British Columbia History

BC Historical News May 31, 1969

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MAY    1 9 69
Vol. 2 No. 3. April, 1969
Published November, February, April and June each year by the
British Columbia Historical Association.    Subscription rates: Free
to members of all affiliated societies, or $3.50 per year including
postage, directly from the Editor, P. A. Yandle, 3450 West 20th
Avenue, Vancouver 8, B.C.
By the time this issue reaches the members it will be just
a month to the Convention in Penticton.    This issue will deal mostly
with the pre-Convention details, and a complete programme is
Included.    Gn the back cover is the Registration Form, and if each
member would mail his or her form to the Registrar I" will know
that the News is being read.    At any given occasion I am quite
happy to give a short rundown on the lack of entertalnmeht on
television programmes.    The commercials seem to predominate, and
for some reason not readily apparent, they leave their mark on the
populace much more deeply than the supposed entertainment.   Taking
this to heart and being fully aware that the contents of the
commercial are extremely bad, it is my intention to do some advertising for the Convention in similar vein.    The doggerel that
follows is not the worst I have written but very close to it.
The Registrar's Plea
We would draw your attention
To the Historical Convention
To be held in Penticton in Mayj
Each member will gain
In this different terrain
If he comes and gets into the fray.
We hope you'll be proud
To be part of the crowd,
On May twenty-two to twenty-four,
So please don't delay
Mail it off right away
To our Registrar, we beg and implore.
It's so easy to discover
The "form" on the back cover-;
This Convention you shouldnH miss.
Use pen, pencil or chalk,
Make your usual mark,
And if you like send it "sealed with a kiss". It will be no illusion
That at its conclusion
You will return with added zest;
And there'll be no reason
That in the ensuing season
Y'ou will do your historical best.
I have not had to. date a great deal of correspondence from
members, and thought it might be of interest to start a section
aLeit;ters to the Editor" for the next year.    So far it has been my
own ideas?, and I" would welcome any suggestions to improve it.    The
cover for the News has given it a much improved appearance and
this came unsolicited from one int rested member.    A short quote frcw
^History News", magazine of the American Association for State
and Local History, prompted this line 'of thinking, and so I will
pass on this little gem:
Oar historical societies have an unparalleled opportunity in
the historic site's field.   We also have a heavy responsibility
to the public officials who are willing to support tho movement
and to the general public that is hungry for our three-dimensional history.    Let us be sure that the repast we spread before
our guests Is a substantial one - not the kind of fare that i«
said to have prompted Davey Crockett's reaction to meringue:
"I bit it, bat I didn't get nothing'
At their February meeting the West Kootenay Association was
shown a collection of Chinese artifacts from Rossland's eaily
days, as well as an exhibition of fossils from the East Kootenay.
The main programme was a slide show on the previous summer's
expedition to Fort Steele and Wild Horse Creek.   At the annual
meeting in March thei-e was se showing of the National Film Board
film "The Valley of the Swans", a documentary on the annual flight-
way of thousands of birds in tho Creston area.    The following
officerff were elected for the incoming yoar:   President: M.F.  (Fr^/
Edwards, Vice-Pres. F.V. Fanderlik, Sec.Treas. ,Miss Jane Tysoa,
Executive Committee: Mrs L.C. Mcintosh, Mrs.T. Weir, C.H. Siapkinsonj,
W. Cant, H.M. Keyes. NANAIMO
To replace the guest speaker, Mrs D. F, Tonkin, who was
absent on account of illness, the Secretary, Mr Barraclough,
presented a tape recording address on the life of John Craddock
Bryant who first came to Nanaimo in I860, and after spending many
years exploring and prospecting for gold in the Cariboo and Peace
River countries he returned there and became host of the Old Flag
Inn. While mining in the Cariboo, "the Canrjdian" mine, Mr Bryant
is recorded as obtaining the richest pan of gold ever taken in
Cariboo - over 96 ounces - with a value of $1543.00. Mr Bryant
died in Nanaimo in 1924 at the age of 93. (I have heard this
tape recording and thought it was excellent. Ed.) At the April
meeting the Past President, Mr D. Schon, presented an address
entitled nThe hand logger of the British Columbia coast".
