British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1987

Item Metadata


JSON: bch-1.0190596.json
JSON-LD: bch-1.0190596-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bch-1.0190596-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bch-1.0190596-rdf.json
Turtle: bch-1.0190596-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bch-1.0190596-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bch-1.0190596-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Volume 20, No. 4
Fall, 1987
ISSN 0045-2963
British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Native Indian History.
Wilby in the Kootenays.
The Little Red Schoolhouse.
Convention Photos.
Member Societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their
society is up-to-date. Please send any change to both the Treasurer and the Editor at the addresses
given at the bottom of this page. The Annual Return as at October 31st should include telephone
numbers for contact.
Members' dues for the year 1986/87 were paid by the following Member Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHF — Gulf Island Branch, c/o Marian Worrall, Mayne Island, VON 2J0   '
BCHF — Victoria Section, c/o Charlene Rees, 2 - 224 Superior Street, Victoria, B.C.
Burnaby Historical Society, 5406 Manor Street, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 1B7
Chemainus Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society, P.O. Box 3014, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H6
Fraser Lake Historical Society, P.O. Box 57, Fraser Lake B.C., VOJ 1S0
Galiano Historical and Cultural Society, P.O. Box 10, Galiano, B.C. VON 1P0
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1H0
Lantzville Historical Society, c/o Susan Crayston, Box 76, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Mission Historical Society, 33201 2nd Avenue, Mission, B.C., V2V 1J9
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station 'A', Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical and Museum Society, R.R. 1, Box 22, Marina Way, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
North Shore Historical Society,      623 East 10th St., North Vancouver, B.C., V7L 2E9
B.C. V7L 2E9
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum and Archives, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society, c/o Mrs. Cora Skipsey, P.O. Box 352, Qualicum Beach,
B.C. VOR 2T0
Saltspring Island Historical Society, P.O. Box 705, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society, P.O. Box 2404, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3Y3
Silvery Slocal Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG ISO
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Valemont Historic Society,      P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Affiliated Groups
B.C. Museum of Mining, P.O. Box 155, Britannia Beach, B.C. VON 1J0
City of White Rock Museum Archives Society, 1030 Martin St., White Rock, B.C. V4B 5E3
Fort Steele Heritage Park, Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1N0
The Hallmark Society, 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society, 100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1
Lasqueti Island Historical Society, Lasqueti Island, B.C., VOR 2)0
Second-class registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5.   A Charitable Society recognized under the Income Tax Act.
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B, Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions and all other matters should be directed to the Vancouver address above.
Subscriptions: Institutional, $16.00 per year; Individual (non-members), $8.00.
Financially assisted by the Government of British Columbia through the British Columbia Heritage Trust. Volume 20, No. 4
Fall, 1987
British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
An Aboriginal and Ecological Conspiracy: The
Life-Sustaining Turning Point in History
Walt Taylor
The Shuswaps: A Band Moves to the Columbia
Shelagh Dehart
Memorial to a Cowichan Chief
Elsie G. Turnbull
Wilby in the Kootenays
Ron Welwood
Beyond those Rugged Mountains
Gerry Andrews
Saanich Indian Settlement
Geoffrey Castle
Solar-Lunar Observatory — Montague Harbour
Les Laronde
The Little Red Schoolhouse
Rae Purcell
Native Issues: Selected Quotes
Reports from the Branches
News and Notes
Convention — 1987 (photos)
Mayor Gerry: The Remarkable G.G. McGeer
review by Patricia Roy
Metis Outpost
review by Moray Maclachlan
The B.C. Historical News welcomes submissions of interesting and informative
articles or photo essays on any subject relating to British Columbia history.
Manuscripts should be typed (double-spaced) with footnotes and/or bibliography,
if possible and pertinent. Length to 2500 words. Photos and illustrations appreciated and returned. Authors are asked to provide a very brief "bio" to run
at the end of the article. Send to: The Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box
5626, Stn. B., Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4.
Volume 20, No. 5 is the second in
the series of 'theme issues' for the B.C.
Historical News. With the prominence
of the land claims issue in our
newspapers these days, "Native People" is both a topical theme and one
that the majority of us would do well
to learn more about. I personally am
fascinated by the history and culture
of those who have Uved in this part of
the world long enough to truly understand the land. I only hope that I live
long enough to witness the pubUcation
of a history of the west coast from the
perspective of the native people. I fear,
however, that a cultural bias (i.e. the
lack of a written tradition) will make
this event unUkely. I beUeve that there
is a great deal to be learned from a
culture that for centuries was able to
Uve in harmony with nature along our
coast — something that today presents
us with a good deal of difficulty.
I am pleased that we are able to present a variety of articles that deal with
native Indians in this issue; however,
I am also very disappointed that we
have only one submission from an Indian. I had hoped to have more. I am
pleased to present Walk Taylor's interesting and informative perspective
on the land claims issue.
Our next theme issue wiU be Volume
21, No. 2 (Spring) and wUl focus on
the history of the Chinese in British
Columbia. This is another rich area of
our province's history that remains
largely untapped. If you have expertise in this field, know someone who
does, or are looking for a new area to
explore, now is the time to get started.
Submissions should be recieved by
March 1, 1987.
Themes to be explored in future
issues of the B.C. Historical News include "Pioneer Women in B.C." and
"Education in the Frontier Community." The intent is to have two theme
issues per year (alternate issues). It
should be stressed that there is room
for weU-written articles on any subject
dealing with B.C. history in every issue
of the News.
Bob Tyrrell Publishing   Committee   Report
Letters to the editor
To the editor:
The Telkwa Museum Society is currently involved in a historical research
project of the Bulkley Valley in Northwestern British Columbia. This area
stretches from Houston to Hazelton,
and includes the communities of
Smithers, Quick and Telkwa. Our
primary concern is with the
Telkwa/Aldermere area in the period
between 1900 and 1930.
Any information you can give us on
buildings, customs, roads, etc. would
be greatly appreciated.
Thank-you for your time and we
eagerly anticipate your reply.
Sincerely yours,
Sandra Lussier
Telkwa Museum Society,
Box 365,
Telkwa, B.C. VOJ 2X0
We were pleasantly surprised at the
ease with which our list of subscribers
was computerized a few months ago.
But we rejoiced too soon! A number
of problems have begun to appear: our own tardy invoicing of individual and institutional subscribers;
the mysterious disappearance of those
who the Post Office advise us have
'moved'; and confusion in interpreting
subscription lists sent in by Branch
We are trying to do better with invoices. A form will be included in this
and future issues for the use of those
who are moving; we would appreciate
having treasurers or membership
secretaries advise us promptly about
changes of address as well, so that
members will not miss issues.
We will try to overcome the confusion which has arisen in the past few
months in transferring information
from branch treasurers' submissions
to the computer program by mailing,
every six months or on request,
duplicate  copies of a printout of
subscribers of each branch. In this
way, renewals, changes and corrections can be made on the printout
sheet itself. One copy can be returned
to the Subscription Secretary, while
the second is retained for the Branch's
records. Treasurers should have received up-to-date printouts before this
issue of the News is distributed.
The sorting out of this situation has
been a big job and, in a few cases,
paid-up members were sent invoices.
We are very sorry for any consternation or inconvenience which this has
We are grateful once again to the
B.C. Heritage Trust for a $2000.00
grant towards the cost of publishing
the News over the next two years.
In closing, we must thank Rhys
Richardson once again for the tremendous contribution which he made to
the publishing of the News during its
transition period last year. We hope
that he enjoys catching up with all his
other commitments; retiring he is not!
Ann W. Johnston, Chair.
Deadline for the next issue of the
B.C. Historical News is Dec 15, 1987
Please submit articles and reports to:
The Editor
P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6S4
CJQ4A3 HOUS£ /fffO
Copyright WA/VOoA A/-A/.S.
B.C. Historical News An Aboriginal and Ecological
Conspiracy: The Life-Sustaining
Turning Point in History
Walt Taylor
The "land claims" struggle has been
misunderstood in British Columbia as
a potential threat by Indian people
against non-Indian interests.1 From
the very beginning of contact with
native people on both Atlantic and
Pacific coasts, most non-native North
Americans have assumed that their
superior, European, civilized society
would endure and prosper while the
backward, savage, heathen, original
people whom they misnamed "Indians" would eventually vanish — one
way or another.
For more than a century in British
Columbia, and several centuries
elsewhere, the persistent non-Indian
answer to the so-called "Indian problem" has been assimilation. Every
time one approach failed another was
tried. With the best of intentions
sometimes, and other times the worst,
pressures and inducements prodded
Indian people to catch up with the
dominant society's language, religion,
law, education, and aggressive
economic development.
During recent years, however, much
evidence has been accumulating that
human well-being and possibly the
very survival of life on earth depend
on the willingness of all people,
especially industrialized people, to
change our ways of thinking and begin
catching up with the more advanced
aboriginal heritage of living in responsible harmony with nature. 2 3 4
We could call it cultural leapfrog.
After generations of looking back on
Indian culture we now find that it is
out in front in some very significant
ways. Some may consider the new approach assimilation in reverse, but it
will be more useful and appropriate to
describe it as an urgently needed, two-
way cultural interaction, with mutual
respect and for mutual benefit.
The ancient aboriginal hertitage and
the more recent ecological science have
much in common. Working together
they provide the most promising glimmer of light we can now see at the end
of this century's long, dark tunnel of
worsening conditions for life on
The good news is that the land
claims process in British Columbia can
now be appreciated as an opportunity for mutual advancement instead of
being feared, ignored or attacked as
though non-Indian residents must
somehow lose whatever Indian people
The Hidden History of B.C.
The history of British Columbia as experienced by native people is unfamiliar to most residents of the province even though it may not have
been deliberately suppressed. To
understand Indian land claims,
however, it is necessary to absorb this
little-known history directly from well-
informed sources or to search the
available literature for information
about the agonizing and still continuing struggle by Indians to retain their
aboriginal rights and to exercise their
traditional responsibilities in order to
survive as a people.
The constructive achievements of
Indian people are also part of the hidden history, but we are beginning to
hear more about the unique contribution which native people are making
to solving complex problems of
modern society. The land claims process will eventually be understood as
a very important step toward the survival and advancement of all people.
Agonies of History
In his 1856 inaugural address to the
Legislative Assembly of the colony of
Vancouver Island, Governor James
Douglas referred to the uneasiness in
the colony caused by maurauding
bands of Indians, but he declared, "I
shall nevertheless continue to conciliate the good will of the native Indian tribes by treating them with
justice and forebearance and by rigidly
protecting their civil and agrarian
Douglas arranged 14 treaties in the
1850s covering small areas in the
southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Federal Treaty Number 8, signed in
1899, extended into the northeastern
part of British Columbia. Otherwise
the land question in the entire province
has never yet been resolved by any
treaty, agreement, purchase, court
decision or other arrangement with
native people, and not even by
For all 116 years of its existence, the
province of British Columbia has
refused to negotiate, arguing that
aboriginal title or interest never existed, but even if it ever did, it was extinguished when B.C. joined Confederation as a province in 1871.
Through all those years native people in British Columbia suffered more
agonies than any short paper can adequately summarize. Children were
removed from their home communities to attend residential schools
where they were severely punished for
speaking their own languages by both
government and religious instructors.
Many communities were decimated by
alien diseases.  When the feast or
B.C. Historical News potlatch was outlawed by non-Indian
legislation between 1884 and 1950,
obedience to that foreign law tended
to undermine the foundations of indigenous peoples' very existence —
aboriginal law, religion, education,
economy, government, family and
clan life, and the combined wisdom
and spirit for respecting and protecting all of nature.
All these facets of Indian life were
integrated into one unbroken circle
which anticipated the first law of
ecology, that everything is connected
to everything else — not compartmentalized or fragmented into separate
For more than a century B.C. Indian people have persistently and patiently tried to resolve the land question. In 1915 and 1916 the Allied
Tribes of British Columbia was formed to act in support of the 1913
"Nishga Petition." It was the first
inter-tribal Indian organization in the
In 1926 the Allied Tribes, through
Rev. Peter Kelly, a Haida minister,
Andrew Paull of the Squamish Band
of Mission Reserve and Chief Johnny
Chillihitza, presented land claims positions to Parliament which set up a
Joint Committee to hold hearings and
make recommendations. Chief
Chillihitza summarized a point of view
that has been eloquently presented
around the world by countless chiefs
long before his time and right up to
the present date:
"My forefathers and my own father
were some of the leading chiefs of
British Columbia and they never relinquished their titles, but now they are
dead, and I am their successor, and I
still have the title; I did not give them
to anybody, and now I come over here
in Ottawa so that the government in
Ottawa will give me power in my titles
and my rights.
"The Indians do not want to be enfranchised; they want to be as they are.
All the Indians want is to be just Indians, and not to be taken as white
people, and made to live Uke the white
people; they want to be the way their
forefathers used to be, just plain Indians. That is what my people want.
They do not want to be
In 1927 the special joint committee
dismissed the claim as unproven and
closed the door on any more Indian
political activity around land claims.
In response to committee recommendations, Parliament even made it a
criminal offense for Indians to
organize or to collect money to assert
their land claims.
In June, 1969, during the early
period of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott
Trudeau's government, a "new Indian
policy" was published by Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien. The colour of this "White Paper" was appropriate. In a quick response
representing enormous Indian fury,
young Harold Cardinal pubUshed The
Unjust Society before 1969 ended.
