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History of British Columbia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. Originally politically constituted as a pair of British colonies, British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation on July 20, 1871. Perhaps the most influential historian of British Columbia has been Margaret Ormsby. In British Columbia: A History (1958) she presented a structural model that has been adopted by numerous historians and teachers. Chad Reimer says, "in many aspects, it still has not been surpassed". Ormsby posited a series of propositions that provided the dynamic to the history:

the ongoing pull between maritime and continental forces; the opposition between a "closed", hierarchical model of society represented by the Hudson's Bay Company and colonial officials, and the "open", egalitarian vision of English and Canadian settlers; and regional tensions between Vancouver Island and mainland, metropolitan Vancouver and the hinterland interior.[1]

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Transcription

MAPS. KNOWING WHERE WE ARE ON THIS EARTH. POWERFUL INFORMATION THAT OPENS UP NEW WORLDS. 200 YEARS AGO, CANADIAN EXPLORER, FUR TRADER AND SURVEYOR DAVID THOMPSON MAPPED THE UNCHARTED VAST INTERIOR OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. HE RETRACED THOUSANDS OF ANCIENT TRIBAL TRAILS. "HE'S AS MUCH A MAPMAKER OF THE CANADIAN IMAGINATION AS HE IS A SURVEYOR AND CARTOGRAPHER." THOMPSON WAS LIKE A HUMAN MAP-QUEST. ARMED WITH A SEXTANT, HE SPENT DECADES IN THE WILDERNESS TRAVELING 55,000 MILES BY SNOWSHOE, HORSEBACK, DOGSLED, AND CANOE, USING THE STARS TO MAP ONE FIFTH OF THE CONTINENT, 1.5 MILLION SQUARE MILES. "THERE WERE TIMES WHEN IT WAS 20-30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO" "HIS MIND, WAS THIS BIG COMPLEX MIND WORKING ON A LOT OF CYLINDERS" IN SALISH, HIS NAME WAS KOO KOO SINT, THE MAN WHO LOOKS AT STARS. "THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL AND UNIQUE ABOUT USING A SEXTANT, LOOKING AT THE STARS, LOOKING TO THE HEAVENS TO FIND YOUR WAY ON EARTH." THOMPSON MAPPED AS FAR NORTH AS ATHABASCA, SOUTH TO THE MISSOURI, FROM HUDSON BAY. TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. EVEN LEWIS AND CLARK USED ONE OF THOMPSON'S MAPS. THOMPSON, SOME THINK, WAS THE GREATEST LAND "WHETHER IT'S THOMPSON SKETCHING MAPS OR WHETHER IT'S THOMPSON SKETCHING MOUNTAINS, OR THOMPSON SKETCHING THESE WONDERFUL SUCCINCT POETIC STATEMENTS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LANGUAGES AND THEIR INTERACTIONS, HE'S VERY RELEVANT" IN 1807, THOMPSON CROSSED THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY. HE WAS SEARCHING FOR THE COLUMBIA RIVER, THE INLAND NORTHWEST PASSAGE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA. FOR FIVE YEARS, THOMPSON EXPLORED THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU, ITS RIVERS, AND THE UNIQUE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE. OUR STORY CENTERS ON THIS UNIQUE TIME. ♪ ♪ VOYAGEURS SINGING IT'S A COLD MAY MORNING ON THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER. BATTLING HEADWINDS, THE 2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE IS RETRACING A RIVER HIGHWAY FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO LAKE SUPERIOR. "THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS LED TO CANADA AS WE KNOW IT. AND, IT'S POSSIBLE TO GO FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS ALL THE WAY TO THE ATLANTIC, ALL THE WAY TO THE HUDSON BAY" THE FUR TRADE WAS BUILT ON THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS. TRADE GOODS WERE BROUGHT IN, FURS WERE BROUGHT OUT, ALMOST ALL BY WATER. IN ENGLAND, HIGH FASHION FELT HATS, WERE MADE OUT OF THE BEAVER FURS. EXTREMELY VALUABLE AND OFTEN PASSED FROM FATHER TO SON. THE VOYAGEURS, PRIMARILY FRENCH CANADIAN, WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE FUR TRADE. THE VOYAGEURS WRE LABORERS, THE HEAVY LIFTERS EXPECTED TO WORK 16 HOURS A DAY, PADDLING 55 STOKES PER MINUTE. THE BIRCH BARK CANOE WAS THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHOICE. "IT WAS THE SEMI TRAILER OF THE DAY, THERE'S JUST NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A 25' BOAT, FOUR FEET ACROSS THE BEAM, IT WAS ABLE TO CARRY A TON AND A HALF OF TRADE CARGO". THE NORTH AMERICAN FUR TRADE WAS BOOMING THE YEAR DAVID THOMPSON WAS BORN. BORN IN LONDON IN 1770, DAVID THOMPSON WAS RAISED BY HIS WIDOWED MOTHER IN THE TOUGH PART OF WESTMINSTER. AT SEVEN, HE ENTERED THE GREY COAT CHARITY SCHOOL, DEDICATED TO EDUCATING POOR CHILDREN. "IF YOU WERE SMART YOU GOT YOU GOT ON A HONOR'S TRACK, SO HE WAS TAKING TRIGONOMETRY WHEN HE WAS 12, 13 YEARS OLD AND GETTING GOOD AT IT. " THOMPSON LEARNED