New officers elected at. the annual meeting: Pres. Mr John Parker,
Vice-Pres. MT R. E. Edwards, Sec. Mr Wm. Barraclough, Treqs. Mrs
F. McGirr.
During the past season the Vancouver Historical Society heard
several talks on ethnic groups. In November Mrs Irene Howard spoke
on "The Swedes in Vancouver". Dr Wm Willmott spoke at the January
meeting on "The Chinese contribution to Vancouver's development".
At the February meeting a round table discussion was hold by Mr
H.K. Ralston and five of his senior history students at the
University of British Columbia. Their subject was "Missions and
Indians in nineteenth century British Columbia". In March Mr David
Spearing, a local architect and member of the Community Arts
Council presented a slide show of historic buildings in the old
Granville townsite, entitled "Gastown Revisited". The annual
Incorporation Day dinner was held at the Holiday Inn on April Sth,
at which there was a display of weaving and basketry provided by
Mr Oliver Wells of Sardis, and paintings of Indians by Mrs Minn
Carter. Chief Dan Gfeorge presented a soliloquy and Professor
Gordon Elliott gave a short address on viows of Vancouver as seen
by early visitors. Executive members for the incoming year are:
Pres. J.C. Lawrence, Vice-Pres. (2.  Elliott, Secretary and Membership,
Miss F. Woodward, Treasurer. Miss Anke Lambooy, Publicity. Peter
Annual Convention Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 22nd, 23rd and
24th May 1969, for members and guests, to be held at Penticton
Inn (formerly Prince Charles Motor Inn) Penticton, B.C.
Thars. May 22nd. 7,30 p.m. REGISTRATION.    8.00 p.m. WINE AND CHEESE
PARTY, Okanagan Room. 11.50,   Address by His Worship Mayor
F.Bouglas Stuart. Display of Okanagan Hist. Soc. publications.
Fri. May 23rd. 9.00-10.00 a.m. REGISTRATION, Skaha Room. Deadline for
Luncheon & Banquet tickets is 9.30 a.m.    9.00 a.m. 0ID COUNCIL
MEETING".    10.00 a.m. ANNUAL MEETING, Skaha Room. Complimentary
coffee?.    12,00 noon LUNCHEON, Okanagan Room, followed by THE
PRESIDENTS ADDRESS "Dr George - Father of Western Canadian
Geology".    2,30 P.m. Visit to FEDERAL RESEARCH STATION, at
Summerland, by private cars.    Conducted tour to commence from
Ornamental Grounds at top of Station, beyond the Administration
Area.    Return at 4.30 p.m.    5.00 P,m. NEW COUNCIL MEETING-.
8.00 p.m.    ILLUSTRATED LECTURE by Mr Stephen Cannings entitled
"An Okanagan Natural History", Skaha Room. Introduction J.Roff.
Sat. Mm 24th. 9.30 a.m. FIELD TRIP through South Okanagan, by private
cars-.    Meet raln~or shine, in Parking Lot of Penticton Inn,
Guide - Mr Harley R. Hatfield.    Approximate itinerary; Brigade
Trail "Lower Road" near Kaleden, Okanagan Falls, Vaseaux Lake,
summit Mt. Kobau 11.30 a.m., Osoyoos for lunch 12.30 p.m.,
Fairview 2.00 p.m., Park Rill and Myer's Flat 2.30 p.m.,
White Lake Radio Astrophysical Observatory for conducted tour
3,30 p.m„, Penticton Museum 5.00 p.m.    (Lunch stop in Osoyoos.
Box lunches from Penticton Inn - #1.25 each)    7.00 P.m. BANQUET
(Bar at cost at 6.30 p.m.)    Okanagan Room, Penticton Inn. $5.00
Guest speaker MT J. Victor Wilson, giving a slide lecture entitled "Do You Know the Okanagan?"    Introduction by Mrs W.R.
Dewdney, Pres. Okanagan Historical Society. The Hon. Frank X0
RIchter, Minister of Mines & Petroleum, and Minister of
Commercial Transport, will say a few words.
NOTE:    Participants please complete Registration Form on the back
cover of this issue, and mail, together with payment
(including correct exchange on cheque) to Mr H.R. Brammall,
4649 West 12th Ave., Vancouver 8, B.C., as soon as possible.
Please make your own reservations and travel arrangements
well .In advance.    Tt is understood that room rates at the
Penticton Inn are as follows: Single $7.50$ Twin $10,50;
Double $10.50 - Swimming Pool.