"Now," he wrote, "at a time when
our feUow Canadians consider the promise of the Just Society, once more the
Indians of Canada are betrayed by a
programme which offers nothing more
than cultural genocide ... a thinly
disguised programme of extermination
through assimilation . . . Small
wonder that the native people of
Canada look back on generations of
accumulated frustration under conditions which can only be described as
colonial, brutal and tyrannical, and
look to the future with the gravest of
doubts . . . Indians have aspirations,
hopes and dreams, but becoming white
men is not one of them."8
Cardinal reported in 1969 what has
been happening increasingly ever
"Many Indians once again are looking toward the old as the hope of the
future. Many Indian leaders believe a
return to the old values, ethics and
morals of native beliefs would
strengthen the social institutions that
govern the behaviour patterns of Indian societies."'
Faced with this unexpected opposition, the federal government slowed its
pace of assimilation and began funding Indian groups to undertake the
necessary research and planning for
negotiating their land claims. The
Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs was
formed to tackle this huge task. In
1973 the Supreme Court of Canada
surprised federal politicians with its
judgment in the Calder case. Three
judges held that the Nisga'a still had
aboriginal title to their land; three ruled that they once had such title but it
had been taken away without ever being compensated. The seventh sitting
justice ruled against the Nisga'a only
on a technicality, their failure to obtain provincial permission to take the
case to court.
Prime Minister Trudeau
acknowledged that aboriginal rights
might be stronger than he had thought
and his government agreed that claims
should be settled by negotiation. As it
always had done, British Columbia
refused to participate. Fourteen years
later negotiations have not even started
on any B.C. claim.10
Now that all else has failed, 54
Gitksan and Wet'suwet'en hereditary
chiefs have taken the provincial
government to court in order to assert
their ownership and jurisdiction over
57,000 square kilometres of traditional
land. The province successfully forced the federal government into the case
as co-defendant, even though the
federal government has a trust responsibility to protect Indian interests.11
This landmark case began in a
Smithers courtroom with six weeks of
powerful testimony presented in May
and June, 1987, by four chiefs — three
Gitksan and one Wet'suwet'en. It was
scheduled to re-open September 8, but
B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice
Allan McEachern agreed on that day
to a postponement requested by the
plaintiffs because they lack sufficient
funds to pursue the case. The federal
government had reduced by one-third
the funding needed and expected by
the plaintiffs. The senior governments,
as co-defendants, apparently have
whatever financial and research
resources they may require. For the
best interests of all Canadians, this
case is considered too important to be
discontinued for lack of sufficient
funds to complete it.
"The Honour of AU" is a video
docu-drama about the Alkali Lake
Band of Shuswap Indians successfully advancing in 12 years from nearly
100% alcoholism to about 95%
sobriety. Led by Chief Andy Chelsea
and his wife, PhylUs, the actors in this
historical show are band members who
play the parts they actually Uved in real
B.C. Historical News Ufe, "warts and all." An essential
feature of community recovery was a
return to traditional spiritual values,
including the sweat lodge ceremonies,
counselling by Indian Elders, and
warm, substantial, neighbourly support for everyone willing to attempt
to give up drinking.12
On Haada Gwaii ("the Islands of
the People") — the Queen Charlotte
Islands — the Haida say, "The land
is still our culture, our bodily
sustenance, our artistic inspiration,
and the source of our spiritual well-
being. Our people cannot and will not
allow the destruction of this priceless
heritage."13 A two-week Rediscovery
programme was initiated in 1978 by
Thorn "Huck" Henley for Haida
youth with problems at home or with
the law. Expanded now to include
children of all backgrounds, this
hands-on experience encourages
respect for nature and Haida culture
through wilderness adventure. Haida
elders often visit to teach about life in
ancestral villages. At least seven
similar camps have developed in
British Columbia and the U.S. based
on Rediscovery's success.u
The Gitksan-Wet'suwet'en Tribal
Council, centred in Hazelton, is confident that its combination of years of
biological research and centuries of
direct experience in protecting fish and '
the environment will lead to improved conditions for natural salmon and
for all responsible fishing people. The
Tribal Council plans to re-estabUsh the
conservation benefits of an inland
fishery based on traditional as well as
modern scientific wisdom and
Although not opposed to development, the Nisga'a "do not support the
kind of development which imposes
tremendous negative impacts while offering few benefits. We are for orderly, rational development which is in
tune with our culture, economic interests, and long-term survival."16 In
respect to B.C.'s important forest industry, for example, the Nisga'a have
been doing research and preparing for
years to replace the present shortsighted logging system in the Naas
Valley with their own, genuine, sustained yield plan for development that
will continue to provide valuable tim
ber for the next seven generations.
From Melting Pot to Mosaic
Fortunately, in spite of endless
pressure to assimilate, indigenous people of British Columbia, Canada and
around the world have refused to
vanish. Instead of disappearing, they
are becoming the world's highly
respected consultants on the best ways
to survive dire straits. We are beginning to appreciate the strengths in
cultural diversity.
The Turning Point
For the first time in a million years
on earth, human beings must now
choose between survival, with
possibilities for a higher quaUty of Ufe
than we can now imagine, or —
Our Common Future is the title of
a 1987 report by the World Commission on Environment and
Development.17 Chaired by a woman
who is Prime Minister of Norway, Dr.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Commissioners from 21 very different national
backgrounds — including two
distinguished Canadians — conducted
hearings around the world for nearly
three years. Although disagreeing on
details and priorities, they agreed completely on significant changes required
for survival. They conclude, "We are
unanimous in our conviction that the
security, well-being, and very survival
of the planet depend on such changes,
The absolutely essential key to Our
Common Future is "sustainable
development. All twelve chapters of
the Brundtland Report emphasize the
adjective, sustainable.
This report is by no means the first
to recommend that the endangered industrialized society put on some cross-
cultural hearing aids in order to listen
with more understanding to the
wisdom and experience of aboriginal
people. It offers, however, the most
recent and compelling evidence that we
have come to an unprecedented turning point in history:
"We are not forecasting a future;
we are serving a notice — an urgent
notice based on the latest and best
scientific evidence — that the time has
come to take the decisions needed to
secure the resources to sustain this and
coming generations."19
How shall we begin to change our
ways of thinking toward sustainable
development? The WCED Report
notes that "some communities — so-
called indigenous or tribal peoples —
remain isolated because of such factors as physical barriers to communication or marked differences in
social and cultural practices . . . .20
"The isolation of many such people has meant the preservation of a
traditional way of Ufe in close harmony with the natural environment.
Their very survival has depended on
their ecological awareness and adaptation . . . .21
"These communities are the
repositories of vast accumulations of
traditional knowledge and experience
that links humanity with its ancient
origins. Their disappearance is a loss
for the larger society, which could
learn a great deal from their traditional
skills in sustainably managing very
complex ecological systems. It is a
terrible irony that as formal development reaches more deeply into rain
forests, deserts, and other isolated environments, it tends to destroy the only
other cultures that have proved able
to thrive in these environments.22
"The starting point for a just and
humane policy for such groups is the
recognition and protection of their
traditional rights to land and the other
resources that sustain their way of life
— rights they may define in terms that
do not fit into standard legal systems.
These groups' own institutions to
regulate the rights and obUgations are
crucial for maintaining the harmony
with nature and the environmental
awareness characteristic of the traditional way of Ufe . . . .Hence the
recognition of traditional rights must
go hand in hand with measures to protect the local institutions that enforce
responsibiUty in resource use. And this
recognition must also give local communities a decisive voice in the decisions about resource use in their area.23
"Those promoting policies that
have an impact on the lives of an
isolated, traditional people must tread
a fine Une between keeping them in artificial, perhaps unwanted isolation
and wantonly destroying their lifestyles . . . .""
(cont. on page 25)
B.C. Historical News THE SHUSWAPS:
Shelagh Dehart
Many years ago Chief YelhiUna of
the Shuswap tribe led a few friends to
explore eastward from Adams Lake by
way of Seymour Arm. They went over
the mountains then foUowed the Columbia River around the Big Bend to
Kinbasket Lake. The group migrated
every spring and returned in the fall
to their winter homes at Adams Lake.
Through time they abandoned the Columbia River route and bush-whacked
through the mountains to Albert Canyon, Revelstoke, Eagle Pass (Spel-
qwax) and on to Adams Lake. Once
this path was cleared they were able
to use horses for their seasonal trek.
When Chief YelhiUna grew old and
was in failing health, his son Paul
Ignatius Kinbasket, who had just
become a Catholic, replaced him.
Shortly after this time there was some
trouble among the men of the tribe.
One was murdered and his body left
on a steep cliff. Because of the dissension in the group, the new chief
gathered his family and a few friends
to trek to Kinbasket Lake to make it
a permanent home.
Life was good at Kinbasket Lake if
it was not mosquito season! The
women and children were left at the
camp on Kinbasket Lake while the
men explored southward — upstream
on the Columbia River. At night the
babies were put in a group; wild swan
chicks were caught and tethered in a
circle around the infants. "Whadoog!
Whadoog!" was all you could hear as
the swans kept snapping up mosquitoes. But the women could not
stand this for too long. When the men
returned to camp the women and
children were gone. They had had
enough and returned to Adams Lake.
But the women were brought back
to the Columbia Valley. At first they
camped at Golden. Old YelhiUna died
there and was buried beside the Columbia River. Later the Kinbasket
group moved to Spillimacheen.
Strangers were near their new camp.
The Shuswaps had seen footprints in
the hills. One day twelve Kootenay
men walked out of the forest with
bows and arrows in their hands and
almost at the same time the Shuswaps
were on their feet with their weapons.
The Kootenays stood in line with their
hands by their sides. Chief Paul Ignatius Kinbasket, with his heart pounding, ordered his men to line up facing the strangers. The Kootenay man
who seemed to be the leader spoke and
made signs. He gave his bow and arrow to the chief. Then all the men exchanged theirs with the Shuswaps. The
Shuswaps understood that they were
welcome to the land of the Kootenays.
Old chief Paul Ignatius was bothered with what he called "shortness
of breath". His son Pierre took ovei
his father's business. Pierre, on the
group's last trip to Adams Lake, had
married Marianne who bore his first
child a year after he became chief. The
Kinbaskets went to AkAm (St.
Eugene's Mission) near Fort Steele to
visit the Kootenays. They were met by
a crowd of women, one of whom
snatched  Marianne's papoose and
B.C. Historical News MEMORIAL TO A
Elsie G. Turnbull
A rocky mass rising above the
waters of Cowichan Bay, Mt.
Tzouhalem commemorates in its name
a notorious chief banished to living in
its caves, but on the forested slope
stands a memorial to another chief
honored by his fellows. From Cowichan ViUage across the water we often
noted the gleaming white obelisk until a sunny August day in 1966 lured
us to futher investigation. Driving
around the head of the bay we turned
along Khenipsen Road to find our way
up the steep hillside. Now on land
belonging to the Cowichan Indian
Band we cUmbed the trail to a rough
clearing where we found an imposing
column topped by a large brass ball.
Standing beside a cement slab which
was surrounded by a wood framework
with wire fencing, it marked the burial
place for several graves. A broken
headstone lay nearby. There was no inscription anywhere but a blank space
was obvious on the obeUsk shaft. A
quiet spot beneath the rocky cliffs of
Tzouhalem, it gave no hint as to who
lay buried there.
Now, twenty years later, in this year
of 1987 we have found the answer to
our query. On the recent Cemetery
Symposium Tour of the Cowichan
District, Jack Fleetwood, a long-time
resident of Duncan recalled the story
heard in his youth. "I remember my
father mentioning the death of Chief
Charlie ChUpaya-moult who died in
Crave of Chief Chipaya-moult on Mt. Tzouhalem.
1920 at the age of 110 years and was
buried on the slope above Khenipsen
Road. In 1923 the Cowichan Band
buUt a tomb, 18 feet high, on its base
a plaque bearing the message: "In loving memory of the Chief who organized the deputation of Indian chiefs on
Vancouver Island to King Edward VII
in 1905. After life's fitful fever he
sleeps well."
In 1964 the members of Post No.
10, Native Sons of B.C. obtained permission from the Cowichan Indian
Band to clear brush and debris from
the site and to paint the obelisk. The
plaque had been stolen long years
before but the Chief's daughter had a
replica under glass. This she let them
photograph, which was fortunate, for
a short time later her house and the
replica were destroyed in a fire.
In Jack Fleetwood's words, "the Indian people were very disturbed at the
way their tribal rights, such as fishing
and hunting, were being restricted or
suppressed by the Dominion government, so raising a considerable sum of
money, decided to send a delegation
of Island Indian Chiefs to visit King
Edward VII in London. They asked
him to intercede with the Canadian
government to ensure that Indian
traditional rights would be recognized by that body. However, it didn't
work out."
Chief Charlie Chipaya-moult still
sleeps on that hillside, his tomb still
cared for by later generations of the
Cowichan Band but forgotten by a
world which still questions tribal
fishing and hunting rights that he
sought eighty years ago.
B.C. Historical News WILBY IN THE
Ron Welwood
This saga beings with a photograph
that was to be cropped and used on
the cover of a Nelson heritage
brochure. Simply enough. The cropped photo shows an early automobile
parked in front of the old Strathcona
Hotel — an appropriate Ulustration
for an architectural motoring tour.