THE BASICS OF PRACTICAL NAVIGATION, THE USE OF A QUADRANT AND CROSS STAFF AND STANDARD METHODS FOR DETERMINING LATITUDE. "THE HUDSON'S BAY CO. KNEW ABOUT THESE CHARITY SCHOOLS AS DID THE BRITISH NAVY AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WITH SURVEYING SKILLS. " IN 1784, TWO STUDENTS WERE APPRENTICED TO THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY FOR SEVEN YEARS, TO WORK IN THE NORTH AMERICAN FUR TRADE. ONE RAN AWAY. THE OTHER WAS 14 YEAR OLD DAVID THOMPSON. "IT MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY SHOCKING TO LAND ON THE SHORE OF HUDSON BAY, WHICH ALONE IS A PRETTY RUGGED PLACE, LET ALONE THE KIND OF PEOPLE HE WAS SURROUNDED BY" ".BEING THRUST INTO AN ALIEN LANDSCAPE WHILE STILL AN ADOLESCENT. LEARNING CREE, LEARNING PIEGAN, LEARNING FRENCH, COMING TO KNOW THE LANDS OF THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA FIRST HAND. " WITHIN MONTHS THE ALIEN LANDSCAPE FROZE. "THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT FOLDED UP UNDER THE PRESSURE OF BEING ABOVE THE TREE LINE. HE NEVER COMPLAINED ABOUT BEING COLD. HE GOES OUT AND LEARNS HOW TO HUNT POLAR BEARS, AND PTARMIGAN AND FISH AND LOOKS AT MOSQUITOES, AND I MEAN HIS BOUNDLESS CURIOSITY DEVELOPED AT THE GREY COAT SCHOOL IS GIVEN A WHOLE CONTINENT TO FLOURISH. " THE FUR TRADE WAS BOTH A NATIVE AND EUROPEAN WORLD. "WE MAKE A MISTAKE IN THINKING THAT WE LIVE IN A MULTICULTURAL AGE, BECAUSE IF WE LOOK BACK AT THE WORLD OF THE WEST, IN THE LATE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES, WE HAVE THE ABORIGINAL PRESENCE AND THERE IS SO MUCH DIVERSITY ALREADY JUST WITHIN THAT WORLD. SO YOU'RE HEARING ALL THE NATIVE LANGUAGES, YOU'RE HEARING ENGLISH, GAELIC, FRENCH, IT'S JUST SUCH A FANTASTIC TAPESTRY OR MOSAIC OF CULTURES. " AT 17, THOMPSON WAS SENT WEST TO WINTER WITH THE BLACKFEET AT A WINTERING CAMP NEAR CALGARY, ALBERTA. " AND THAT'S WHERE HE MET SAUKAMAPPEE AND KOOTENAI APPE, THE GREAT WAR CHIEF, AND SOKATOW THE CIVIL CHIEF. SO, HE FORMED A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PIEGAN, HE LEARNED THEIR LANGUAGE" "THERE'S 5 WHITE GUYS IN A WINTER CAMP OF ABOUT 25 HUNDRED BLACKFEET, BUT THE BLACKFEET ARE VERY HOSPITABLE TO THEM, AND THEY TAKE THIS YOUNG TEENAGER AND PUT HIM IN THE TENT OF AN ELDER WHICH WAS VERY GRACIOUS THING TO DO SO HE COULD LEARN SOMETHING DURING THE WINTER" DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: WE WERE LODGED IN THE TENT OF AN OLD MAN. HE WAS FULL SIX FEET IN HEIGHT, ERECT, AND OF A FRAME THAT SHOWED STRENGTH AND ACTIVITY. I SAT AND LISTENED WITHOUT BEING IN THE LEAST TIRED" THE ELDER WAS A CREE NAMED SAUKAMAPPEE. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, THOMPSON LISTENED TO SAUKEMAPPE TELL STORIES. "SAUKAMAPPEE LIVED A LIFE PROBABLY AS INTERESTING AS THOMPSON'S. HE WITNESSED THE INTRODUCTION OF THE HORSE TO THE PLAINS. THE INTRODUCTION OF FIREARMS TO PLAINS WAR WARFARE. HE WITNESSED THE SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC. AND HE WAS ABLE TO RELATE ALL THAT TO THOMPSON AND THOMPSON IN TURN COULD RELATE IT TO US. " "IT'S REALLY EASY TO SEE HIS EDUCATION TO WESTERN NORTH AMERICA BEGINNING IN THAT TENT. " "DAVID THOMPSON HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO BREAK HIS LEG AND IT WAS SO SWELLED THAT I FOUND IT A DIFFICULT MATTER TO SET IT. WHATEVER THE CONSEQUENCE MAY BE IS YET UNCERTAIN,. . BUT SHALL HOPE FOR THE BEST. --- WILLIAM TOMISON HUDSON BAY COMPANY 1789" THOMPSON LEARNED PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY WHILE RECUPERATING FROM A BROKEN LEG WHEN HE WAS 19. HE STUDIED UNDER PHILIP TURNOR, THE BEST GEOGRAPHER IN THE NEW WORLD AT THE TIME. "BUT IF YOU GO THROUGH HIS JOURNALS, THEY'RE FILLED WITH ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS AND TAKEN DOWN IN THE MOST METICULOUS MANNER. IT WAS A LABOR OF LOVE FOR HIM. HE WOULD GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO LOOK AT THE STARS. I MEAN YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE COMMITTED TO SOMETHING TO DO THAT. AND HE WOULD TAKE READINGS AGAIN AND AGAIN, OF A SINGLE PLACE AND THEN AVERAGED THEM OUT TO TRY TO PINPOINT THAT ONE SPOT ON THE SURFACE OF THE GLOBE. IT'S ALMOST SOMETHING IT SEEMS HE WAS COMPELLED TO DO. " IT'S A VERY SMALL WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO HAD THIS SKILL, AND THOMPSON, WHO IS COMING FROM NOWHERE IS IN IT, AND HE CAN DO IT AS GOOD AS ANYBODY" DENNY DEMEYER IS A LAND SURVEYOR AND A MEMBER OF THE SURVEYOR'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY. "THE EARLIEST DEFINITION OF SURVEYING WAS CALLED PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY, SO WE WERE ALL PRACTICAL ASTRONOMERS ONCE UPON A TIME" DEMEYER COLLECTS 200 YEAR OLD SURVEYING