There are many motels that can probably offer cheaper rates. The following is part of an address given by Chief Dan
George at the Incorporation Day Dinner of the Vancouver Historical
Society.    Dan George is the Chief of the Burrard Indian Band on
Vancouver's North Shore.    He is aware of the problems confronting
his people and is highly respected both as a spokesman for his
band said as an actor.
You call me Chief and you do well for so I am. The blood
of chieftans flows through my veins. I am a chief, but you may
srak where are my warriors with- their feathered heads and painted
faces. I am a chief, but my quiver ha;; no arrows and my b.ow is
slack. My warriors have been lost among the white man's cities.
They have melted away into the crowds as once they did amid the
forests-. But this time they will not return. Yes, my quiver is
empty, my bow is slack.
Ah,: I could make new arrows and tighten my bow, but what
little use it would be, for the arrow will not carry far as once
it did, and the. bow has been reduced to a plaything. What was
once a man's weapon is now a children'.s toy. I am a Chief, but
my power to make war is gone, and the only weapon left to me is
my speech. It is only with tongue and speech that I can fight my
people's war.
Today my people are tempted to' look to the past and say,
"Behold our robie forebears". Perhaps it is pleasant to look to
the ages gone by with brooding eyes and speak of the virility"that
once .was ours. But the Redman can never again return to his camp-
fires and forests. His campfires and forests no longer exist outside
of his'" own .dreams. He will wear out many moccasins walking,
searching, searching, and he will never return from the journey,
for that which he seeks is no longer there.
It was. during the first hundred years of Canada's nationhood
that we me defeat. Broken by wars and disease we huddled on
reserves and nursed our wounds. But our greatest wound was not of
the flesh, but in our spirit and in our souls.
We were demoralised, confused, frightened. We were without
weapons to defend ourselves, medicine to heal us, leaders to guide
us. How easily despair comes when hope dies. .How easily ambitions
falter when goals slip from one':s reach - like the end of a rainbow. How easily one says - "What's the use" - 'and dies inside
himself. ^How easily drink, drugs and vice .come when pride and
personal worth are gone.
But after the winter's cold and icy winds,, life .again flows
up from the bosom of Mother Earth. And Mother Ear'th throws off
the dead stalks and the withered limbs for they are useless. In
their place new and strong saplings arise. Already signs of new
life are rising among my people after our sad winter has passed. 6
We have discarded our broken arrows and our empty quivers, for we
know what served us in the past can never serve us again.
In unprecedented numbers our young men and women are entering
the fields of education. There is a longing in the heart of my
people to reach out and grasp that which is needed for our survival.
There is a longing among the young of my nation to secure for them*-
selves and their people the skills that will provide them with a sense
of purpose and worth. They will be our new warriors. Their training will be much longer and more demanding than it was in olden days.
The long years of study will demand more determination, separation
from home and family will demand endurance. But they will emerge
with their hand held forward, not to receive welfare, but to grasp
the place in society that is rightly ours.
The signs of this rebirth are all around us as more and more
of our young men and women graduate from high school. And their
numbers will grow and grow and grow within the next hundred years
until once again the Redman of Canada will stand firm and secure
on his own two feet. With Pauline Johnson may I say,
"Thus does the Redman stalk to death his foe
And sighting him strings silently his bow
Takes his unerring aim, and straight and true
The arrow cuts in flight the forest through."
This article by Mr Wm Barraclough of the Nanaimo Historical Society
was first given as a paper to the Nanaimo Historical Society on
December 13th, 1955, entitled "The White Woolly Dogs". Since that
time, Mr Barraclough has discovered other important references
relevant to these animals. The News has taken the liberty of
incorporating the appendices into the one article, the title of
which Mr Barraclough has changed to "Dogs that were Indigenous
to the Pacific North-West Coast".
This topic is the result of a visit which I made to the
Provincial Museum, Victoria, during the summer of 1955. In the
Indian Department there was displayed a fine example of a woollen
blanket, together with primitive spinning stick and hand loom
which was used by the Salish tribe of Indians in making this kind
of woven blanket. On the label it stated the bla nket was made
from Dogs1 Hair with a mixture of Mountain Goats' Hair. It was
rather a poser to discover that these woollen garments were worn
in general by the Coast Indians from Juan de Fuca Strait, around
the great inland sea of Puget Sound, Gulf of Georgia and around
Vancouver Island. In preparing this article the material was gathered from many
sourcesj I have stated brief historical facts and recorded dates,
from excerpts cf Captain George Vancouver's.journals on his explorations around these inland waterways, to present a more detailed
account of the subject. Selected information concerning these dogs
was also obtained from written accounts of persons who had observed,,
or been in direct contact with these animals in the early days of
the country.