Copies of the photograph were located
in three collections: Nelson Museum,
David Thompson Library (Nelson),
and the Provincial Archives of British
Columbia. The information collected
from these sources, however, revealed vast discrepancies in detail. Many
hours of research later, the WUby tale
Little is known about Thomas
William Wilby (born in 1870) except
that he was a British journalist and
noveUst, as weU as an automobiUst and
a "good roads" advocate who was not
unfamiliar with continental motor
In 1911 WUby, accompanied by his
wife, Agnes, and a driver logged 9,000
miles in a circular tour of the United
States. Leaving New York on August
31, they traveUed westward to San
Francisco, Calif., then south to San
Diego before returning eastward by a
more southerly route arriving in New
York 105 days later on December 13.
The purpose of the trip was to log
Middle and Southwest routes from
Atlantic to Pacific in order to promote
the development of transcontinental
highways. According to Wilby, "The
'       0   -HS
v **             t * **
1'. , „       i
i'    ;    -,
i «rp ^.,vfj
jL*lml f x
—   {           "/
'  H
PBP8a^»"^->,, '_,,
■my?""        .
^^■■^^^^^^^^^^^^KKt/KKKKKKBKKK^KSm                                      HUB
Wilby poses beside his Reo Special touring car in front of the
Strathcona Hotel in Nelson, October 6, 1912.
(photo courtesy of Kootenay Museum Assn.)
man who goes across the continent by
train, like a package at so much per
mile, has no intimate contact with the
land." (Logging, 29)
During the journey the trio usually
travelled, on good roads, at about
20 - 24 miles per hour for a total
average speed of 16 m.p.h. During the
actual running time of 85 days, the
automobiUsts made no more than one
hundred miles per day. Average daily
expenses for two people was $5.00!
Driver's expenses, upkeep of the car
including oil, gas and garage charges
(but not including tires) were approximately $55.00 per week.
It appears that this trip whetted
Wilby's appetite for a greater
automobiUng challenge in Canada.
"Canada, indeed, was apparently a
unit only by the good-natured
tolerance of the railroad, having none
of that true cohesion of human agglomeration which the existence of a
network of continuous and perfected
highways alone can impart." (A
Motor Tour, ix - x) Consequently in
1912, under the auspices of the fledgling Canadian Highway Association
and the sponsorship of the Reo Motor
Car Company, WUby commenced his
epic journey to support the "Good
Roads Movement" and to promote a
Trans-Canadian Highway from Atlantic to Pacific via the "AU Red Route".
For the arduous trip, Wilby selected
the Reo Special touring car, manufactured in St. Catherines, Ontario. In
1905, it was the first automobile to
make a double transcontinental trip of
the North American continent; and in
1910, it captured the speed record by
crossing from New York to San Francisco in ten days. The thirty
horsepower, 5 passenger car had a
short wheel base and high clearance
with a single control lever in the centre. The car was outfitted with two
long boxes on the running boards
which contained reserve gasoline
tanks, oil cans, wheel chains and the
pulleys for block and wire tackle. The
vehicle had a total carrying capacity
of 23 gallons of gasoline. Dunlop
B.C. Historical News
8 Traction Tread 35 x 4 tires were used
and only two spares were carried. In
all, the Reo weighed 3280 pounds.
In keeping with his Victorian civility, Wilby proposed and secured commercial or private shelter every mght
while on this transcontinental trip.
Perhaps he did not want to sacrifice
his daily routine of partaking in coffee and cigars! Therefore, camping
equipment and guns were deliberately excluded from the equipment list.
Forever dressed in his baggy tweeds
and battered fedora, Wilby was accompanied by a Reo Motor Car
mechanic, F.V. Haney, who doubled
as chauffeur. It is interesting to note
that in his 290 page account of the entire trip, Wilby never once mentions
Haney by name! He is only referred
to as the "driver" or the "chauffeur".
A second driver, Earl Wise, joined
them in Regina, Saskatchewan.
No wheeled vehicle had ever before
attempted to make the journey from
coast to coast solely on Canadian soil.
Many of the roads, where they existed,
were uncharted and unsignposted. In
some areas there were no roads at all.
From northern Ontario to Winnipeg,
the Reo had to be shipped by boat and
rail — much to Wilby's dismay. Existing road maps were restricted to
specific regions; and, at best, many
roads were just glorified pathways.
Consequently, it was necessary to
enlist pilots selected from the various
auto clubs across Canada. These pilots
volunteered to guide the pathfinder
through the uncharted districts. Such
arrangements created enough advance
pubUcity for the argonauts that they
heartily received rousing civic
welcomes in the communities they
visited; and, of course, these receptions were accompanied by the usual
public speeches and dinners.
At four o'clock on August 27, 1912
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a flask was
filled with Atlantic water and the
wheels of the Reo were ceremoniously backed into the ocean. The
westward journey from Nova Scotia
to British Columbia is eloquently and
humorously described in WUby's book
of Victorian prose, A Motor Tour
Through Canada. The purpose of this
paper is not to relate the traveUers' tale
The Reo Special touring car manufactured in St. Catherines, Ontario,
(photo courtesy of Kootenay Museum Assn.)
between these two points but to
describe the astonishing feats accomplished in motoring through the
Kootenay region of British Columbia.
This alone should give the reader an
inkling of their adventures from
"Halifax to Vancouver — All Red
By October 3, 1912 Wilby, Haney
and Wise had reached Cranbrook,
British Columbia. Although superb
trails and roads entered Cranbrook
from the east, the route westward included a swamp and a narrow mountain trail considered impassable by
automobile. The motorists were
strongly advised to ship their car by
rail to Nelson or even Castlegar and
spend their time touring the beautiful
Kootenay valley to the north.
However, our stalwart heroes refused
to entrain the Reo unless absolutely
The next day, after the usual city
haU reception, the trio left Cranbrook
at about three o'clock following J.R.
McNabb's pilot-car that would guide
them to Yahk. Walter Halsall joined
the group for the trip to Creston.
Although their objective was to reach
Yahk by dusk, there was a five mile
swamp and forest between Moyie
Lake and their destination point. As
a precaution, the automobilists had
telephoned ahead to have a team of
horses waiting for them but, upon
entering the swamp, driver and horses
were nowhere to be seen. The
motorists lit their acetylene lamps and
the Reo tentatively took the lead over
a narrow track filled with rock, mud
and water. Mirky pools of unknown
depth were cautiously sounded before
being crossed.
Often we plunged along at angles
which no motor-car was ever intended to take, inwardly praying
for the advent of the horses. We
were buried to the flanks in the
slough and at times both cars
sank to the hubs, listing heavily, grinding and ploughing their
way, pounding the tyres to rags,
while the engines roared and
groaned and the wheels angrily
shot the water in inky spindrift
over men and trees. (A Motor
Tour, 244)
After two hours the automobilists
came across the long expected horses;
and the remainder of the journey to
Yahk was relatively uneventful.
At Yahk the traU came to an abrupt
end. The only route ahead was fourteen miles of train tracks. Since driving along the railway right-of-way was
illegal, the pilot surreptitiously made
inquiries at a dingy bar and discovered
that no trains, "barring a possible
freight or two", were expected for the
next few hours. After a hasty meal, the
motorists bid farewell to their pilot
B.C. Historical News MOYIE LAKe)}.'
who had to return to Cranbrook
through the swamp. They then drove
west to find a level crossing where the
automobUe could be placed on the
track under the cover of darkness. For
the next few hours WUby and his crew
encountered the most dangerous and
nerve-racking section of the entire trip.
Four pairs of eyes strove to
pierce the distance ahead and
behind; and every nerve was
strained in listening for a possible monster of steel and steam
which might dash down upon us
at any moment from around a
curve or catch us in its swift
career from behind!  Muscles
were tense, ready for the leap to
a precarious safety at first sight
of an approaching headlight. . .
As the wheels — one within
and one outside the track —
crept from sleeper to sleeper,
there was an incessant and infernal jiggling and jolting that
shook the teeth and vibrated
through the spine. The jaw rattled sUghtly as when a man shivers
with cold. One felt as though in
speaking there was a danger of
biting the tongue at every attempt at articulation.
Time dragged on interminably
as we chased the long triangle of
briUiant Ught into the forest. The
way had been straight only for
a mile or so, then it began to contort and twist and writhe and
throw itself into agonies as if trying to toss us off the rails. The
track ran sharply downhill: one
could sense the grade in the
sound of the engines and the
'feel' of the pedals. The curves
grew sharper and shorter, the
contortions more violent.  (A
Motor Tour, 246 - 47)
On occasion the wheels would get
caught in the frogs of the switches. The
car was hastily jacked up, freed, and
continued on its way. Needless to say,
the spikes on the sides of the rails cut
the tires to ribbons. FinaUy the lonely
railway station at Kitchener loomed
out of the darkness and it was then
possible to get on the "government
road" to Creston.
The motorists' celebration was
shortlived when they soon discovered
that the "road" was actuaUy a mountainous path that precariously climbed up above the Goat River gorge.
Fortunately the canyon was hidden in
darkness or they may never had attempted the narrow, winding ascent.
On one steep hUl of shale rock, the car
was stuck three times. Block and tackle
had to be used to slowly pull the vehi
cle up the incline. At three o'clock in
the morning of October 5th, the Reo
was the first automobile to enter the
town of Creston by "road". Four
weary traveUers roused the sleepy-eyed
proprietor of a darkened hotel, had a
short celebration in the dimly lit bar,
and then tumbled off to bed.
Later that day, the traveUers left
Creston on yet another swampy traU.
Their destination was Kootenay Landing, the Canadian Pacific RaUway's
terminus of the Crows Nest Line
located on the west side of Kootenay
Lake at the mouth of the Kootenay
River. Two river crossings separated
them from the Crow Boat for Nelson.
The motorists were guided past the
Kutenai Indian Reservation via an
almost invisible trail meandering amid
stranded logs until they reached the
first ferry crossing about twelve miles
south of the steamboat landing. They
then proceeded across the tall, rank
grass of Kootenay Flats to the second
crossing. At this time of the year the
water level of the Kootenay River was
twenty feet below its mud banks.
To get the car down to the level
of the river was a Herculean task
which required all the strength
and ingenuity of five men and
the aid of stubbing posts, ropes
and planks. Once on the raft,
boats towed it across and a team
hauled it up to terra-firma again.
There were moments when it
looked as though the career of
the Reo would end there and
then in a watery grave. ('Cross
Canada, n.p)
The  pathfinders  finally  reached
Kootenay Landing one minute before
the scheduled departure of the Crow
Boat for Nelson. According to Wilby
this was the first automobile trip between Creston and Kootenay Landing.
At the Nelson City Wharf, a deputation of Nelson's two automobUes met
Wilby and his crew. That evening the
motorists  were entertained at the
Strathcona Hotel by local dignitaries.
This gave Wilby the opportunity to
discuss with road experts the best route
from Nelson to the coast. Because of
the difficult terrain west of the city,
it was decided to ship the Reo by flat-
car to Castlegar. H.H. Cleugh would
B.C. Historical News
10 accompany Wilby as pilot between
Castlegar and Rossland.
The next day, October 6, just before
their departure a photograph was
taken in front of the Strathcona. This
is the photograph that inspired the
research for this story.
The rest of the trip to their coastal
destination was relatively uneventful
except for one thriUing section in the
Fraser River canyon just north of Lytton. Again the Reoists were motoring
on rough, meandering roads when
darkness caught up to them. With
their big acetylene lamps on they slowly crept forward and on two separate
occasions they came face to face with
wagons heading in the opposite direction. Twice they gingerly backed out
onto a jutting ledge to let the wagons
pass. As if that was not enough, approximately ten mUes from Lytton, the
lamps went out leaving them in total
darkness! They were out of acetylene
gas and because the small oil lamps
were mounted too far from the road
their light was too feeble. In desperation, Earl Wise took one of the lamps,
stretched himself along the outside
fender, held the lamp out close to the
ground, and shouted directions to
Haney as they inched their way forward! This night certainly matched the
excitement of their Kootenay
Their long journey, however, was
not considered complete until they dipped the front wheels of the Reo Special
into the Pacific Ocean at Alberni, B.C.
on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
On October 17,1912 after 4,000 mUes
of travel, the flask of Atlantic water
was ceremoniously emptied into the
Pacific. The Reo Special had lived up
to its builders expectations and, amazingly, the front right tire was the same
one that had left Halifax fifty-two
days earlier! The objective of the
Canadian Highway Association was
also realized and the importance of
having an east-west, "AU Red Route"
was demonstrated. The Association
hoped that this celebrated trip would
inspire the governments to construct
a complete transcontinental highway
by 1917, the fiftieth anniversary of
Canadian confederation. Unfortunately this dream was not fuUy realized until decades later.
"Across Canada By Automobile
Thomas W. WUby Finds Route For
Transcontinental Road." Vancouver Sun October 15, 1912, 1.
"By Motor Car: from ocean to ocean
in fifty-two days." New York
Times Book Review (April 5,1914):
Section 7, 163, col. 1.
CoUins, Robert. A Great Way To Go:
the automobile in Canada. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1969. Chapter 5,
57 - 59.
"Cross Canadian Rockies." New
York Times September 22, 1912,
Section 8, 11, col. 3.
"Dunlop Tires On Cross-Country
Tour." Vancouver Province October 16, 1912, 5.
Durnford, Hugh, and Baechler,
Glenn. Cars of Canada. Toronto:
McClelland and Stewart, 1973.
Chapter 5, 190 - 200.
"From the Atlantic To The Pacific."
Cranbrook Herald October 10,
1912, 1.