EQUIPMENT. "THIS IS A 10 INCH LATTICE WORK SEXTANT OF THE TYPE USED BY DAVID THOMPSON, IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN LONDON. SEXTANTS WERE USED TO MEASURE THE ANGLES BETWEEN CELESTIAL OBJECTS AND THE HORIZON TO LOCATE ONES POSITION ON THE GLOBE. "THE LARGE PROBLEM EVERYONE HAD WAS ESTABLISHING LONGITUDE. LATITUDE WAS FAIRLY EASY TO ESTABLISH AND THEY HAD BEEN DOING THAT SINCE THE 1500S, BUT LONGITUDE, HOW FAR EAST AND WEST YOU WERE, WAS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE. " THOMPSON USED MERCURY POURED INTO A TRAY TO CREATE AN ARTIFICIAL HORIZON. OTHER TOOLS INCLUDED A FOUR FOOT ACHROMATIC DOLLOND TELESCOPE, A WATCH, A THERMOMETER, THE LATEST EDITION OF THE NAUTICAL ALMANAC, AND OTHER REFERENCE TABLES. AFTER THOMPSON'S APPRENTICESHIP, HE CONTINUED TO WORK FOR THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. BUT AT AGE 27, THOMPSON ABRUPTLY LEFT THEIR EMPLOY. AFTER 13 YEARS OF SERVICE, HE WALKED TO THE NEAREST NORTH WEST COMPANY POST AND SIGNED ON WITH THE COMPETITION. "HE FELT HE WASN'T GETTING ENOUGH ENCOURAGEMENT TO GO ON SURVEYS. THAT THE HUDSON'S BAY CO. HAD A MEAN AND SELFISH POLICY, WHERE THE NORTHWEST CO WERE MORE LIBERAL MINDED. " "THOMPSON DID NOT GIVE HUDSON'S BAY A YEAR NOTICE AND THAT WAS CONSIDERED VERY BAD FORM" "WILLIAM TOMISON WROTE THAT IF HE EVER MET DAVID THOMPSON, HE WOULD BE TEMPTED TO PULL HIS EARS OFF, SO THERE CERTAINLY WERE PEOPLE WITHIN THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY THAT WERE VERY ANGRY WHEN DAVID THOMPSON LEFT." UNLIKE THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, THAT WAS CONTROLLED FROM AFAR IN LONDON, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY WAS BASED OUT OF MONTREAL. THE PARTNERS, USUALLY SCOTS, SHARED IN THE PROFITS. THOMPSON'S FIRST ASSIGNMENT WAS AN AMBITIOUS ONE,. SURVEYING TRADING POSTS FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO NORTH DAKOTA. IN 10 MONTHS HE COVERED 4,000 MILES. ON THAT JOURNEY, THOMPSON TOOK THE FIRST ACCURATE LONGITUDE OF AN IMPORTANT MANDAN VILLAGE TRADING CENTER IN NORTH DAKOTA. HE INTERVIEWED ELDERS, GATHERING IMPORTANT TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE UPPER MISSOURI. " HE'S COMBINING TRIBAL INFORMATION AND OUTDOOR SKILLS THAT HE'S LEARNED IN HIS APPRENTICESHIP WITH EUROPEAN STYLE WRITING AND MAP MAKING AND IT'S QUITE AN ENGAGING MIX. AND HE GOES BACK AND MAKES A MAP OF WHAT HE CALLS THE BEND OF THE MISSOURI" THOMPSON'S ' BEND OF THE MISSOURI' MAP ENDS UP IN THE HANDS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. " JEFFERSON MAKES SOME HANDWRITTEN NOTES ON THIS MAP OF THOMPSON AND ITS NOW IN OUR LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. THE TWO NOTES THAT JEFFERSON WRITES ON THERE ARE MR. THOMPSON'S LONGITUDE FOR THESE VILLAGES IS, AND HE KNOWS THAT'S IMPORTANT, AND THAT IS WHERE LEWIS & CLARK END UP SPENDING THEIR FIRST WINTER, IT'S THE PERFECT STOPPING POINT AND THEN ON THE OTHER SIDE IN REVERSE IT SAYS THIS MAP BELONGS TO CAPT. LEWIS. " "ON THIS DAY I MARRIED CHARLOTTE SMALL ... DAVID THOMPSON, JUNE 10, 1799" AT 29, THOMPSON MARRIED CHARLOTTE SMALL AT ILE A LA CROSSE , A TRADING POST ON THE CHURCHILL RIVER. OF MIXED BLOOD, CHARLOTTE'S MOTHER WAS NAHATHAWAY CREE AND HER FATHER, A SCOTTISH FUR TRADER. "THEY KNEW THAT THESE KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT THEY FORMED WITH NATIVE WOMEN, WOULD NOT QUALIFY AS MARRIAGES. THERE WERE NO MINISTERS AROUND, THERE WAS NO CHURCH. THEY DIDN'T VIEW THEM AS MARRIAGES IN THEIR EYES" "THE FUR TRADE DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT THEM. THOMPSON ALWAYS TRAVELS WITH WOMEN. HE IS DEPENDING ON THEM. AND HE HAS A MIXED BLOOD WIFE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES. " "MY LOVELY WIFE IS OF THE BLOOD OF THESE PEOPLE, SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE AND WELL EDUCATED IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, WHICH GIVES ME A GREAT ADVANTAGE. " "THE TRADERS ALWAYS RECOGNIZED THAT THESE CONNECTIONS WERE IMPORTANT, THAT THEY NEEDED CONNECTIONS IF THEY WERE GOING TO SURVIVE. " "BECAUSE YOUR MOST LIKELY TO TRADE WITH YOUR BROTHER IN LAW OR YOUR SON IN LAW THAN YOU ARE GOING TO A COMPETITION WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY KINSHIP TIES. " IN FALL OF 1800, THOMPSON AND HIS NEW WIFE, CHARLOTTE, ARRIVED AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE. THE POST, BUILT A YEAR EARLIER, STOOD UPSTREAM FROM A STRING OF POSTS ON THE UPPER SASKATCHEWAN. ALTHOUGH THE MOUNTAINS WERE BARELY IN VIEW, THE INTENTION WAS CLEAR. THE FUR TRADE WAS MOVING WEST, HEADING FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. THE NOR'WESTERS WANTED TO ATTRACT THE TRADE OF THE KOOTENAI, A TRIBE ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. "THE KOOTENAI ARE THIS REALLY COMPLEX TRIBE AND ONE OF THE FEW TRIBES THAT'S LIVING BOTH PLAINS CULTURE AND PLATEAU CULTURE TOGETHER, WHERE UPPER KOOTENAI PEOPLE GO BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS. " THE KOOTENAI ARE AN ANCIENT PEOPLE, WHO'VE LIVED ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU FOR OVER 10,000 YEARS. " OUR LANGUAGE IS AN ISOLATE LANGUAGE, THE KOOTENAI LANGUAGE, THERE IS NO OTHER LANGUAGE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH THAT IS LIKE IT. " "WE'RE ALL UPNUCKANICK, THAT'S THE TRUE TERM OF WHO WE ARE UPNUCKANICK" AT THAT TIME, THE PIEGAN, BLOOD AND BLACKFEET DOMINATED THE NORTHERN PLAINS. "THE PIEGAN FOR GENERATIONS HAVE BEEN SAVVY ABOUT PROTECTING THEIR INTERESTS". THEY ACTED AS MIDDLEMEN BETWEEN THE FUR TRADERS AND TRIBES WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. " I WATCHED AS THE KOOTENAIS SWAPPED THEIR BEST HORSES AND DRESS FURS TO THE PIEGAN FOR OLD KETTLES AND BROKEN TOOLS. PETER FIDLER, HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 1792" " THE PIEGAN AND THEIR ALLIES THE BLACKFOOT AND BLOOD DIDN'T REALLY LIKE THE FACT THAT THOMPSON WANTED TO MOVE THROUGH THEM AND TRADE DIRECTLY WITH GROUPS LIKE THE SALISH THE KOOTENAI AND ALL THOSE TRIBES ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. " " THEY SEE EUROPEANS IN MUCH THE SAME WAY AS THEY WERE ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING OTHER FIRST NATIONS, NOT NECESSARILY AS FRIENDS OR FOES, BUT AS POTENTIAL THREATS, OR AS POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY. " WHEN THE KOOTENAI TRIED TO TRADE DIRECTLY WITH THE EUROPEANS, THE PIEGAN HARASSED THEM AND TRIED TO STEAL THEIR HORSES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: OCTOBER 16, 1800 " I CAN NOT HELP BUT ADMIRE THOSE BRAVE UNDAUNTED KOOTENAI. WHEN THE YOUNG PIEGAN MEN SEIZED THE HEADS OF THEIR HORSES, THEY ALL ACTED AS IF BY ONE SOUL, BENT THEIR BOWS,. AND PREPARED TO MAKE THEIR OPPRESSORS QUIT THEIR HORSES OR SELL THEIR LIVES DEARLY" THE KOOTENAI WANTED THE FUR TRADERS TO BUILD A TRADING POST IN THEIR HOMELAND. ANXIOUS TO TAP THIS NEW SOURCE OF FURS, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY DECIDED TO EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS ACROSS THE ROCKIES IN 1806. THOMPSON, RECENTLY NAMED A PARTNER IN THE COMPANY, WAS PLACED IN CHARGE OF THE EXPEDITION. "MR. DAVID THOMPSON IS MAKING PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE MOUNTAINS, PASS THROUGH THE COUNTRY AND FOLLOW THE COLUMBIA RIVER TO THE SEA. .. JAMES BIRD, HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 1807" THE COURSE WOULD FOLLOW AN ANCIENT KOOTENAI TRAIL, UP THE SASKATCHEWAN, OVER THE ROCKIES INTO KOOTENAI COUNTRY. IT'S TODAY'S HOWSE PASS. THOMPSON WAS NOW 36, CHARLOTTE 21, WITH THREE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIX. THIS EXPEDITION WAS CAREFULLY PLANNED. AN ADVANCE PARTY, LED BY JACO FINLEY, WAS DISPATCHED TO IMPROVE THE KOOTENAI TRAIL ACROSS THE DIVIDE. "IT'S DESCRIBED AS LEADING AN EXPEDITION OVER, BUT YET THERE'S ALREADY PEOPLE OVER THERE, AND THERE'S PEOPLE BRINGING UP HORSES BEHIND THEM TO KEEP THEM SUPPLIED. IT'S THIS LONG STUTTERED SEQUENCE OF CACHING MATERIALS AND WAITING FOR THE SNOW TO MELT AND GETTING THE GUIDES HE WANTED IN PLACE. IT'S MUCH MORE LIKE AN ASCENT ON MT. EVEREST WHERE YOU HAVE BASE CAMPS AND YOU HAVE STUFF COMING UP AND YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT THEY AREN'T GOING TO SUMMIT, BUT THEY'RE PART OF THE TEAM. " BY THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY, THE ICE WAS BREAKING UP ON THE SASKATCHEWAN. EIGHT VOYAGEURS WERE PICKED FOR THE EXPEDITION. TWO SEPARATE GROUPS TRAVELED TOWARD THE ROCKIES. CLERK FINAN MCDONALD WITH FIVE VOYAGEURS, HEADED UPSTREAM IN THEIR PACKED CANOE. THOMPSON AND THE REMAINING THREE RODE THROUGH THE WOODED FORESTS, LEADING A STRING OF PACKHORSES. CHARLOTTE AND THE CHILDREN, ALSO RODE OVERLAND ALONG WITH TWO OTHER FAMILIES, TRAILED BY A BUNCH OF CAMP DOGS. "AND HIS CREW IS SO STEADY, THAT YOU SORT OF DEVELOP THIS AFFINITY AND GET THIS FEELING THAT IT'S NOT JUST THOMPSON. SO AGAIN, HE'S SORT OF THIS ROLLING TRAVELING CIRCUS. " THOMPSON'S DAILY WEATHER REPORT SEEMED TO REFLECT HIS OPTIMISM FOR THE JOURNEY. "A FINE DAY", "A VERY FINE DAY", "A DAY WITH FLYING CLOUDS" THOMPSON: "I HAD A VERY EXTENSIVE VIEW OF THE COUNTRY. HILLS AND ROCKS RISING ONE BEHIND ANOTHER, HIGHER AND HIGHER TO THE SNOWY SUMMITS OF THE MOUNTAINS. NEVER BEFORE DID I BEHOLD SO PERFECT A RESEMBLANCE TO THE WAVES OF THE OCEAN IN THE WINTRY STORM. " FOLLOWING JOCKO FINLEY'S MARKED PATH UP THE OLD KOOTENAI TRAIL, THE PARTY CLIMBED TO THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE,. WHICH