Captain Sir Francis Drake was on the Pacific Coast in 1568,:
sailing 43 degrees towards the Pole Arctic The Spanish explorer
Juan Perez sailed to 55 degrees North in 1774. -Captain James Ccok
named Friendly Cove in 1778, Captain John Meares started business
on this coast in 1786, arriving by way of China. These early
adventurers may have had one or two dogs aboard their ships, but
they certainly would not be all the same breed with long white
woolly hairj the dogs must have been established in the area for
ages, for the na tives could not have learned the art of weaving
the wool and hair from the Europeans.
Acknowledgement is made tn the late Edmond S. Meany who
compiled the book "Vancouver's Discovery of Puget Sound", making
generally available the text of Captain Vancouver's journals used
on the ship 'Discovery' while on exploration to this are?c in 1792.
Vancouver records the dogs and woollen apparel.extensively. Vancouver
ship, the 'Discovery1, about 340 t<ms with a register.of li2 men,
together with the smaller tender 'Chatham', were the ships.used in
his expedition. When Vancouver's men were exploring and charting
the twisted coastlines, the numerous passages and inlets, the work
was done in small boats while the ships were anchored Safely in
well chosen sheltered waters. These small boats would often set
out on several days' journey, each with an officer in charge, men
like Puget, Whidbey, Baker and Menzies of the 'Discovery' and
Broughton and Johnstone of the 'Chatham'. These men came in close
contact with the natives and Indian villages, and all officers
reported seeing packs of dogs and worllen clothing worn. They were
the first white men ever seen by the natives; therefore'no influence
as to weaving or the introduction of dogs from the outside could
possibly have been made. .,,,.
The first mention by Vancouver regarding these dogs and
woollen clothing was after passing Caps Flattery April 29th, 1792)
then again after he named Port Discovery, Following, the South
coast of Juan de Fuca Strait, then down Hood's Channel and around
Puget Sound (named by Vancouver) he and his officers contacted many
Indian villa ges where they traded merchandise for bows and arrows -> '
fish, and woollen garments which were, as .he states, "neatly wrought".
On Thursday the 24th May 1792, Vancouver recorded the following
in the Journal: "This harbour, after the gentleman who discovered it,
obtained the name of 'Port-Orchard'". (Orchard was the clerk on the
'Discovery',) "On my return to the ship I understood that few of
our friendly neighbours had visited the vessel. The party was
^videntlv reduced and thosa who etill remained having satisfied 8
their curiosity, or being compelled by their mode of life, were
preparing to depart with all their stock and effects. These it
required little labour to remove, consisting chiefly of the mats
for covering their habitations, wherever it may be convenient to
pitch them; their skin and woollen garments, their arms, implements,
and such articles of food as-they had acquired during their residence;
which with their fam ily and dogs, all finding accommodation in one
large single canoe.
"The dogs belonging to this tribe of Indians were numerous,
and much resembled those of Pomerania, though in general somewhat
larger. They wero all shorn as close to the skin as sheep are In
England; and so compact were their fleeces, that large portions
could be lifted up by a corner without causing any separation. They
were composed of a mixture of a coarse kind of wool, with very fine
long hair, capable of being spun into yarn.
"This gave me the reason to believe that their woollen
clothing might in part be composed of this material mixed with a
finer kind of wool from some other animal, as their garments were
all too fine to be manufactured from the coarse coating of the dog
alone. The abundance of these garments amongst the few people we
met with, indicates the animal, from whence the raw material is
produced, to be very common in the neighbourhood, but as they have
no one domesticated excepting the dog, their supply of wool for
their clothing can only be obtained by hunting the wild creature
that produces it; of which we could not obtain the least information."K
Exploring around Puget Sound, Mr Puget and Mr Vfhldbey came
upon many Indian Villages. Entered in the Journal for Saturday
June 2nd, is Mr Whidbey's account: "Having reached the place where
they intended to land, they were met by upwards of two hundred
Indians, some in canoes with their families, and others walking
along the shore, attended by about forty dogs in a drove which were
shorn close to the skin like sheep. The spot where they landed was
delightful, which, together with the cordial reception they had met
from the natives, induced Mr Whidbey to continue his examination on
shore. On this occasion he was accompanied by the chief and several
of the party, who conducted themselves with the greatest propriety;
though with no small degree of civil curiosity in examining his
clrthea, .ahd^expressitigt^a great-desire to be satisfied as to the
colour of the skin they covered; making signs, that his hands and
face were painted white,, instead of being-black or red like their
own; but when convinced of their mistake by opening his waistcoat,
their astonishment was inexpressible."