GuiUet, Edwin C. The Story of Canadian Roads.Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1966. Chapter 15,
219 - 224.
"Halifax To Vancouver, Arrival At
Cranbrook." The Prospector October 5, 1912, 1.
"A Motor Tour Through Canada."
Times Literary Supplement
(November 27, 1913): 567.
"Pathfinder Arrives Tonight." Cran-
' brook Herald October 3, 1912, 1.
"Pathfinder Reaches Vancouver."
Nelson Daily News October 15,
1912, 3.
"Reaches Nelson On Cross Canada
Trip.'' Nelson Daily News October
7, 1912, 8.
Taylor, G.W. The Automobile Saga
of British Columbia, 1864 -1914
Victoria: Morriss PubUshing, 1984.
"Transdominion Auto Arrives: uses
tackle to ascend heavy grade."
Creston Review October 11, 1912,
Wilby, Thomas W. "Across Canada
By Automobile: from Halifax to
Winnipeg ..." Travel 20.
(February 1913):18 - 20, 52 - 54.
Wilby, Thomas W. "Across Canada
By Automobile: over the prairie
trails ..." Travel 20. (March
1913):22 - 24,53 - 57.
Wilby, Thomas W. 'Cross Canada
With the "AU-Red" Route Reo St.
Catherines? :Reo Sales Company,
Wilby, Thomas W. "Logging Two
Transcontinental Routes By
AutomobUe: notes from the pioneer
circular tour of the United States."
Coi//er's48.(February 17, 1912):
29 - 31.
Wilby, Thomas W. A Motor Tour
Through Canada London: John
Lane, The Bodley Head, 1914.
Ron Wd\rood is a Public Services Librarian
at Selkirk College as well as an avid collector of Kootenaiana. He authored Nelson's
Architectural Heritage Walking Tour and
Architectural Heritage Motoring Tour
brochures which collectively won the B.C. ■
Heritage Society's Annual Award of
Distinction for 1987.
Gerry Andrews
The first white men to penetrate the
Western Plains far enough to see the
Rocky Mountains were intrigued by
what might be hidden beyond them.
Young Henry Kelsey from Hudson
Bay, 1690-92, did not get far enough
to see them. La Verendrye's sons Ukely
saw them from the Missouri River
before 1750. Anthony Henday reached the foothills in Alberta in 1754.
Alexander Mackenzie was first to cross
aU mountains, north of Mexico, to the
Pacific Ocean, in 1793.
I completed Grade IX at Kelvin
High School in Winnipeg, in 1918 at
the age of 14. That year from late
March till mid September I worked on
a Manitoba farm as a "soldier of the
soil," the First World War situation
being still very grave. Among other
things I learned about handling horses.
After harvest I moved with my parents
to Calgary and enrolled in Grade X at
Crescent Heights High School. On
winter mornings, climbing up the hill
to school I could see the Rocky Mountains in grand panorama to the West,
illuminated by the rosy tints of sunrise.
The highest ground I had ever seen
before was probably Birds Hill, at a
gravel pit near Winnipeg. Like the early explorers, I wondered what was
beyond those rugged mountains.
As holidays approached in June,
1919,1 was again in the market for a
job. A want ad in the Calgary Herald
offered one for the summer as waiter
Railway YMCA, Field,
B.C., 1919. Mt. Dennis
behind; Kicking Horse
River in Front.
in the Railway YMCA at Field, B.C.
Even at that tender age I had learned
that a telegram goes to the top of the
pUe for attention so I appUed by Night
Letter. It worked. I went up to Field
by CPR, the last Saturday in June —
about a 5-hour trip — through
Cochrane, Morley, Banff, Lake
Louise, over the Great Divide and
down through the Spiral Tunnels to
Field — exciting for a prairie lad!
The discovery and choice of Rogers
Pass (El. 4345 ft.) through the Selkirk
Mountains, in September 1882, also
cast the die in favor of Kicking Horse
Pass (El. 5339 ft.), discovered in 1858
by (Sir) James Hector, for the CPR's
crossing of the Rocky Mountains,
1883-4. PoUtical and financial advantages of this choice imposed a high
price in engineering and operational
costs due to excessive grades, particularly between Cathedral (El. 4501
ft), near the mouth of Yoho River, and
Hector (El. 5219 ft) at Wapta Lake,
where a route distance of little over 3
miles had to climb 718 feet. This
equates to a grade of over 4%, twice
the "acceptable" maximum.
To service this critical segment of
the railway a major depot was
established and named Field, after
Cyrus W. Field (1819-92), of trans-
Atlantic cable fame, who visited the
area in 1884. It was located about 10
route miles west of the summit on the
left bank of Kicking Horse River at the
base of Mount Stephen where there
was enough level ground for railway
yards, shops, warehouses and personnel accomodation.
The steepest grade became known
as the "Big HiU" and was notorious
for accidental loss of life and equipment as weU as prohibitive operational
costs. These were remedied 1909-11 by
boring the famous "Spiral Tunnels"
into the massifs of Mount Ogden and
Cathedral Mountain thereby adding
about 5 miles distance to reduce the
grade within the acceptable limit of
B.C. Historical News
12 The scenic amenities surrounding
Field made it an important base for
tourism when Yoho National Park
was established in 1886.
The "Y" at Field in 1919, was housed in Mount Stephen House, the old
CPR hotel, built in the late 1880's. It
was an enormous wooden gingerbread structure, fronting on the station platform (photo 1). Its coffee
shop, open all hours, catered mainly
to railway crews, and to day-coach
passengers who could get a quick
cheap snack there. Field was a Divisional Point where crews and
locomotives from Calgary and
Revelstoke were changed and coaches
serviced. This took about half an hour.
At that time and season there were at
least six passenger trains each way each
day. Highways were not yet built, so
all through travel was by rail.
I reported to Mr. Rice, the "Y"
Secretary, and was given a small
bedroom, one floor up overlooking
the station. I was put on night shift in
the coffee shop ^10 pm to 8 am,
seven days a week, pay about $40 per
month, all found. This was nearly
twice what I got as a "soldier of the
soil" in 1918. The seven-day week
seemed hardly compatible with
"Christian" in YMCA. I soon got into
the routine, if a bit clumsy at first. I
never became adept at carrying umpteen plates or cups of coffee with one
The cUentele on my shift were mostly freight crews, who were sometimes
cranky, being away from their homes
in Calgary or Revelstoke. I stood my
ground against the bullies but
discovered there were some "good
guys" too. I contrived to eat some
breakfast before going off duty and
supper after going on at night — but
without much appetite. Often I made
a bag lunch to eat outdoors. The quiet
hour was about 4 am when I could
hardly keep my eyes open. But by 8
am I was very wide awake. Instead of
going to bed I had to get out in the
glorious sun and scenery. There were
easy hikes to beautiful and interesting
places. I felt hemmed in by the four
nearby mountains, Stephen, Dennis,
Burgess and Field, which cradled the
town. The problem, aggravated by the
noise of trains below my window, was
to get enough sleep.
One day a friendly pusher engineer
asked me if I would like a ride with
him up through the Spiral Tunnels. He
said I should be near the track about
ten o'clock, out of sight just beyond
the station. I was there and as he passed, I hopped on the step and climbed
up into the cab. The fireman, not
much older than I sat on a leather
cushion on the left with his hand on
a fuel control — pretty soft! His pay
would be more than twice mine. The
engineer sat on the right, at the throttle. It was exciting to be carried along
in the bosom of this dragon monster.
In about half an hour we saw the
beautiful Yoho Valley on our left and
then entered the lower spiral tunnel.
Lingering smoke from the front
engines was suffocating and I fainted,
partly from nervous tension. They
revived me with a cold air jet and
thought it a big joke. I survived the
second tunnel. Then, at a siding near
the summit, the lead engine and the
pusher were detached, aUowing the
rest of the train to move on east. The
two extra engines then hooked
together and returned downgrade to
Field, stopping in the yards past the
station. I thanked my hosts for such a
wonderful experience and walked back
to the "Y" and to bed — to dream of
space travel in a steam leviathan.
Toward the end of July I became
disillusioned with the job at the "Y"
— not enough sleep, no days off,
smeUy indoor work and poor appetite,
but I did not complain. Someone must
have recommended me to Mr. Joe
LaBeUe who, I think, ran a large boarding house in Field for CPR laborers.
I had no contract with the "Y", so
when LaBeUe offered me a job as
bullcook at the CPR tent camp at
Takakkaw Falls up the Yoho Valley,
I accepted and notified Mr. Rice that
I would quit as of the end of July.
Takakkaw Camp, ten miles from
Field by wagon road, catered to
tourists. Most were driven there by
carriage for a posh lunch at the camp
and returned to Field in the afternoon.
More affluent and leisurely guests took
a 3-day trip by saddle horse with
guides. The first day was by trail over
Burgess and Yoho Passes to overnight
at the camp. The second day featured
Takakkaw Camp, Gerry Andrews, bullcook,
the trail up to the head of Yoho VaUey
to see the ice cave and other sights
there and back to the camp for a second night. Day 3 was by trail over
Yoho Pass and down to Emerald Lake
Chalet, thence to Field by road. Mr.
LaBeUe had the concession to operate
the camp and Brewsters handled
transport and guides from their depot
across the Kicking Horse River from
the station at Field, for which Mr.
Lyal Currie was manager.
The campsite, in a rough meadow
commanded a fine view of Takakkaw
Falls less than a mile away across the
valley. There was good forage for
horses and a small brook provided excellent water. There was a good cook
tent, a large dining tent and about ten
bedroom tents for overnight guests
and like tents for the staff. A large
teepee was used for evening campfires.
The cook, Miss Pirie, was boss. She
was very Scotch, mature, buxom,
capable and short tempered. But she
had a warm heart withal. I have since
learned that good camp cooks are
often cranky — and for good reasons.
The waitress-chambermaid, a younger
woman, shared a tent with the cook
who later confided to me that her
tentmate said long prayers at bedtime
and added "I've na time ta pray — I
talk ta God while I'm workin". When
annoyed she did, and with lurid eloquence. Meals served to guests in the
dining tent were right up to top CPR
B.C. Historical News MissPirie, cook and 'boss', Takakaw Camp.
standards of the day — spotless linen
with the fuU array of dishes and
cutlery. The two women enjoyed
decorating the tables with wild
flowers. No liquor was served and
everything was prepaid in Field so no
cashier was needed.
My duties as buUcook included cutting firewood and kindUng, Ughting aU
fires, fetching water, washing dishes,
peeUng vegetables, burying noncom-
bustible garbage and keeping the
premises tidy. I slept in my own tent
and ate at the cook tent. I had no
direct contact with the guests. One
morning while filling the boss's wood
box, I clumsily upset a tray of cooked bacon set on a large water boiler
to keep warm while the eggs were frying. The air was blue with sparks from
Miss Pirie's hot line to the Almighty.
But when loading my plate she would
add an extra portion and say "Tis y're
a growin lad and it requires ta feed
ye". She had cooked in a hotel at Fernie, B.C., and remembered the
devastating fire there in 1908.
My jobs required no supervision so
I arranged my own timetable. There
was lots of fresh air and the environment was beautiful. In afternoons,
after the lunch guests had gone and
before the overnight people arrived for
supper, we had our interlude of spare
time. Miss Pirie, on the other end of
a crosscut saw, often helped me cut
down a dry tree for the woodpile. To
haul the logs, there was an old saddle
horse which I looked after and exercised on nearby trails. Often I cut
wood in the cool of evening. Occasionally guests strolled by to watch or
chat. Many were interesting and kindly. My day began early, lighting the
cook's stove first then all the heaters
in the guest tents while they were supposedly still asleep. I remember a tall
chap's bare feet, protruding in the cold
air from the end of his bed. I resisted
the temptation to tickle them. The
evenings were cool and nights cold,
often with frost. The elevation was
over 5,000 ft. Often before bedtime the
guides lit a fire in the teepee to entertain the guests with songs and yarns.
I don't remember being invited to
these. When I finally retired to my
lonely tent I had no trouble getting to
sleep, (Photo 9). Our one neighbor
was another Scot, Jock Tocher, Park
Warden who bached in his cabin near
the foot of the faUs (Photo 10). He was
friendly and no doubt was attracted by
Miss Pirie's hospitality with a good
meal on the house.
One evening when I was washing the
supper dishes down behind the cook
tent, Miss Pirie brought me a lady's
riding boots which had got muddy on
the trail. The owner wanted them
cleaned. I protested that this was not
one of my duties and anyway I had no
kit. She kidded me along and found
me some rags and grease. I was really
fond of the old girl so did the best I
could and the boots were duly returned to the owner, but not by me. After
breakfast next morning I was at the
dishwashing station as usual, when the
lady in her nice clean boots came
down, probably directed by Miss Pirie.
She thanked me and offered a $2-tip.
This I poUtely declined, said I was paid
for my work and that my family never
had to take tips for a living. She was
offended and marched off in a bit of
a huff. Just as her party, which included a son nearly my age, were ready to
mount and leave, she came again, said
she appreciated my attitude and
repeated her thanks. I was certainly
getting some lessons in the rudiments
of human nature!
On 3 September just before the
camp was to close for the season and I
had to think about getting back to
school, my father came through Field
on a business trip and stopped for the
day to see me. Brewsters' Mr. Currie
kindly arranged a ride for him in one
of the buggies coming out for lunch.