THOMPSON CALLED THE "HEIGHT OF LAND. " " THE ROCKIES ARE VERY INTIMIDATING, AND HE'S NOT A MOUNTAIN GUY. HE'S CUT HIS TEETH IN THE PRAIRIE. AND IT'S JUST SO DISORIENTING TO GET UP INTO HIGH MOUNTAINS. " JUNE 15, 1807 "THE SNOWS ARE NOW RUSHING DOWN WITH THE NOISE THAT WE CAN HARDLY PERSUADE OURSELVES IT IS NOT THUNDER - WE HEAR IT AT LEAST EVERY HOUR. " "IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN IN THE ROCKIES DURING SPRING RUNOFF, IT'S EXCITING. THERE'S A LOT OF NOISE, THERE'S A LOT OF STUFF COMING DOWN, THERE'S A LOT OF WATER RUNNING, IT'S HARD TO DO ANYTHING. EXCEPT STAND THERE AND BE IN AWE OF IT" THE TRAIL UP WAS RELATIVELY EASY, BUT GOING DOWN THE WEST SLOPE OF THE ROCKIES WAS A DIFFERENT MATTER ALTOGETHER. DAVID THOMPSON: "THE HORSES ROLLED DOWN SO OFTEN, AND RECEIVED SUCH VIOLENT SHOCKS FROM THE TREES AS TO DEPRIVE THEM FOR A TIME OF MOTION. " DURING THE STEEP DESCENT, THE NOR'WESTERS WERE FORCED BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE RAGING BLAEBERRY RIVER, WILD WITH RUNOFF. " AND HE'S GOT VOYAGEURS THAT ARE SWIMMING ACROSS HOLDING ON TO HORSES MANES OR TAILS, WHO HE'S WORRIED ABOUT BECAUSE NONE OF THEM CAN EVER SWIM. HE NEVER MENTIONS CHARLOTTE, HIS WIFE OR HIS KIDS AGED 5, 3, AND 1. I MEAN IT'S REALLY HARD TO IMAGINE HOW THEY'RE GETTING ACROSS WITHOUT BEING IN DANGER. " THE DENSE TRAIL, POORLY CLEARED BY JACO FINLEY AND HIS MEN THE SUMMER BEFORE, WAS PRACTICALLY IMPASSABLE. THOMPSON WAS FURIOUS WITH JACO, HIS MEN EXHAUSTED. THOMPSON REPORT: "THE ROAD WAS NOWHERE CLEARED ANY MORE THAN JUST TO PERMIT JACO AND HIS FAMILY TO SQUEEZE THROUGH IT WITH THEIR LIGHT BAGGAGE, AND IT IS OF THE OPINION OF EVERY MAN WITH ME, THAT JACO OUGHT TO LOSE AT LEAST HALF HIS WAGES" IN LATE JUNE, THOMPSON'S PARTY REACHED THE BANKS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, NEAR GOLDEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA. "HE HITS THE COLUMBIA AT A VERY BEAUTIFUL PLACE WHERE THE BLAEBERRY COMES INTO IT. IT'S THIS WIDE VALLEY, WITH LOTS OF WETLANDS" SINCE THE HEADWATERS OF THE COLUMBIA RUN NORTH FOR 300 MILES BEFORE CURVING SOUTH, THOMPSON HAD NO IDEA HE'D FOUND THE HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER GREAT RIVER OF THE WEST THE REMAINING LINK TO A NORTHWEST PASSAGE. THOMPSON'S FIRST PRIORITY WAS TO FIND THE TRIBES AND ESTABLISH TRADE. HE MOVED HIS PARTY SOUTH, UPSTREAM, LOOKING FOR THE KOOTENAI, BUT THEY WERE NOT THERE TO MEET HIM. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THERE'S NO FOOD, AND THE BIRCH BARK IS TOO THIN FOR BUILDING CANOES. "HE KNOWS THE RULES HAVE CHANGED BUT HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW. HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE NEW RULES ARE. " "CROSSING OVER THE MOUNTAINS, IT'S A DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEM. IT'S TIED TO THE PACIFIC AS OPPOSED TO THE ATLANTIC. YOU'RE NOT DEALING WITH CULTURES DEPENDENT ON THE BISON OR THE CARIBOU AS HE KNEW. " THOMPSON JOURNALS: JULY 19, 1807 "THE COUNTRY IS EXTREMELY POOR IN PROVISIONS, NOTHING LARGER THAN A CHEVERUIL, AND WE ARE IN ALL 17 MOUTHS TO FEED" " AT THE TIME, IF YOU'RE LIVING ON THE PRAIRIE, THERE'S 50 MILLION BUFFALO AND 50 MILLION PRONG HORN ANTELOPE. SO HE HAS A VERY STEEP LEARNING CURVE" THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE MEN WERE NOW SO WEAK, THAT HOWEVER WILLING, THEY ACTUALLY HAD NOT THE STRENGTH TO WORK. " " I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE THOMPSON FLIPPED FROM THIS THIS HYPER COMPETENT INDIVIDUAL TO SOMEONE WHO NOW IS FACING STARVATION ON A REGULAR BASIS. ALL OF A SUDDEN, NOW HE HAS TO STEP BACK AND BECOME THE STUDENT ." A BAND OF KOOTENAI FINALLY ARRIVED. THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE KOOTENAI SAW OUR FAMISHED LOOKS AND ASKING NO QUESTIONS, GAVE EVERYONE A SUFFICIENCY TO EAT, WHICH WAS MOST GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED. " THOMPSON BUILT THE FIRST TRADE POST AT THE SOURCE LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA, JUST ABOVE LAKE WINDERMERE. HE NAMED IT KOOTENAI HOUSE. TODAY, PARKS CANADA ARCHEOLOGIST BILL PERRY AND HIS CREW, DIG FOR 200 YEAR OLD ARTIFACTS AT THE HISTORIC KOOTENAI HOUSE SITE. "DAVID THOMPSON WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUR TRADE SO HE WAS TRADING WITH A LOT OF NATIVES SO WE'RE EXPECTING A LOT OF NATIVE CAMP SITE ACTIVITIES OVER HERE" KOOTENAI HOUSE CONSISTED OF THREE BUILDINGS WITH PALISADE WALLS FOR PROTECTION. THOMPSON'S JOURNAL: " 30 PIEGAN MEN ARE ON THERE WAY HERE. " THEY HAVE IT IN THEIR POWER TO BE VERY TROUBLESOME TO US AND EVEN TO CUT US OFF;" THE PIEGANS ARE HIGHLY JEALOUS OF THE KOOTENAIS HAVING A POST FOR TRADE AMONG THEM. " "THE LAST THING THE PIEGANS WANT TO HAVE IS GUNS IN THE HANDS OF THE KOOTENAI. WHEN THOMPSON STARTS LOOKING TO CROSS THE MOUNTAINS AND TRADE GUNS DIRECTLY TO THE KOOTENAI, THE PIEGAN SEE HIM AS AN ARMS DEALER. YOU ASKED A MOMENT AGO, WHY DIDN'T THEY KILL HIM, THEY THOUGHT ABOUT IT, DON'T THINK IT DIDN'T CROSS THEIR MINDS, BUT IT IS A COMPLICATED SITUATION YOU SEE, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT EMPLOY THOMPSON ARE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT PROVIDE THE PIEGAN WITH THE BLANKETS AND THE COPPER POTS AND THE GLASS BEADS AND THE GUNS " IN TRUTH, THOMPSON TRADED FEW GUNS AND NO ALCOHOL WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. "BECAUSE HE KEEPS TRACK OF EVERYTHING. HE'S ALWAYS COUNTING WHAT HE HAS. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE TRADE LISTS THERE ARE HARDLY ANY FIRE ARMS INVOLVED. I MEAN THERE ARE JUST TINY NUMBERS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO HEAVY TO CARRY AND HE HAS TO CARRY EVERYTHING FROM LAKE SUPERIOR. MOST OF THE TRADE GOODS WERE DIRECTED TOWARD WOMEN; AWLS FOR PUNCHING HOLES, FLINT AND STEEL FOR STARTING FIRES, COPPER POTS, SEWING NEEDLES, WOOL BLANKETS AND LINEN SHIRTS. IN EARLY FALL, 1807, THOMPSON WAS READY TO EXPLORE, OR WHAT HE CALLED, "GOING ON DISCOVERY". "THE ELDERS THAT HE'S DEALING WITH, THEY SAY YOU CAN'T GO. WELL, HE SAYS, WHY CAN'T I GO, YOU'VE GOT TO WAIT FOR UGLY HEAD FOR HE'S THE GUIDE WITH THE POLITICAL SKILLS AND THE LANGUAGE SKILLS AND THE INTEGRITY TO SHOW YOU AROUND. I MEAN, YOU CAN'T JUST GO FROM ONE NATION TO ANOTHER. " UGLY HEAD, IS A KOOTENAI CHIEF, SO NAMED BECAUSE OF HIS UNUSUAL HEAD OF CURLY HAIR. "THERE ARE ALL THESE DOORS AND UGLY HEAD IS THE GUY THAT HAS ALL THE KEYS AND IS GOING TO OPEN THE DOOR THAT HE WANTS TO. " "THEY'RE GIVING HIM INFORMATION ON A PIECE BY PIECE BASES, A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME, HE HAS TO EARN THAT TRUST" CHIEF UGLY HEAD AND HIS WIFE TOOK THOMPSON ON HIS FIRST REAL "DISCOVERY" OF THE AREA. " AND THEY START RIDING UPSTREAM ON THE COLUMBIA, AND THEY RIDE ACROSS THE CANAL FLATS PORTAGE, WHICH IS A ONE-MILE PORTAGE THAT TAKES YOU TO KOOTENAY RIVER, AND THOMPSON IS JUST SORT OF BLOWN AWAY. IT'S FABULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY AND THEY GO DOWN TO THE ST. MARY'S RIVER, AND UGLY HEAD GOES "WELL I LIVE IN BONNERS FERRY I WANT TO TAKE THIS SHORT CUT OVER THE MOUNTAINS TO GET THERE, LET'S GO"... AND HE POINTS TO THESE MOUNTAINS THAT ARE ALREADY COVERED WITH SNOW AND SAYS IT WILL JUST TAKE A FEW WEEKS. THOMPSON IS INTIMIDATED BY THE MOUNTAINS FOR SURE. HE'S WORRIED ABOUT CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS BACK AT KOOTENAI HOUSE BECAUSE SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN MORE BLACKFEET THAN KOOTENAIS AT KOOTENAI HOUSE THOMPSON RETURNED TO SPEND HIS FIRST WINTER ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS AT KOOTENAI HOUSE. " BOTH CANADIANS AND INDIANS OFTEN INQUIRED OF ME WHY I PASSED WHOLE NIGHTS WITH MY INSTRUMENTS LOOKING AT THE MOON AND STARS. I TOLD THEM IT WAS TO DETERMINE THE DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM THE PLACE I OBSERVED TO OTHER PLACES, NEITHER THE CANADIANS NOR THE INDIANS BELIEVED ME; FOR BOTH ARGUED THAT IF WHAT I SAID WAS TRUTH, I OUGHT TO LOOK TO THE GROUND, AND OVER IT; AND NOT TO THE STARS "NOT ONLY NATIVE PEOPLE BUT HIS OWN FRENCH-CANADIAN EMPLOYEES WOULD COME TO HIM AND ASK HIM TO SOMEHOW CONTROL NATURE FOR THEM. RAISE A WIND FOR US, MAKE THE GAME COME TO US. THEY ALL THOUGHT THAT WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE WAS OBSERVING THE SKIES WAS SOMEHOW SEEING WHAT WAS HAPPENING FAR AWAY, OR SEEING INTO THE FUTURE" THOMPSON FOUND TIME TO WORK ON HIS MAPS DURING THE WINTER. HE'D DRAW NUMEROUS SMALL CHARTS, USING COORDINATES AND COMPASS COURSES FROM HIS SURVEY NOTEBOOKS. LATER THE CHARTS WERE LINED-UP AND CONNECTED, FITTING TOGETHER LIKE TILES ON A FLOOR. THOMPSON'S FIRST YEAR WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS WAS CLOSE TO BEING HIS LAST. THE SMALL NUMBER OF FURS COLLECTED CAST DOUBT ON THE COMMERCIAL VALUE OF THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON, FRUSTRATED, WROTE LETTERS BACK TO HIS PARTNERS SAYING THE KOOTENAI DID NOT UNDERSTAND COMMERCIAL LEVEL TRAPPING. "TO HIM, HE WANTS EVERY FAMILY TO GET A PACK OR TWO PACKS OF FURS, THAT'S BETWEEN 60 AND OVER 100 BEAVER, EVERY WINTER FROM NOW ON FOREVER. THEY CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT'S ONE OF THOSE CULTURAL DISJUNCTS THAT DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE. WHY WOULD YOU TRAP THAT MANY BEAVER? " THE PLATEAU TRIBES TRADITIONALLY GAMBLED, DANCED AND SPIRITUALLY RESTORED THEMSELVES IN THE WINTER. "HE IS ALWAYS GOING CRAZY HARANGUING THEM TO GO TRAP, IT'S WINTER, THE