From the foregoing account by Mr Whidbey, it will be seen
Vancouver's men were the first humans from the outside they had
witnessed; also that dogs were there in good numbers,
x Vancouver, at this time, had no idea of the commerce that
existed between the Indians of the inland and higher regions who
brought the mountain goats' hair to barter for products of the
coast areas. 9
After naming Admiralty Inlet, Vancouver sailed north, charting the mainland coast, giving names to numerous places and islands,
named the Gulf of Georgia Monday June 4th, Point Roberts Tuesday
June 12th, Point Grey, Burrard's Channel and Point Atkinson on Thursday June 14th, 1792.
Inside Burrard's Channel Vancouver describes a low-lying
area with two good creeks flowing, which fits Capilano and North
Shore district. Here they encountered about fifty Indians in
canoes "who conducted themselves with the greatest decorum and '
civility, presenting us with several fish cooked and undressed .''.'.
resembling.the smelt". Next morning on land, trade was made,
their arrows were tipped with slate, "and they examined the colour
of our skins with infinite curiosity"j"this circumstance, and the
general tenor of their behaviour gave us reason to conclude that we
were the first people from a civilized country they had yet seen",
After naming Anvil Island, Howe Sound and other places, there
Is an entry in the Journal for Friday the. 15th-« At that time they
were between Anvil Island and the north point of the first opening
in an apparently uninhabited part of the gulf., •■• "In the morning we
were visited by near forty of the natives, on whose approach, from
the very material alteration that had now taken place in the face
of the country, we expected to find some difference in their general
character. This conjecture was however premature, as they varied
in no respect whatever? but in possessing a more ardent desire for
commercial transactions^." Vancouver does not mention seeing dogs
here, but the fact that the Indians wore the same woollen garments
ss other tribes, indicates^ that dogs were there.
Proceeding north by west, charting the mainland coast,
naming several long inlets and waterways, Vancouver gave the name
Johnstone's Straits on Friday July 13th and anchored at Port
Neville on Thursday the 19th.
Four leagues a way m Vancouver Island they came upon a large
Indian settlement. The chief was called 'Cheslakees'. These
people had contact with the people of Nootka, which was four days'
walking distance away across the land to Nootka Sound. They knew
of Maguinna. Vancouver writes: "The women, who''in proportion
appeared numerous, were variously employed; some in their different
household affairs, others in the manufacture of their garments from
bark and other materials; though no one was engaged in making their
woollen apparel, which I much regretted".
The 'Discovery' and 'Chatham' arrived back at Nootka Tuesday,
August 28th, 1792, when Vancouver met the Spanish Captain, Quadra.
For further information I now refer to J.K. Lord's 'The
Naturalist in Vancouver Island and British Columbia'. Lord, who
was a Fellow of the ^oolrgical Society, arrived at Esquimalt on'
July 12th 1858. He travelled extensively around the Pacific North- '
west Coast, followed the rivers to their source, and recorded more
scientific information in natural history than any man of the period. 10
Lord devotes one chapter to Indian- dogs. ,.-He covers these
animals from the coast, over the mountains and across the plains
to Spokane and Winnipeg. At all places other than the Pacific
coast, Lord states the true Indian dog is nothing more than a
tamed coyote or prairie wolf (Canis latrans). Dealing with the
woolly dogs of the coast he writes:
"West of the Rocky Mountains I have never seen Indians use
dogs for any system of transport ... Along the coast several
tribes at one time kept dogs of a peculiar breed, having long
white hair, that were annually shorn as we shear sheep, and the
hair so obtained was woven into rugs, sometimes mixed vrxth the
wool of the mountain goat, at others duck feathers or wild hemp,
finely carded. Several of these most curious rugs are in the
Ethnological room at the British Museum, visible to any who may
be curious to see weaving in its most primitive form. I obtained
them at different places along the coast. The simple machine or
loom, if it may be so designated, used in weaving these rugs is
also visible in the collection of the 'Economic Museum' at Kew...