He enjoyed one of Miss Pirie's wonderful meals also on the house and we
had time to see some local sights
before he had to go back. He loved it,
(Photos 11, 12, 13).
A day or two later, when the camp
was shutting down, my baggage was
conveyed to Field by road and I was
told to deliver the saddle horse to
Brewsters' stables there. Instead of going direct, I was allowed a couple of
days to see the local sights by trail.
First day I went up to the head of
Yoho Valley. Jock Tocher may have
accompanied me or at least told me
what to see and how to find my way.
(Photos 14, 15, 16). The second day
I went up over Yoho Pass and down
to Emerald Lake, and thence by road
to Field. The high trails afforded some
grand views of the surroundings
(Photos 17, 18, 19). I duly delivered
the horse to Mr. Currie at Field and
thanked him for his kindness to my
father and me. I picked up my baggage, and hopped the eastbound train
through scenery now more familiar
and got to Calgary in time to enroll
in Grade XI at Crescent Heights High
I had now seen a bit of what lay just
beyond these rugged mountains visible on the western skyline from Calgary. But I did not know then that the
summer after next, 1921, Fate would
give me one more wonderful summer
based at Field, B.C.
B.C. Historical News
,0    From Sam Juau
«,V   and GULF ISP*-
Geoffrey Castle
MATlVEVaiAGfS 1842
When Fort Victoria was established in 1843 the Songish Indians, which
were part of the Coast Salish native
group, inhabited the Saanich peninsula. Their ancestry was a mixture of
the two main groupings of people who
settled southeastern Vancouver Island.
With the coming of the Hudson's
Bay Company activities, they abandoned their villages and Ufestyle and
virtually disappeared from Saanich.
The Sooke-Victoria-Saanich area was
settled by 3 separate linguistic groups
of Coast Salish. In addition to the
Songish in Saanich, Victoria and Esquimalt, there were Saanich Indians
on the Saanich peninsula and the
Sooke who lived in the Becher Bay-
Sooke Basin area.
By the beginning of the 19th century
it was estimated that the total Indian
population in this area was reduced to
2,000 following a smallpox epidemic.
After fur traders introduced firearms
there was a further decrease in the
native population as they fought one
another. Attacks from bands with
superior strength caused the Gulf
Island and San Juan Island natives to
resettle at Saanichton Bay and the
Sidney ones moved to Patricia (Union)
Bay. The Sooke band moved from
Becher Bay to Sooke Basin but by
1850 their population was reduced to
60. The largest remaining groups were
found in the villages of the Saanich
and the Songish, at Cadboro Bay.
Each dweUing housed a clan, and a
viUage like Cadboro Bay consisted of
several clans. There the stockade was
about 150 feet square and 20 feet high
with about 500 natives. Villages were
located in bays to provide protection.
Though Ufe centered around the sea
and its resources, the Indians hunted
elk and deer, waterfowl and bear.
They also grew some crops, the most
important of which was the bulb of the
camas plant. In summer, the Saanich
natives traveUed to Point Roberts and
the Songish went to San Juan Island
for fishing. Red cedar provided their
clothing (as did dog hides and wool)
and shelter as well as transportation.
The southeastern Vancouver Island
bands were inter-related from previous
marriages and traded with each other
but when Fort Victoria was buUt, the
Songish people abandoned their
vUlages and moved closer to the fort.
Around then, they changed their name
to Songhees.
In 1860, the Songhees relocated in
what is now Victoria West and remained there until 1913 when they moved
to the Esquimalt Indian Reserve. Today, there are no Indian reserves
within Saanich MunicipaUty although
there are two in each of Central
Saanich and North Saanich municipalities.
Geoffrey Castle is the Municipal Archivist for
the Corporation of the District of Saanich and
past president of the Victoria section of the
B.C. Historical Federation.
B.C. Historical News A Solar-Lunar Observatory,
Montague Harbour, Galiano Island
Les Laronde
There is evidence that Montague
Harbour on Galiano Island may be a
site of unique astronomical importance. It is possible that the way we
measure time — a 365 Va day year
divided into twelve months — was first
discovered in this Gulf Island setting.
From the most protected corner of
Montague Harbour, an area with Unks
to primitive man that go back fifty-five
centuries, it is easy to calculate the
length of the year, the day of the summer solstice and the movements of the
moon. It is probable that man was not
in the area too long before discovering its astronomical significance. After
all, 4800 years ago, seven hundred
years after man arrived in the Gulf
Islands, construction of Stonehenge
was begun by a people who already
possessed a highly developed
knowledge of the movements of the
When we look out to sea from the
ancient vUlage site at the southernmost
corner of Montague Harbour, we see
that hills and forest surround the
sheltered waters except for one narrow
channel to the northwest; the lone
mountain on the skyline above that
channel is Mt. Benson, 57 km away on
Vancouver Island. The spectacular
sunsets in May down the edge of this
1019 m mountain can be used to compare the relationship between the
phases of the moon and the moon's
position among the stars.
Figure 1. The synodic sunset.2
When the right upper edge of the
sun first sets into the right face of Mt.
Benson, about May 22 (between the
dashed Unes as shown on figure 1), the
moon is in the same phase, e.g. full
moon, as it will be one month later,
at summer solstice.
When the entire sun first roUs down
and into the right face of the mountain, about May 24 (between the dashed lines as shown in figure 2), the
moon appears in the same group of
stars where it will be at summer
solstice. This method of finding the
solstice is accurate to within twelve
hours. Finding midsummers day by
direct observation is not possible
because the sun sets in the same place
for three or four days around the time
of the solstice.
The people who lived in the Gulf
Islands had a practical reason for
knowing the movements of the moon:
the unique local tides respond to those
movements. The Coast Salish people
who navigated the inland waters between Vancouver Island and the
mainland of British Columbia Uved by
the tides. They paddled hundreds of
miles each year between traditional
seasonal settlements gathering food
and other resources.4
Although there is evidence that a
large population lived at least
seasonally at Montague Harbour over
a very long period of time, just who
those people were remains a mystery,5
and it is impossible to say for certain
that they or any other coast Salish
could predict the tides.
We do know that the Cowichan and
the Saanich people used to spend late
spring and early summer in the Gulf
Islands. These people had a lunar
calendar that began at winter solstice.6
Some said there were twelve moons to
the year and some claimed there were
thirteen.7 The moon is fuU twelve times
in a year but returns to the same place
among the stars thirteen times which
may explain this discrepancy.
The Cowichans determined the time
of winter solstice by going to a certain
place and observing the sun rising in
relation to a distant mountain peak.
A similar method was used at Bella
Coola and at other places along the
B.C. coast to determine the summer
All the Coast Salish named con-
steUations so they could have noted the
position of the moon in the stars
throughout the month.'
The Montague Harbour site may be
B.C. Historical News
16 Figure 2. The siderial sunset.3
unique in the Americas for fitting the
solar and lunar movements to the
tides. Although prehistoric observatories were used from Saskatchewan
to Peru and from California to
Florida,10 the Inca were the only Indian people known to have timed
events by the moon's monthly return
to a position among the stars."
The observatory site at Montague
Harbour has not yet been radiocarbon dated. Helen Point on Mayne
Island, a site six km away at the
western entrance to Active Pass has
been dated back to about 3500 B.C.
and the Pender Canal site on Pender
Island has been dated back to about
3000 B.C.12 so it is probable that the
observatory site is about the same age.
The earliest investigated observatory
site in the Americas, at Izapa, Mexico, was radio-carbon dated to 1500
This unique site, where the interrelationship between the observer and
the cycles of the sun, the moon, the
tides and all the life around him can
so easUy be seen, should be scientifically investigated and protected for future
generations. The remains of one of the
world's longest lasting vUlages are now
rapidly washing away.
British Columbia Provincial Museum,
1971), 26.
James C. Haggafty and John H.W.
Sendey, "Test Excavation at the
Georgeson Bay Site, Gulf of Georgia
Region, British Columbia," in Occasional Papers of the British Columbia
Museum No. 19 (Victoria, Ministry
of the Provincial Secretary and
Travel Industry, 1976), 10.
H.G. Barnett, "Culture Element
Distributions: IX Gulf of Georgia
Salish," in University of California
Publications in Anthropological
Records Vol. 1 No. 5 (Berkeley:
University of California, 1939), 250.
Ibid., 287.
Diamond Jenness, "The Faith of a
Coast Salish Indian," in Anthropology in British Columbia,
Memoir No. 3, (Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 19SS), 87.
Barnett, "Culture Element," 251.
Ray A. Williamson, Living the Sky
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984), 2.
Ibid., 15.
Roy L. Carlson, in a speech to the
Gulf Islands Branch of the B.C.
Historical Federation given at Pender
Island, March 5, 1986.
Vincent H. Malmstrom, "Architecture, Astronomy, and Calendrics in
Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica," in
Ray A. Williamson, ed. Ar-
chaeoastronomy in the Americas (Los
Altos, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1981),
We appeal...
for donations to buUd up endowment funds for two projects undertaken by the British Columbia
Historical Federation. It has been
moved/seconded and carried that the
British Columbia Historical Federation
1.) A monetary prize to the winners) of the annual competition for
Writers of B.C. History.
2.) A scholarship for a student
entering fourth year in a British Columbia university taking a major in
British Columbia/Canadian history.
The writing Competition Prize Fund
has seen endowment which will
guarantee a $100 prize can be paid to
the 1986 winter. This is a beginning.
You can make it possible for the B.C.
Historical Federation to offer more
than one prize, and attract more entrants to this competition.
We thank all those who have made
donations to these projects, and urge
other readers to send a cheque today
The Treasurer — B.C. Historical
P.O. Box 35326
Station E
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
State which project you are supporting. AU donations wiU be acknowledged with a receipt for tax exemption
1. Alexander Thorn, Megalithic Lunar
Observatories (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1971), 115
2. The sun sets as indicated by the dashed lines an average synodic month
(29.53 plus/-0.5 days) before summer
3. The sun sets as indicated by the dashed lines an average siderial month
(27.32 plus/-0.5 days) before summer
4. Donald H. Mitchell, "Archaeology of
the Gulf of Georgia area, a natural
region and its culture types," in
Syesis, 4, Supplement 1 (Victoria:
Les Laronde moved to Galiano Island in 1977
and lived at the observatory site at Montague
Harbour for almost 8 years. He has traveUed
a good deal in Asia and the South Pacific.
Rae Purcell
This story could begin with 'Once
Upon a Time', however, since the
dates are recorded for posterity, we
shaU begin in 1889, four years after the
Canadian Pacific Railway had clinked its way across the vast Prairie and
struggled through the harsh, unforgiving Rockies bringing settlers, loggers,
homesteaders and many other
speculators to this land of milk and
honey on the West Coast of Canada.
Imagine then: surprise to find that the
area known as British Columbia had
already developed the cities of Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria
along the Une of the Coast, that the
inhabitants had experienced the rise
and demise of places like Barkerville,
Granite City and Fort Langley along
the 'Mighty Fraser River' and that industrious farmers were busy forging
a UveUhood from the fertile acres of
the Fraser VaUey.
Communities were flourishing along
the stretch of land that bordered the
49th paraUel. Spur railroad Unes were
interwoven through the area to
transport lumber and commodities
south to lucrative mUls and ports in the
United States. U.S. border towns provided the mail service for many
Place names were constantly changing to accomodate new landowners.
One such change occurred at BIGGAR
PRAIRIE, an area bounded on the
south by the International Boundary
Line (0 Ave.), the Old Yale Road to
the north, Brown Road (240th St.) and
Johnson Townline Road (216th St.)
the east and west perimeters of that
portion of Langley MunicipaUty.
Department of Education records in
Victoria refer to a school being part
of the Richard Thomas Biggar
homestead in 1889. As was the custom
of that day, lessons could have been
taught to local chUdren in the parlor
of the house. These same records show
that in 1892, a power struggle erupted
between the Biggar family and the
Cameron Clan — homesteaders in.
1888 — and that the name Biggar was
officiaUy changed to Lochiel, thereby
implanting the namesake of the head
of the Cameron Clan of Scotland
firmly in the lore and soil of British
In 1896, a red school house was
built with lumber obtained from
Baumgartner's mill located on Old
Yale Road and floated across the
water on Biggar Prairie (the name is
still in use today) to a one-acre site
which had been cleared out of the
wilderness adjacent to the Biggar
residence. The school fronted on
North Bluff Road (now 16th Ave.)
which was little more than a land
boundary trail winding through the
It appears that the two feuding fac
tions reached a compromise as the
Lochiel School was situated on property donated by the Biggar family.
However, there continued to be much
wrangling between the three trustees
of the school — of which Mr.
Cameron was one — and members of
the community when the question of
retaining teachers arose.
A photograph taken in 1900 and
displayed at the Langley Centennial
Museum in Fort Langley shows a class
of twelve students ranging in age from
primary to secondary. An interesting
feature of the picture iUustrates the
dress code adopted for that era; bare
feet on the youngsters seated at the
The size of enrolment determined
the operation of the school which was
sporadic in the early days. Any visual
aid that was provided came from the
sun and the occasional coal-burning
lamp. A large heater, filled with cordwood from the shed in the back, sat
in the center of the room and suppUed
the comforts of 'central heating'. For
those days when the weather was less
than ideal, it also served as a clothes
By 1924, the school board chose to
consolidate the students from the
Lochiel district with those at Mur-
rayviUe. The residents of Lochiel balked at this suggestion and demanded a
new school instead. After much
debate, an understanding was reached by both parties and a new one-room
building to replace the old red school
house was erected on the same property, somewhat closer to the road. The
arrangement was short-Uved. The new
structure was used for the period of
one year, then abandoned and the
students transported to MurrayvUle in
the first recorded school bus in the
Langley district.