PELTS ARE PRIME, WHY AREN'T YOU TRAPPING? AND THEY GO, OH WE CAN'T. WE HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY RESTORE OURSELVES, THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE WINTER. WE WORK ALL YEAR SO THAT WE CAN NOW DO THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US. AND HE SEES THIS DEEP SPIRITUALITY AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THEIR CULTURE. " IN SPRING 1808, THOMPSON AND FOUR VOYAGEURS RETRACED HIS SHORT TRIP OF THE PREVIOUS FALL AND CONTINUED SOUTH, DOWN STEAM ON THE KOOTENAY RIVER. THIS TIME, THOMPSON RODE IN A CANOE WITH A COMPASS, RECORDING EACH SMALL CHANGE OF DIRECTION WHILE ESTIMATING THE DISTANCE IN FRACTIONS OF MILES. THE PARTY CROSSED THE 49TH PARALLEL IN WHAT IS NOW NORTHWESTERN MONTANA. TO BRING IN MORE BEAVER PACKS, THOMPSON PLANNED TO RENDEZVOUS WITH A GROUP OF KOOTENAI GUIDES, THEN MOVE SOUTH TO OPEN TRADE WITH THE FLATHEAD IN MONTANA. BUT WHEN HIS GUIDES DID NOT APPEAR, THE NOR'WESTERS CONTINUED DOWNSTREAM ALONE, CROSSING OVER THE STEEP DANGEROUS PORTAGE OF KOOTENAI FALLS. 23 YEAR OLD DAN BLACKBURN, A PROFESSIONAL KAYAKER, GREW UP ON THE KOOTENAI RIVER. "WHEN I STARTED KAYAKING THAT WAS MY MAIN GOAL IS TO GO OVER KOOTENAI FALLS, BECAUSE I HEARD PEOPLE COULD DO IT. IT'S A MILE AND A HALF OF WORLD CLASS WHITE WATER" TODAY, KOOTENAI FALL'S WATER LEVEL IS CONTROLLED BY LIBBY DAM, IN MONTANA. BUT IN THOMPSON'S DAY THE WATER WAS FREE FLOWING; MUCH STRONGER THAN IT IS TODAY THREE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE THE RIVER, OVER SHARP ROCKS, BLACKBURN WITH A FRIEND PORTAGE KOOTENAI FALLS, FOLLOWING THE SAME TRIBAL TRAIL THAT THOMPSON'S PARTY USED SO MANY YEARS AGO. DAN BLACKBURN: "WE'RE BASICALLY SEEING THE SAME THINGS, IT'S A REALLY COOL FEELING TO THINK BACK THAT FAR, PRETTY HUMBLING. " THOMPSON: MAY 6, 1808 "OUR HEIGHT AT TIMES WAS ABOUT 300 FEET ABOVE THE RIVER, THE LEAST SLIP WOULD HAVE BEEN INEVITABLE DEATH. EACH MAN HAD TWO PAIRS OF SHOES ON HIS FEET, BUT THEY WERE CUT TO PIECES. " THAT MAY, THE NOR'WESTERS ARRIVED AT BONNER'S FERRY, IDAHO; THE HOME OF UGLY HEAD'S PEOPLE. IN THE SUMMER OF 2008, TRIBAL LEADERS AND HISTORIANS SET UP AN ENCAMPMENT NEAR THE SPOT THE KOOTENAI AND THOMPSON SHARED IN THE SPRING OF 1808. "I HAD THIS VISION ABOUT AN ENCAMPMENT AND THE INFLUENCE THAT DAVID THOMPSON HAD ON THE KOOTENAI PEOPLE AND VICE VERSA, AND HERE WE ARE. " TIM RYAN AND OTHER TRIBAL MEMBERS SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE. "THE NATURAL WORLD OUT THERE, THE FORESTS ARE KIND OF LIKE OUR CHURCHES. " RYAN MAKES ITEMS USED BY HIS NATIVE ANCESTORS WITH THE SAME MATERIALS AND HAND-MADE TOOLS. " MY PRIORITY IS TO LEARN THESE SKILLS AND ASSURE THAT THESE SKILLS ARE STILL PRESENT WITHIN OUR CULTURE AND THAT THEY'RE STILL PRACTICED" THOMPSON USED BONNER'S FERRY AS A BASE AND PADDLED NORTH TOWARD KOOTENAY LAKE, THE HOME OF THE FLAT BOW BAND. "KOOTENAY LAKE USED TO BE THE HEARTBEAT OF OUR PEOPLE, THE FLAT BOW AND ALL THE STREAMS AND RIVERS THAT FLOWED INTO KOOTENAY LAKE, IT WAS LIKE ARTERIES" FOR GENERATIONS, WAYNE LOUIS'S FAMILY HAS LIVED NEAR KOOTENAY LAKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. " WHEN IT USED TO FLOOD, IN THE OLD DAYS BEFORE DAMS WERE PUT IN, THIS USED TO BECOME ONE BIG DELTA, THIS WHOLE VALLEY. THIS WHOLE VALLEY ONE BIG DELTA TO NAVIGATE THE DELTA, THE KOOTENAI DESIGNED THE DISTINCTIVE STURGEON-NOSED CANOE. "THE ELDERS USED TO SAY WHEN YOU GOT TO THIS STAGE THIS RESEMBLED A SKELETON OF A STURGEON. IT DOES BECAUSE THE SNOUTS THERE, HERE'S RIBS AND BONES. AT HIGH WATER TIME WHEN THE BULL RUSHES WERE UP, THESE CANOES USED TO BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THE BULL RUSHES. " THOMPSON ADMIRED THE STURGEON-NOSED CANOES. "WHEN DAVID THOMPSON CAME UP HERE, HE CAME UP HERE IN MAY. THAT WAS THE HIGH WATER TIME,. ..AND HE TRAVELED THE ROUTE UP HERE, THE RIVER, AND HE WENT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE HISTORIC WATER LEVEL, IT'S CALLED KOOTENAY LANDING. " NEAR THAT POINT, THE KOOTENAY RIVER HEADS WEST JOINING THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON DID NOT INVESTIGATE FURTHER, BUT INSTEAD HURRIED BACK TO A FLOODED BONNER'S FERRY HOPING TO TRADE WITH A GROUP OF FLATHEAD WHO WERE SUPPOSEDLY ON THEIR WAY TO THE KOOTENAI ENCAMPMENT. MAY 17, 1808 "HERE WE RECEIVED THE DISAGREEABLE NEWS OF THE FLAT HEADS BEING UNABLE TO COME HERE ON ACCOUNT OF THE FLOODING OF THE COUNTRY, THUS ALL MY FINE HOPES ARE RUINED" IN A LETTER, THOMPSON EXPRESSED HIS FRUSTRATION AT BEING CUT OFF FROM THE TRIBES BY WINTER SNOW AND SPRING FLOODS. THOMPSON JOURNAL MAY 17, 1808: "THE FLATHEADS WERE ONLY 12 DAY'S MARCH FROM US LAST WINTER AND THE LAKE INDIANS ONLY 6 DAYS AND YET BOTH ARE COMPLETELY SHUT UP BY