The art of dyeing the hair, and materials used with it of different
colours was also known to them, thus producing a regularly ■
designed coloured pattern...
"Whence came this singular white long-haired dog, possessed
by only a few tribes inhabiting the coast, scrupulously kept on
islands to prevent their extending or escaping, and differing in
every specific detail from all other breeds of dogs belonging to
either coast or inland Indians?"
Lord gives two possible ways the woolly dogs could have
reached this coast long before the arrival of European explorers.
They could have come from the north, or the more probable
supposition Is they came from Japan, as there is little doubt
Japanese ships and junks did visit this coast, and the art of
weaving could have been learned from those v/ho brought the dogs;
and still more confirmatory of the probability, words of Japanese
origin are still used in the jargon spoken on the coast called
Chinook. ' Lord states further: "More than this, the first
possessors of these white dogs were, as far as. it is possible to
trace it, Chinook Indians, a tribe once very numerous, and
living near the entrance to the Columbia River; thence the dog
reached Puget's Sound, and eventually must have been carried to
Nainimo (sic) across the Gulf of Georgia."
That could very well be, but if one goes back far enough,
we could ask, where did the woolly dogs cone from to Japan?
Y/hen Vancouver was writing about the woven wool apparel,
the Indians would be wearing the same for clothing. When Lord-
was exploring the area, sixty-six years Efcer,., the. native woollen
product would: be used for mats and coverings of camps, while their
clothing would consist chiefly of Hudson's.Bay Company blankets
and similar materials.' 11
Lord must have examined the white dogs that remained here,
as he mentions them being kept on islands, carefully guarded, to
protect the breed from mixing with the white man's dpgs.
Lord's mention of the woolly dogs at Nanaimo, prompted me to
call on several of the local Indian people. From those questioned if
they had any information handed down to them from their elders
,relating to these dogs and garments woven from the hair mixed with
goat's hair, all were firm on one point - the white long-haired dog was
here before any men from the outside came. Only meagre information
had been preserved by the Nanaimo Indians concerning these native
dogs that were of great economic value to their ancestors.
After some questioning it struck a note in.the memory of Ed
Brown, a full-blood Indian, and a man well versed in Indian lore.
He reenacted to me the telling and actions as it was given to him
about 35 years ago by Old Dick, an aged Indian who liked to tell
handed-down history. The fact of Mr Brown exemplifying the manner
with his hands and a deep sense of recollection how the barter was
done, leads me to believe that this was the way he received the
story from Old Dick, and we are  fortunate to record it. Place
names are the present.
At certain times canoes would arrive at Nanaimo of Sliammon
Indians from Squirrel Cove, Cortez. Island. They brought bales of
mountain goat's hair in trade for the native dog's hair; the
Sliammon Indians had procured the hair from the mainland, (possibly
by barter). The mountain goat is not native to Vancouver Island.
In the business of exchange the bales of hair would be laid side
by side, the hair patted down by hand, adding more of this kind
or that of hair, until all were satisfied the bales were even,
then agreement was reached.
This being the case, which I consider a fact, the woolly
dogs must have been in the Nanaimo area centuries ago, and some
remnants of the woolly dogs were still here when J.K. Lord came
to Nanaimo In 1858 and fished at Nanaimo River. It is possible
the Nanaimo people preferred to use mostly goat's hair and traded
off the dog's hair; the yarn would be very similar to that used by
the Cowichans today.
Rev. Charles Moser, of Kakawis, B.C., in his "Reminiscences
of the West Coast cf Vancouver Island" mentions native dogs on two
occasions. In the first item, dated April 22nd, 1B7U,  Rev. A.J.
Brabant states that dogs were taken to an island across from
Ahousat Village, Clayoquat. Later he states "When I first met the
inhabitants of that desolate coast ... their attire (was) a blanket
of cedar bark, dogs' hair, or other inferior article". This
account is enough to show the native dog was in that area before
white settlers brought other breeds.