Wilfred Lewis, who owned a '23
Ford truck with canvas top and a converted van on the back, was paid $75
monthly for the hire of himself and
vehicle. In spite of the condition of the
roads and the inclement weather at
times, he is reported to have provided excellent service. One can only surmise the reaction of the teachers as this
same truck was used in the off-hours
to haul livestock. Students attending
B.C. Historical News
18 Langley High School paid $3 per
month for the privilege of riding on
the tailgate.
In 1937, due to overcrowding in the
central school, Lochiel was reopened
and students were transferred from
Glenwood to ensure a full class with
thirty-five to forty pupils in the six
Janitorial services which included
lighting the fire, carrying wood, filling a three gallon tank which was
situated in the cloakroom with water
from the dug well, sweeping and
dusting the school etc. cost the School
Board $5 per month.
A favorite game of the day was
Antey-I-Over; played by two teams,
one to each side of the school. The object of the game was to throw the baU
over the roof. A missile inadvertently
crashing through the window suspended further playing for a period of time.
There was a serious aspect in the
lives of the students in these years.
War had broken out in many countries
of Europe and Canadians answered
the call to support England and her
Allies. Because of the close proximity
to the coast, the danger of invasion
seemed a possible threat and the
schools were instructed to conduct air
drills. AU pupils had to leave the
building and scatter. On weekends,
many of the older boys were trained
by the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers
to be runners (messengers).
In 1950, Lochiel school was moved
to a three-acre plot of land on 224th
St., just north of 16th Ave. Two portables, one trucked in from Langley
Prairie and the other brought from
Fort Langley, plus an administration
block, separate from the original
buUding, were added in the fifties. The
outdoor 'biffies', no longer in use but
stiU on the property, were retired in
With the advent of indoor plumbing came frozen pipes, and Lochiel experienced its first fire. A torch being
used to thaw the lines, ignited the
tinder-dry wood under the sink. A
passing RCMP officer, alerted by the
alarm, assisted the staff with portable
fire equipment and the blaze was
In the years 1965 to 1975 enrolment
in the school reached as high as one
hundred and fifty-six students. The
complex consisted of four classrooms,
music room, three administration
rooms, a new library and half-gym as
weU as the old building.
In 1975, arsonists set fire to the
building after vandaUzing the rooms,
and the school was destroyed with the
exception of the half-gym, part of the
library and the old school which suffered severe smoke and water damage.
Heavy snowfall and freezing
temperatures prevented firemen from
using local ponds or ditches for a
water supply.
The local Lochiel Community Club
have moved the old building to the
club property at the corner of 16th
Ave. and 224th St., where it has sat
idle this past decade. Renewed interest
in heritage buildings has prompted a
former teacher and student to pursue
this possibiUty. In the event that the
negotiations now in progress are successful, The Old Red School House
wiU be restored and situated on the
Rowlett Farm in Campbell VaUey
As it was in the beginning, so it shall
be in the end.
Please let us have your change of address. The list of branches of the
B.CH.F. is found on the inside front cover. If you cannot remain
a member of your current historical society or join a new one which
is affUiated with the British Columbia Historical Federation, please
indicate your wish for an individual subscription when your present
one runs out.
Same branch of B.CH.F. [      ]
New branch of B.CH.F.: that is
Individual subscription [       ]
Cancel subscription on expiry [
(include Postal Code)
Scholarship Fund
Help us establish a scholarhsip for a
4th year student taking a major or
honors course in Canadian history at
a B.C. University. All donations are
tax deductible. Please send your cheque today to:
The British Columbia Historical
Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 35326
Station E
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
B.C. Historical News Native Issues:
Selected Quotes
"The aboriginal people of Canada,
while reluctant to abandon or even
seriously compromise a way of life
that has stood them in good stead for
many centuries, have always believed
that the land and its resources are to
be shared for the common good of aU
people, not for the exclusive pleasure
of a few. We share the view of some
developing nations that while we attempt 'the great ascent' to a further
measure of economic fulfiUment, we
wish to do so in accord with our own
best interests, mindful of our traditions and cautious in our relationship
with a fragile environment we understand intimately. We do not accept the
proposition that anyone is as weU
qualified to make decisions affecting
our environment as we are ourselves."
Aboriginal People of Canada and
Their Environment, revised edition,
National Indian Brotherhood, Ottawa,
1973, page 1. (President at the time
was George Manuel of B.C.)
"My father's generation was a happy, singing people. They were a proud people. They were strong and
healthy people. They knew what they
wanted and what was good for their
own. The Indian aspired to a clean and
wholesome mind and a staunch,
fearless heart. He was at peace with
his god and he was at peace with
"Quaint folklore tales were used
widely to teach the young the many
wonders of nature; the importance of
all Uving things, no matter how small
and insignificant; and particularly to
acquaint him with the closeness of
man to all animal, bird life and the
creatures of the sea. The young were
taught through the medium of the tales
that there was a place in the sun for
all Uving things.
"This resulted in a deep understanding and love of man for all animal
life. This was so prevalent that an Indian would show remorse and do
penance on the spot whenever he kUled an animal for meat. This practice
prevailed throughout aU the coastal
region of British Columbia."
Son of Raven Son of Deer: Fables
of the Tse-Shaht People, George
Clutesi, Tse Shaht author and artist,
Gray's PubUshing, Sidney, B.C., 1967.
"They had what the world has lost.
They have it now. What the world has
lost, the world must have again, lest
it die. Not many years are left to have
or have not, to recapture the lost ingredient . . .
"What, in our human world, is this
power to live? It is the ancient, lost
reverence and passion for human personality, joined with the ancient, lost
reverence and passion for the earth
and its web of life.
"This indivisible reverence and passion is what the American Indians
almost universally had; and representative groups of them have it still.
"They had and have this power for
Uving which our modern world has lost
— as world-view and self-view, as
tradition and institution, as practical
philosophy dominating their societies
and as an art supreme among all the
Indians of the Americas: American Indians, Past and Present, The Long
Hope, John Collier, distinguished
non-Indian authority on Indian life,
Mentor Books, New York, 1947,
page 7.
"We were a people of a great forest.
That forest was a source of great
wealth. It was a place in which was to
be found huge hardwoods and an
almost unimaginable abundance and
variety of nuts, berries, roots, and
herbs. In addition to these, the rivers
teemed with fish and the forest and its
meadows abounded with game. It was,
in fact, a kind of Utopia, a place where
no one went hungry, a place where the
people were happy and healthy.
"Our traditions were such that we
were careful not to aUow our population to rise to numbers that would
overtax the other forms of life. We
practiced strict forms of conservation.
Our culture is based on a principle that
directs us to constantly think about the
welfare of seven generations into the
future. Our beUef in this principle acts
as a restraint to the development of
practices which would cause suffering -
in the future. To this end, our people
took only as many animals as were
needed to meet our needs. Not until
the arrival of the colonists did the
wholesale slaughter of animals occur.
"In accordance with our ways, we
are required to hold many kinds of
feasts and ceremonies which can best
be described as 'give-aways.' It is said
that among our people, our leaders,
those whom the Anglo people insist on
calling 'chiefs,' are the poorest of us.
By the laws of our culture, our leaders
are both poUtical and spiritual leaders.
They are leaders of many ceremonies
which require the distribution of great
B.C. Historical News
20 wealth. As spiritual/political leaders,
they provide a kind of economic conduit. To become a political leader, a
person is required to be a spiritual
leader, and to become a spiritual
leader a person must be extraordinarily
generous in terms of material goods."
Basic Call to Consciousness: the
Hau De No Sau Nee Address to the
Western World, papers presented to
the Non-Governmental Organizations
of the United Nations in Geneva,
Switzerland, by the Hau De No Sau
Nee, the Six Nations Confederacy, the
Iroquois, in September, 1977. Edited
and published by Akwesasne Notes,
Mohawk Nation, Via Rooseveltown,
New York, U.S.A. 13683, 1978.
In Strengthening the Canadian
Federation, a Government of Canada
pubUcation explaining "The Constitution Amendment 1987," the so-called
Meech Lake Accord, the presence of
two major language groups is said to
be part of what makes Quebec "a
distinct society" within Canada.
"HistoricaUy, it is this linguistic duaU-
ty that has made diversity, not 'the
melting pot,' a Canadian ideal."
On the next page, however, the
report briefly acknowledges that many
"Attempts to further define aboriginal
rights in the Constitution have not yet
been successful . . . But the federal
government is still committed to this
goal ..." One thousand years after
their first contact with Europeans and
five hundred years after Columbus,
and 209 years after Captain James
Cook anchored in Nootka Sound,
Vancouver Island, aboriginal people
of Canada are in fact the most
"distinct society" in the country, but
not yet officially out of the melting
George Catlin, as portrait painter
and expert cross-cultural listener,
became well acquainted with many important Indian tribes even before or
soon after their first contact with what
he caUed, "the bustiing, busy, talking,
elated and exultant white man." His
view is worth a second look now, no
matter how unpopular it was in his
day, 150 years ago:
"I love a people who have always
made me welcome to the best they had
. . . who are honest without laws, who
have no jails and no poor house . . .
who never take the name of God in
vain . . . who worship God without a
Bible, and I believe God loves them
also . . . who are free from religious^
animosities . . . who have never rais
ed a hand against me, or stolen my
property, where there was no law to
punish either . . . who never fought a
battle with white men except on their
own ground . . . and oh! how I love
a people who don't live for the love
of money."
George Catlin and the Old Frontier:
A Biography and Picture Gallery of
the Dean of Indian Painters, Harold
McCracken, Bonanza Books, New
York, 1959.
George Catlin understood in the
1830s what the World Commission on
Environment and Development is trying to tell us late in the 1980s — for
the sake of Our Common Future, we
may finaUy be able to hear the ancient
and stiU relevant wisdom as more promising than continuing the way we are
now going, drifting as Albert Einstein
warned in 1946 "toward unparaUeled
catastrophe" unless we change our
ways of thinking.
Selected by Walt Taylor
Walt Taylor has worked as a human development consultant for a number of Indian
organizations in B.C. and is active in the
Smithers Human Rights Society.
The British Columbia Historical
Federation invites submissions of
books or articles for the fifth annual
Competition for Writers of B.C.
Any book with historical content
pubUshed in 1987 is eligible. The work
may be a community history, a
biography, a record of a project, industry or organization, or personal
recollections giving glimpses of the
past. Names, dates and places with
relevant maps or pictures turn a story
into "history".
The judges are looking for fresh
presentations of historical information
with appropriate iUustrations, careful
proof reading, an adequate index,
table of contents and bibliography.
Winners will be chosen in the following categories:
1) Best history book by an individual writer. Winner receives
the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal.
for Historical Writing and a
monetary prize.
2) Best anthology.
3) Special Award — for an author
or editor of an outstanding
4) Best article published in the
British Columbia Historical
News quarterly magazine.
AU winners wiU receive considerable
publicity, an invitation to the B.C-
Alberta Historical Conference in
Banff in May 1988, and a Certificate
of Merit.
Books should be mailed as soon as
possible after pubUcation to:
British Columbia
Historical Federation
c/o Mrs. Naomi Miller
Box 105
Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Please include name, address and
telephone number, the cost of the
book and an address from where it
may be ordered if a reader has to order
by mail. DeadUne for 1987 book submissions is January 31, 1988.
Articles should be no more than
2,500 words, substantiated with footnotes if possible, and accompanied by
photographs if avaUable. (Photos will
be returned.) Deadlines for the
quarterly issues are September 1,
December 1, March 1, and June 1.
Please send articles directly to:
The Editor
British Columbia
Historical News
P.O. Box 5626 Station B
Victoria, B.C.
V8R 6S4
B.C. Historical News Reports from the Branches
District 69 Historical Society
District 69 Historical Society,
although it conducts a variety of other
programs, concentrates its main thrust
in the maintaining of Craig Heritage
This Park is located on 1.3 acres of
land owned by the City of Parksville
and rented to the Society for a nominal
amount. It is a Museum in which are
located 5 heritage buildings and one
incompleted modern museum
The genesis of Craig Heritage Park
was the re-location there by the Society
of Knox Heritage Church, which was '
made available when a new Knox
United Church was buUt in ParksvUle.
Although the Society was formed in
1972, it was not untU 1982, when the
Church was set-up in Craig Park, that
the Society had a home. It subsequently obtained, moved and restored a
number of other buUdings. The French
Creek Post Office is 100 years old as
is the Duncan MacMillan House (named for the early settler who buUt it).
The Montrose School House and the
Craig's Crossing Post Office are other
old transplanted survivors.
The incompleted museum buUding
was brought to its sheU stage by means
of a Canada Works grant in 1985. It
was supposed that a 1986 grant would
see its completion but the Canada
Works Program was cancelled.
Student guides escort summer
visitors around the Park and draw
their attention to a variety of local artifacts housed in the Church and to a
lesser degree in the Duncan MacMillan
House and the Montrose School.
In 1987 an ambitious program was
a course in "Museum Management
For the Layman" funded by New
Horizons with assistance from the
B.C. Seniors' Lottery Fund. For 10
weeks, 19 senior students met for one
afternoon per week to learn the
A.B.C's of museum-keeping. The instructor was Maureen Gee, a former
Education Officer with the B.C. Provincial Museum. Miss Gee also acted
as Curator of Craig Heritage Park and
was invaluable in upgrading the expertise of our Trustees and other directors. Our number one priority is the
completion of the museum building.
