an action of representation, cartography is an assertion ofspatial power and control, whether created by the state or by individuals andinterest groups. The privileged metaphors of written narratives that describeSumas Lake are often tied to the overall plot of the text in which they reside.When the narrative employs the rhetoric of societal development in theeconomic sense, the lake is generally a barrier to progress. If, however, weimbue oral tradition with interpretative pow, Sumas Lake itself becomeslbs big metaphor, opening us to an awaressess that even the pain of amosquito bite may have meaning. Thus when Sums, Lake is drained, there isa hole in sr01i culture as well as the ground. Power residea on both sides ofthe oral history dialogue and the alternative metaphors for the lake must beportrayed as a joint effort between interviewer and Interviewee. But theresearch process of the historian, even in the srchive of official documents, isnever a solitary enterprise. History ia an ongoing dialogue wherein Itransform my materials as they transform me.1600Methodology need not be viewed as a closed system of rules, but asa flexible point of departure which expands the possiblities for furtherresearch. An examination of the rhetorical sapects of metaphor floods thelake and wheu the waters recede, we may find enriched soil, relationaland irreducible differences and a heightened awareness of the shapingforce of language. Although maps, narrative traditions and oral historydo not mirror reality, a conscious use of these materials as mediatedhistorical sources may provide an opening’ for my chosen metaphors,allowing them to give meaning to place and the creatures that lived there.[Return to Beqinninflj161


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