In 'Coast Salish' from the British Columbia Heritage Series,
there is a chapter dealing with textiles. This chapter tells of
the better class of woven materials made from a mixture of the 12
native woolly dog and mountain goat's hair, it was chiefly the
upper class of native who wore a robe made of this material. Best
of all, there is an excellent reproduction of a painting by Paul
Kane, entitled 'Coast Salish blanket weaving'. (The original
painting is in the Royal Ontario Museum.) In the foreground is"
pictured a white woolly dog. It is a breed apart from other dogs.
One point in this account differs from Vancouver's journal. He
described the coarse hair of the dog and the fine long hair of the
other animal (goat), while on page 35 of the booklet it states:
"The wool of the-dog is much finer than that of the goat". It must
be remembered that when Vancouver first saw these dogs it was early
In May and they were newly shorn of their hair. Having seen neither
kind of hair before he could easily have mistaken one for the other.
In Howay and Scholefield's History there is a translation
from Galiano's journal dated June 15th, 1792, as follows: "They
also offered new blankets which we afterwards concluded were of
dogs' hair, partly because when the woven hair was compared with
that of those animals there was no apparent difference, and partly
from the great number of dogs thoy kept in those villages, most of
them being shorn. These animals are of moderate size, resembling
those of English breed, with very thick coats, and usually white,
among other things they differed from those of Europe in their
manner of barking, which is simply a miserable howl."
In'BritishColumbia; a Centennial Anthology' James Robert
Anderson writing on 'Schooldays in Fort Victoria' stated "In
the summer of 1850 often Indian dogs would swim over from the
village to the fort .... The dogs I refer to were handsome white
animals resembling a Pomeranian but larger, with long woolly hair
which was regularly shorn and woven into blankets and articles of
clothing, so that the dogs were cf economical value to the natives".
During Simon Fraser's explorations on his well known journey
when he traversed the "Great River" from the Rockies to the sea
and back to the upper country, his journals recorded many accounts
about the indigenous dogs of the country. The Indians raised and
used these dogs as a prime source of protein food, and the meat
was prized by Fraser's voyagers as a delicacy. Fraser's account
would indicate that the white woolly dogs were widely distributed
along the Fraser River from the sea to the higher country.
As a final item, and a most important one concerning these
native dogs, I had the good ..fortune and'pleasure of making a tape
recording interview with Mr V.B. Harrison at his home on Newcastle
Avenue, Nanaimo, February 22nd, 1966. •
Mr Harrison was born at Victoria in 1885. When a boy of
g^out seven years of age and living with his family at Departure
Bay, he saw three of these white woolly dogs that were in a canoe, 13
which was drawn up on the beach in front of the old Harper Hotel,
(or known as the Bay Hotel). The dogs belonged to some Indians who®
home was at Hope Island at the North end of Vancouver Island; they
had been fishing at the Nass River and were visiting some friends;
at Departure Bay.
Mr Harrison described these animals in particular as to siZB,
shape and colour; he had retained a clear recollection of them as he
was always very fond of dogs. Mr. Harrison stated the dogs were
rather small, short legged, with thick barrel shaped bodies, long
hair, light colour. He never saw a dark haired one. These animals
must have been part of the last remnant* of' the breed in existence,
Mr Harrison is- the only person I.have'interviewed who actually saw
these white woolly dogs.
Years later while practising law in Victoria, Mr Harrison
spoke to Mr Frank Kermcde, Provincial-Museum Curator, about securing
specimens for the museum. Mr Kermode did locate somo of the dogs at
Hope Island; members of the forestry staff tried to.procure, some of
the animals but they were too difficult to obtain. Mr Harrison
stated that he was doubtful if any good specimens had been preserved.
British Columbia. Department of education. Division of curriculum,
British Columbia Heritage series, Series"1, Vol. 2. Coast
Salish. Victoria, 1952.
Fraser, Simon. Letters and journals, 1806-1808. Ed. with introduction by W. Kaye Lamb. Toronto, I960.
Lord, John K. The naturalist in Vancouver Island and British
Columbia. London, 1866.
Meany, Edmond S. Vancouver's discovery of Puget Sound. Portland, 1957.
Moser, Charles. Reminiscences of the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Victoria, 1926.
Scholefield, E.O.S. and F.W, Howay. British Columbia from the
earliest times to the present. Vancouver, 1914-
WattersB, R.E. ed. British Columbia, a centennial anthology. Toronto, 1958. BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
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