All of our efforts are now directed to
this end.
Pat Trebble — Secretary
Vancouver Historical Society
Plans are in place for a good year
ahead. We expect that our fall programme, arranged by Vice-President
Cyril Leonoff, wUl maintain the high
standard set in previous years. Our
September topic, Mount Pleasant and
Brewery Creek, wUl be presented by
Charles Christopherson, chairperson
of the Brewery Creek urban committee. For October Jim Bezanon, a local
architect and heritage advocate, had
entitled his talk A Look at Vancouver
History through Architectural Style.
In November, Elaine Bernard wUl
discuss Union Labels, Boycotts and
Beer: One Hundred Years of Organizing the Brewing Industry in B.C.
Cyril Leonoff has arranged for a
tour of the B.C. Sugar Museum for
November 5. Our president, Dr. Hugh
Johnston, head of the History Department at Simon Fraser University and
an authority on the history of the Sikhs
in British Columbia, has arranged a
bus tour of the Vancouver and Richmond Sikh temples and the Punjabi
market for October 24.
The U.S. based Roman Meal Company is introducing into each province
of Canada a heritage bread. Manitoba
was the pilot province for this idea.
British Columbia will follow in October. The company has approached
VHS for permission to carry its crest
and information about the Society on
the bread packaging. The Society will
receive a royalty of five cents for every
bag sold.
Our executive has decided to support the publication of a Vancouver
Atlas. Considerable work has already
been done on this project by our
PubUcity Chairperson, Bruce MacDonald. A committee composed of
Hugh Johnston, Bruce MacDonald
and John Spittle will oversee the
Morag Maclachlan, Secretary
The subject of our September, 1986
meeting was "The Story of Steam
Engine No. 374". Most of us had
already seen the engine that brought
the first C.P.R. Transcontinental
Passenger Train to Vancouver in 1887.
It was very interesting to see the
videotape prepared by the "Friends of
Locomotive No. 374", introduced by
Evelyn Atkinson. The tape was the
story of the actual work of restoration,
much of which was done at Versatile
Pacific Shipyard in North Vancouver.
In October, our speaker was Roy
PaUant, author of "The History of St.
Martin's Church", and now our 1st
Vice-President. The book is more than
the history of one congregation. It includes famous events in the City and
District of North Vancouver over the
last 75 years.
November 11th saw the opening of
Pioneer Park in the centre of Lynn
B.C. Historical News
22 News and Notes
National Historical Societies Meet
B.C. Historical Federation President Naomi Miller of Wasa and
Secretary T.D. Sale of Nanaimo participated in the Heritage Canada/National Network of Historical Societies
meeting at Quebec City September
24 - 27, 1987. The trip was made
possible by a grant from the Heritage
The meetings began with reports
from Provincial Heritage Societies and
a panel chaired by Mary Liz Bayer of
Victoria. Some delegates were enthusiastic about programs and progress; other expressed frustration,
often due to having to deal with
various levels of government. The
evening of the first day was highUghted
by a concert of French and EngUsh
heritage tunes by musicians playing old
On the second day Professor Marc
Leplante and Paul-Louis Martin of
Quebec Culture and Recreation Dept.
spoke on "Heritage Tourism." Both
B.C. Historical Federation delegates
took the 'rural' tour on He d'Orleans
with Wayne Choquette of Cranbrook
as facilitator. This was followed by
dinner at a heritage restaurant in Old
On September 26 the Provincial
Historical Societies met; Ontario,
Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.
were well represented. Each province
outlined their objectives and described their activities. The delegate from
the Canadian Historical Association
(an organization for college and university professors) was surprised to
learn of the variety of projects undertaken by provincial historical groups.
In summary, while caution prevailed over the possibility of setting up a
National Historical Society, the
meetings left all delegates better informed, and provided contact with the
national academic historical group
Naomi Miller
FIFTH     B.C.
The fifth B.C. Studies Conference
will be held at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, 4-6 November 1988.
The B.C. Studies Conference is interdisciplinary with an historical focus.
The organizers invite proposals for
papers that wiU enhance an understanding of any aspect of British Columbia's past, current and future development. Approximately ten sessions wUl
be held at the conference. Most sessions are made up of two papers on
a related subject followed by a commentator's critical assessment. One
special evening session will also be
Suggestions for conference papers
wUl be considered as they are received; the deadUne for proposal submissions is 1 November 1987. Enquiries
and paper proposals should be directed
to Robin Fisher, Department of
History, Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6;
Robert A. J. McDonald, Department
of History, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V6T 1W5; or
Peter Baskerville, Department of
History, University of Victoria, Victoria, V8W 2Y2.
The      Second      Canadian
Business History Conference
Includes papers on mining, lumbering, industrial development and
business archives in B.C., as well as
papers on the history of business in
other parts of Canada. Puts the
development of business in B.C. in a
comparative frame. March 3-5,1988,
University of Victoria. For further information, please contact: Peter
Baskerville, Department of History,
University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.,
V8W 2Y2, (604)721-7393.
Goldstream Region Museum
The Goldstream Region Museum,
697 Goldstream Avenue, Victoria,
B.C., V9B 2X2 has a number of projects underway. The museum is looking for old-fashioned Christmas
recipes for a planned booklet, "Tastes
of Christmas Past." The museum has
also established an oral history program and is looking for volunteers for
all aspects of the program (interviewers, transcribers, researchers). The
museum is also seeking volunteers to
act as host/hostesses at the museum
and to serve on various committees.
If you can help in any way, call the
museum at 474-6113.
The Canadian Aviation Historical
Society is very pleased to announce the
winner of the second Silver Dart Aviation History Award, Kyle Mclntyre.
Kyle Mclntyre is a graduate of
Queen's University, Kingston, and is in
the second year of a two year Master's
course at the Royal Military College,
Kingston, specializing in Canadian
military history. His essay was titled
"The Politics of Air Power: Mackenzie King and the Development of an
Autonomous Canadian Air Force,
1935 - 1939". This essay wUl be printed
in an up-coming Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.
The Silver Dart Aviation History
Award is offered annuaUy by the Canadian Aviation Historical Society to
students at technical colleges, aviation
schools and universities. It's aim is to
encourage the research and publication
of Canadian aviation history. The
Award consists of a prize of $500 plus
a trophy.
Last year's winner of the Silver Dart
(cont. on page 25)
B.C. Historical News CONVENTION — 1987
B.C. Historical News (cont. from page 5)
A Conspiracy for "Our Common
During the last decade of the Twentieth Century, enlightened, non-Indian
self-interest may finally open the way
for indigenous people to contribute
what the world most needs without
native people losing the dignity and
worth of their own unique identity.
Literally, to conspire is to breathe
together. Conspiring differs fundamentally from the historical approach to native concerns, the persistent but fortunately unsuccessful
pressure on Indian people to become
assimilated. Conspiring is breathing
together; assimilating is one culture
smothering another.
Enlightened self-interest will lead
toward sustainable development
because the only alternative is
"Our Common Future" clearly
depends now on cultivating this great
conspiracy between the ecological
knowledge of recent decades and the
aboriginal wisdom of recent millennia.
Instead of concentrating on the bottom Une or the next election, ecologists
and other enlightened Canadians will
begin to share the aboriginal sense of
responsibUity for the weU-being of the
next seven generations of people and
other life on earth."
The decisions we make at this turning point in history wUl either enhance
or terminate the opportunities for
future generations even to be conceived. Their only voice in these decisions
is ours.
1. "Answers to Eight Common Concerns about the Gitksan and
Wet'suwet'en Land claim," a pamphlet by Smithers Human Rights
Society, 1987, Box 3595, Smithers,
B.C. VOJ 2N0.
2. Hugh Brody, Maps and Dreams: Indians and the British Columbia Frontier, Douglas and Mclntyre: Vancouver/Toronto 1981.
3. Felix Cohen, "Americanizing the
White Man" in The American
Scholar, 1952.
4. Walter Taylor, "The Relevance of
the Indian Heritage to the Survival of
Man" in Exploration, Journal of the
British Columbia Social Studies
Teachers' Association of the B.C.
Teachers' Federation, Vol. 10, No. 1,
November, 1969.
5. Aboriginal People of Canada and
Their Environment, National Indian
Brotherhood, Ottawa, Revised Edition 1973.
6. Native Rights in Canada, Second
Edition, Edited by Peter A. Cumming and Neil H. Mickenberg, The
Indian-Eskimo Association of
Canada in association with General
Publishing, Toronto, 1972, page 176.
7. "Land Claims in B.C." in the information poster, "Aboriginal Rights:
Legacy of Our Forefathers," Union
of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Vancouver,
February 9, 1980.
8. Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society:
The Tragedy of Canada's Indians,
M.G. Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton,
1969. Pages 1 and 3.
9. Ibid., page 89.
10. Living Treaties: Lasting Agreements,
Report of the Task Force to Review
Comprehensive Claims Policy, Murray Coolican, Chairman, Department
of Indian Affairs and Northern
Development, Ottawa, December,
1985. Page 5.
11. "Aboriginal Title Action Against the
Province of British Columbia —
Background Papers," Gitksan-
Wet'suwet'en Tribal Council,
Hazelton, B.C., October, 1985.
12. "The Honour of All," in Kahtou,
Native Communications Society of
British Columbia, Volume 4, Number
5, May, 1986, page 17.
13. Duu Guusd: Haida Tribal park,
poster of the Council of the Haida
Nation, Queen Charlotte Islands,
14. Moira Johnston, "Canada's Queen
Charlotte Islands: Homeland of the
Haida," National Geographic,
Volume 172, Number 1, July 1987,
page 120.
15. "Aboriginal Title Action Against the
Province of British Columbia —
Background Papers," Gitksan-
Wet'suwet'en Tribal council,
Hazelton, B.C., October, 1985, "The
People's Food," pages 15 to 24.
(Same reference as Endnote 11, except specific pages.)
16. "The Nishga Position: Some of your
questions with Nishga answers,"
Nishga Tribal Council, New Aiyansh,
B.C., July, 1983.
17. Our Common Future by the World
Commission on Environment and
Development, Oxford University
Press, Don Mills, Ontario, April 27,
18. Ibid., Chapter 12, page 32,
paragraph 126.
19. Ibid., Executive Summary, page 1,
paragraph 4.
20. Ibid., Chapter 4, pages 19/20,
paragraph 70.
21. Ibid., Chapter 4, page 20, paragraph
22. Ibid., Chapter 4, page 20, paragraph
23. Ibid., Chapter 4, page 20, paragraph
24. Ibid. Chapter 4, page 20, paragraph
25. Basic Call to Consciousness, papers
presented to the Non-Governmental
Organizations of the United Nations
in Geneva, Switzerland, by the
Haudenosaunee, the Six Nations
Confederacy, the Iroquois, in
September, 1977. Edited and published by Akwesasne Notes, Mohawk
Nation, Via Rooseveltown, New
York, U.S.A., 13683, 1978. Page 96:
"Our culture is based on a principle
that directs us to constantly think
about the welfare of seven generations into the future." The same
principle applies throughout many if
not all indigenous communities.
(cont. from page 23)
Aviation History Award, Officer-Cadet
Dwayne Lovegrove of CoUege MUitaire
Royal, Saint-Jean, is currently undergoing flight training at CFB Moose Jaw.
The Canadian Aviation Historical
Society is now offering the third SUver
Dart Aviation History Award for the
best original essay on Canadian aviation history. Papers must be received by
the Award Chairman by March 15,
1988. Further information on the
Award is available by writing:
Mr. David Neufeld
Chairman, The Silver Dart
Aviation History Award
111 Buxton Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 0H1
The Canadian Aviation Historical
Society is a non-profit organization
dedicated to the preservation of
Canada's aviation history. Further
details may be obtained by writing to:
Canadian Aviation Historical Society,
National Headquarters, P.O. Box 224,
Station "A", Willowdale, Ontario,
M2N 5S8.
B.C. Historical News Bookshelf
Book Reviews should be sent directly to the book review editor, Anne
Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V6S 1E4.
Mayor Gerry: The Remarkable
Gerald Grattan McGeer. David
Ricardo Williams. Vancouver:
Douglas & Mclntyre, 1986. 319
pp., illus. $24.95
British Columbia has had many colourful politicians. Among them was
Gerald Grattan "Gerry" McGeer who
served as M.L.A. (1916 - 20, 1933 -
34), M.P. (1935 - 45), and Senator
(1945 - 47). As the title suggests, he is
best remembered as Mayor of Vancouver (1935 - 36, 1947). In his first
term, Mayor "Gerry" fought the
bankers and senior governments to
refinance Vancouver's debts and he
reformed the police department.
Although he antagonized labour by
reading the Riot Act to unemployed
strikers in 1935, he revived flagging
spirits generally by such devices as
organizing Golden JubUee celebrations
and building a new City Hall. Yet,
Williams rightly concludes that
McGeer was "in a real sense... a faUed politician." (p. 298)
McGeer, an exceptionally able
orator, was a hard fighting, hot
tempered man with an active imagination, unlimited optimism, and seemingly boundless energy. At the same
time he was a man manque and a man
of contradictions. His many activities
frequently took him away from home.
He wrote affectionate letters to his
family but seemed distant to his
children. A champion of prohibition,
he was a heavy drinker. As a lawyer
he won British Columbia's case for
lower freight rates in the 1920s; as a
politician he was less successful in
arguing that Ottawa paid too little attention to the West. As provincial advocate for lower freight rates he earned
such a generous fee that it haunted his
later political life; at times his legal
practice languished and only the fact
that his wife, a daughter of David
Spencer, had a small monthly income
and unlimited credit at her family's
department store aUowed the McGeer
household to enjoy material comforts.
McGeer promoted the construction of
a railway to the Peace River and the
development of Alberta oil fields and
preached his own ideas for monetary
reform through speeches, articles and
a book; none of his schemes came to
fruition. His railway and petroleum
plans were ahead of their time; his
monetary theories, though leading to
a friendly correspondence with John
Maynard Keynes, were among many
such ideas which sprouted up in the
1930s. As a politician, McGeer was a
frequent campaigner at home and in
other provinces; when elected, he was
so much a maverick that no premier
or prime minister would appoint him
to a cabinet.
Williams has intelligently
documented how "Gerry" ran. He
even presents the tangled and potentially tedious subjects of freight rates
and monetary reform in a clear and
agreeable manner. The literary, but
unhistorical device, of re-creating
speeches conveys some of the flavour
of McGeer's oratory. A selection of
photographs enliven the text. The cartoons which serve as chapter introductions would be even more effective if
their sources were fully cited.
While WUUams undoubtedly enjoyed writing about McGeer, this is
not a sycophantic hagiography. The
author properly recognizes McGeer's
weaknesses such as his failure to comprehend "the implications of a fully
regulated economy." (p. 130) WUUams
also notes discrepancies between
McGeer's public utterances and
private views but appears uneasy in
trying in explain them. Similarly, whUe
he refers to McGeer's "deeply held
religious convictions" (p. 121) he
makes little attempt to fathom their
roots or assess their effect. Thus, the
book, like the man, is somewhat wanting because it does not fully explore
why "Gerry" ran. Nevertheless, it is
an entertaining volume and a valuable
contribution to British Columbia
Patricia E. Roy
Patricia Roy, a member of the Victoria Branch,
is a member of the History Department,
University of Victoria.
Metis Outpost: Memoirs of the
First Schoolmaster at the Metis
Settlement of Kelly Lake, B.C.
1923 -1925. Gerry Andrews, Victoria: the author, 1985, pp. 340, illus., maps, bibliography, index,
appendices. (Marketed by Pen-
crest Publications, 1011 Fort St.,
Victoria, B.C. V8V 3K5.)
About 1910 two Metis families
headed by Narcisse Belcourt and St.
Pierre Gauthier moved into the Kelly
Lake area in British Columbia, sixty
miles due west from Grande Prairie,
Alberta. This was the western tip of
the Metis migration from the Red
River after white settlement disrupted
the lives of these people, born of the
fur trade. The Belcourts and Gauthiers
were followed by other families and
in 1923 an assisted school was started
for the Cree-speaking children of the
community. Jim Young, a local fur-
trader, took the initiative in having the
school established and Gerry Andrews, too young to vote, accepted the
position as teacher.
Metis Outpost contains the recoUec-
B.C. Historical News
26 tions of Andrew's two years at Kelly
Lake, journals of two packhorse trips,
an account of later contacts with Kelly Lake acquaintances, the diary, supplemented by other records, of a
young Englishman, John Bennett-,
who died attempting to travel through
Pine Pass in the winter of 1930 - 1931,
correspondence, genealogies of Kelly
Lake families, an English-Cree
vocabulary with comments on the
language, many photos and maps as
well as a bibliography and index. This
is a collection of such diverse material
that it appears to lack the unity
necessary in a well structured book. It
is not a study of the Kelly Lake Metis
community. In spite of all the information compiled, in spite of his warm
relations with the children and their
parents, Andrews did not get inside
that culture. Some of the correspondence, to a large extent replies
to Christmas greetings, seems irrelevant and in some cases information in
the letters is also contained in the text.
But the book does not lack unity. This
is a book about Gerry Andrews and
everything in the collection relates in
some way to his Kelly Lake experiences. His character, his values, his
gift for friendship, his sense of humor,
his common sense and his interest in
people and place are all strongly
When his pupUs had learned enough
English, Andrews expanded the school
curriculum beyond reading, writing
and arithmetic to include history and
geography. "For geography the starting point was HERE, and for history
it was NOW," declares Andrews (p.
125). Here, undoubtedly, is the key to
the success of this book. It is not surprising that a young teacher who introduced his pupils to geography by
mapping their own locality, who
found a place on the time-table to
learn Cree from the children he taught
English, would as an "old timer,"
realize the value of compiUng primary
sources as a basis for writing our
history. For the reader, the journals
of difficult trips through the Rockies
are a sharp reminder of the enormous
difficulties of a terrain that we traverse
in a matter of hours. We gain some
perspective on the development of
B.C.'s educational system from the
memoirs of a teacher who built desks
for a classroom in a log building which
also contained a store/fur trading post
cum living quarters for both Andrews
and Young. This collection is, as W.
Kaye Lamb states in the Foreword, "a
little jewel in the treasure house of
Morag Maclachlan.
Morag Maclachlan, a member of the Vancouver Historical Society, retired recently from
the History Department at Langara CoUege,
Books recently received:
Timber: history of the Forest Industry
in B.C. G.W. Taylor, Vancouver, J.J. Douglas, 1975.
An overview of British Columbia's
forest industry. It includes logging,
sawmUls, paper mUls, and also touches
on such ancillary industries as the
making of pallets and machinery for
woods and mills.
The  Mackenzie,   Yesterday  and
Beyond. Alfred P. Aquilina,
North Vancouver, Hancock
House, 1981. $7.95
While the major portion of the
Mackenzie River is inside Northwest
Territory  boundaries,   one  of  its
tributaries does begin in British Columbia. Several chapters on the Klondike gold rush are included.
Now  You are My Brother; Missionaries in British Columbia.
Margaret Whitehead. Victoria,
Provincial Archives, 1981.
Reminiscences of Indian agents,
parishioners and chUdren of some missionaries. An insight into how faith
overcame the privations facing these
early pioneers.
Puffin Cove; Escape to the Wilderness
of the Queen Charlotte
Islands. Neil G. Carey. Surrey, Hancock House, 1982.
Another book of a city couple
escaping to an idyllic and remote
island and the problems they encounter. Good escape reading for a
Milestones on Vancouver Island. Ken
Pattison. Victoria, Pattison
Ventures Ltd., 1986 edition.
Very handy to keep when travelling
the Island, even for those of us who
travel there often. Our memory is
refreshed   on  forgotten  points  of
The North Bentinck Arm Route. Lt.
Palmer's Trail of 1862.
Adrian Kershaw & John Spittle. Kelowna, Okanagan College, 1981. $6.00. Available
from the College.
The book is about the retracing of
the trail in 1979. There is an update
on the trail, and maps. A reprint of
Lt. Palmer's report and a copy of his
map    are    included.    Excellent
background history for a person who
wants  to  know  about  the  early
Snow Wars; an Illustrated history of
Rogers Pass Glacier National
Park, B.C. Toronto, National
& Provincial Parks Association of Canada. 1983. $6.00.
An illustrated story on the keeping
of the east-west transportation system
open during the winter. RaU buffs wUl
be interested in snow removal on the
railways. When the Pass opened to
automobile traffic the avalanche control men of the Canadian Army were
stationed nearby every winter. Photos
are shown of this aspect of the Pass's
B.C. Historical News The  Columbia  is  Coming.   Doris
Anderses. Sidney, Gray's
Publishing, 1982. $9.95.
A well researched book on the
Anglican coast mission boats covering
the northern and eastern coast of Vancouver  Island  and  the  opposite
mainland. In addition to the missionary work the boats were noted for
the hospital services to isolated logging and fishing camps, which are still
being carried on today.
Methods of Placer Mining. Garnet
Basque. Langley, Mr. Paperback, 1983. $5.95.
For anyone dreaming of taking a
gold pan and finding a nugget this is
a 'how to' and 'where at' book. A
good winter-time read and to take with
you when you travel B.C. in the
Lost Bonanzas of Western Canada.
T.W. Paterson & Garnet Basque. Langley, Sunfire
Publishers Ltd., 1983. $5.95.
A book for those of us who dream
of finding a lost gold mine or a robber's loot. Eight of the lost caches are
in B.C.
Outlaws  & Lawmen  of Western
Canada. Vol. I & II. Surrey,
Heritage House Publishing
Co. Ltd., 1983.
Short articles by various authors
about desperados and their captors in
our four western provinces. If you
think all the shoot-outs were in the
American  West,  these books will
change your mind. Maps and photos
illustrate these popular paper-backs.
These are excellent books to persuade
our   young  people  that   western
Canada's history is not dull.
Peggy Imredy.
Peggy Imredy is Past-President of the Vancouver Historical Society.
Report from the Branches
(cont. from page 22)
Valley Community. The Lynn Valley
Centennial Cairn was rededicated, and
a statue of pioneer, Walter Draycott,
was unveiled. Walter died in 1985 at
age 102. He had authored the book,
"Early Days in Lynn Valley."
In February 1987, we had a
videotape presentation about Victoria's past, arranged by Robert
"The Royal City", by Jack Scott,
a videotape about New Westminster's
history, was the program for our Annual General Meeting in March.
In May, 1987, our subject was
"Remembrances of Things Past".
Roy PaUant persuaded members to teU
their memories of life on the North
The Station Museum in Mahon
Park, North Vancouver, was our
meeting place in June. We saw a collection of old signs, and dairy farming equipment from the days before
the North Shore lost its early farms.
David Grubbe
(cont. from page 6)
disappeared with it into one of the
teepees. Marianne slid off her horse
and ran to her husband to ask for help.
"Surely baby wiU be kUled by these
terrible people." "No fear," her husband assured her, "they only wished
to have a good look at a Shuswap
On another trip to AkAm Marianne
saw the pack trains returning from the
buffalo hunt east of the Rockies. "It
was Uke a bad dream.'' Two men were
badly wounded by the prairie Indians;
one was scalped and had to wear a
cloth on his head for the rest of his Ufe.
We are told that before David
Thompson came the Indians met
French scouts now and then. One was
found sitting by a tree near Golden,
suffering from frozen feet. The Kin-
baskets took care of him until a party
of three whitemen came by on their
way to the south country (U.S.A.).
The Frenchman was able to travel
along with the three.
Father DeSmet came to the Columbia Valley and baptized some Indians
including the Morigeau family and
Chief Pierre Kinbasket's first child.
Some couples were married also at that
time. Several years later Baptise
Morigeau (who spoke English) married Colette Kinbasket, sister to Chief
Pierre Kinbasket. When Walter Moberly hired Pierre to guide him over
the mountains in search of a suitable
pass for the railway, Baptise was his
interpreter, therefore communication
was possible between the two parties.
The old Indians used to say, "Mobly
was one of us!"
The Kinbaskets were good people
but not aU saints. The dark side is illustrated by the story of the ailing ex-
chief Paul Ignatius who suddenly appeared doing his own pow wow and
war dance. The white man gave him
some very good medicine. It made him
well. Soon he was begging white men
for the "good medicine" almost daii
ly. He died near Athalmer and was the
first to be buried in the Shuswap
Cemetery near the present day Invermere airport.
Shelagh Dehart learned the information contained in this article from her grandparents,
Chief Pierre and Mrs. Marianne Kinbasket.
Shelagh and her sisters were second generation students at St. Eugene Mission School near
Cranbrook. Fellow classmates and boarders
were Kootenay Indian children from Columbia Lake, Creston, Tobacco Plains, and the St.
Mary's bands. The author and her Swiss born
husband Dino recently celebrated their Golden
Wedding anniversary.
Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
His Honour, the Honourable Robert C. Rogers,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver V7R 1R9
988-4565 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1975 Wessex Rd. Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0, 748-8397 (res.)
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper St., Nanaimo V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Recording Secretary:     Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
George R. Newell, 27 Seagirt Road, R.R. 1, Sooke, B.C., VOS 1N0
642-5072 (res.)
Dorothy Crosby, 33662 Northcote Cres., Mission, B.C. V2V 5V2
Daphne Sleigh, Box 29, Deroche, B.C., VOM 1G0
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
R.J.C. Tyrrell, Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B.,
Victoria, V8R 6S4.
Chairmen of Committees:
His*°rif Trails John D. Spittle
& Markers: K
B.C. Historical News    Ann W. Johnston, R.R. 1, Mayne Island, B.C. VON 2J0  539-2888 (res.)
Publishing Committee:
Award Committee:        Naomi Miller
Publications Assistance Helen Akrigg, 8 - 2575 Tolmie St., Vancouver, B.C., V6R 4M1
Committee (not 288-8606.
with B.C. Historical
News): Loans are available for publication.
Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg.
Heritage Cemetaries Committee:
John D. Adams, 628 Battery St., Victoria, B.C., V8V 1E5
384-9988 The British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 35326, Stn. E.
Second Class Mail
Registration No. 4447
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Federation and receive the British Columbia
Historical News regularly?
The BCHF is composed of member societies
in all parts of the province. By joining your local
society you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News, but the
opportunity to participate in a program of talks
and field trips, and to meet others interested in
British Columbia's history and the BCHF's
annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(address on the inside front cover).... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think
of forming one. For information contact the
secretary of the BCHF (address inside back


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items