MOUNTAINS AS IF THEY WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE, AND THE WATERS RISING IN THE SUMMER HAVE NEARLY THE SAME EFFECT. THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO LONGER FOR THE FLATHEADS. HE HAD A LONG TRADE RUN TO MAKE BACK TO LAKE SUPERIOR. AFTER RECROSSING HOWSE PASS, HE DROPPED CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS OFF WITH RELATIVES AT BOGGY HALL, AND THEN CONTINUED DOWN THE SASKATCHEWAN. PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THE PIEGAN THREAT, CHARLOTTE NEVER AGAIN TRAVEL WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. IN THE SUMMER OF 1809, THOMPSON DECIDED TO BUILD A TRADE POST MORE CENTRALLY LOCATED TO THE PLATEAU TRIBES. HE CLOSED UP KOOTENAI HOUSE AND MOVED HIS ENTIRE PARTY DOWN THE KOOTENAI RIVER, SOUTH OVER THE GREAT ROAD TO THE FLATHEADS,. TO A LARGE TRIBAL ENCAMPMENT ON LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON JOURNAL: SEPTEMBER 9, 1809 "THEY ALL SMOKED, 54 FLAT HEADS, 23 POINTED HEARTS, AND 4 KOOTANAIS - IN ALL ABOUT 80 MEN. THEN THEY MADE US A HANDSOME PRESENT OF DRIED SALMON AND OTHER FISH WITH BERRIES" "THEY TAKE HIM TO THIS AMAZING MIXED TRIBAL ENCAMPMENT NEAR HOPE, IDAHO WHERE EVERYBODY IS, ALL THE FLATHEADS AND KOOTENAIS AND KALISPEL, BUT ALSO OKANOGAN AND SANDPOINT AND COEUR D'ALENE AND NEZ PERCE, I MEAN EVERYBODY'S THERE" THE ENCAMPMENT WAS LOCATED AT A PLACE CALLED INDIAN MEADOWS ON THE BANKS OF LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON BUILT KULLYSPELL HOUSE, NAMED AFTER THE KALISPEL PEOPLE THAT LIVED THERE. THE KALISPEL WERE ALSO CALLED THE PEND OREILLE BY THE TRADERS. THE KALISPEL, ARE ONE OF MANY SALISH SPEAKING TRIBES. " THE ENTIRE NORTHWEST CONSISTS OF THE SALISH SPEAKING PEOPLE, WHO OUR ELDERS SAY CAME FROM ONE LARGE GROUP AT ONE TIME. THOSE DIFFERENT BANDS THAT ARE LOCATED IN OTHER AREAS ARE OTHER TRIBES NOW. WE REFER TO THEM AS THE KALISPEL, THE SPOKANES, THE COEUR D'ALENE, THE OKANOGANS, SUSHWA" DAVID THOMPSON JOURNALS: " I SPENT MUCH OF THE DAY TRADING WITH THE INDIANS WHO BROUGHT ABOUT 130 SKINS. SIXTEEN CANOES OF POINTED HEARTS PASSED US AND CAMPED WITH OTHER FLATHEADS". BUSINESS WAS BOOMING. AT TIMES, ENTIRE DAYS HAD TO BE SET ASIDE FOR TRADING. IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS ACTIVITY, THOMPSON DECIDED TO 'GO ON DISCOVERY' AND TRACE THE PEND OREILLE'S COURSE TO THE COLUMBIA. HE RODE WEST, FOLLOWING THE PEND OREILLE RIVER TO A KALISPEL VILLAGE, NEAR CUSICK, WASHINGTON. " THE OLDEST MAN ACCORDING TO CUSTOM MADE A SPEECH AND A PRESENT OF 2 CAKES OF ROOT BREAD,. " THE ROOT BREAD WAS MADE FROM CAMAS OR EETOWOY. ON HIS LATER MAPS, THOMPSON LABELED THIS AREA EETOWOY PLAINS. TRYING TO FIND A SUITABLE TRADE ROUTE TO THE COLUMBIA PROVED DIFFICULT. THOMPSON BORROWED A KALISPEL CANOE AND HEADED DOWN RIVER,. ..ONLY TO BE STOPPED BY THE STEEP CLIFFS OF BOX CANYON. " AND THOMPSON INSTEAD OF PUSHING ON THROUGH AND GETTING TO THE COLUMBIA, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN A COUPLE DAYS WALK, TURNS AROUND AND GOES BACK. " THOMPSON LEFT A CREW TO WINTER AT KULLYSPELL HOUSE, THEN FOLLOWED THE CLARK FORK RIVER UPSTREAM TO THE OPEN COUNTRY WHERE MANY SALISH BANDS WINTERED. THERE HE BUILT SALEESH HOUSE, NEAR THOMPSON FALLS, MONTANA, AND SPENT THE WINTER. " AND IT'S REALLY A REMARKABLE WINTER, THAT'S WHEN HE DOES HIS SALISH WORD LIST" THOMPSON DEVOTED 26 PAGES OF HIS JOURNAL LISTING 1,000 ALPHABETIZED ENGLISH WORDS HE WANTED TO LEARN IN SALISH. "THEY TELL A LOT MORE ABOUT THOMPSON THAN THEY TELL ABOUT THE SALISH INDIANS. JUST IN THE "A"S, ITS LIKE ABANDONMENT, AMBUSH, ANXIETY, ANXIOUS. IT'S A VERY FUNNY LIST THOMPSON WAS ABLE TO GATHER 400 SALISH EQUIVALENTS. IN MAY 1810, THOMPSON DISPATCHED JACO FINLEY TO BUILD A NEW POST AMONG THE SPOKANE PEOPLE. SPOKANE HOUSE WOULD COMPLETE A CIRCLE OF TRADE IN WHAT THOMPSON CALLED THE BETTER PART OF THE COUNTRY. LEAVING FINAN MCDONALD IN CHARGE OF SALEESH HOUSE, THOMPSON TOOK THE FURS TO LAKE SUPERIOR, EXPECTING TO REMAIN IN THE EAST FOR A YEAR. THOMPSON LETTER TO SIMON FRASER: DECEMBER 21, 1810 " MY DEAR FRASER. I AM GETTING TIRED OF SUCH CONSTANT HARD JOURNEYS; FOR THE LAST 20 MONTHS I HAVE SPENT ONLY BARELY TWO MONTHS UNDER THE SHELTER OF A HUT, ALL THE REST HAS BEEN IN MY TENT, AND THERE IS LITTLE LIKELIHOOD THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WILL BE MUCH OTHERWISE" "HE'S BEEN IN THE WOODS FOR A LONG TIME NOW AND HE'S HOPING TO TAKE A YEAR OFF, WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE ALLOWED AS A PARTNER AND GET UP WITH HIS FAMILY AND JUST RELAX. " BUT, THOMPSON DID NOT GET HIS SABBATICAL. THOMPSON LETTER TO FRASER: DEC. 21, 1810, "THE AMERICANS, IT SEEMS, WERE AS USUAL DETERMINED TO BE BEFOREHAND WITH US IN THE COLUMBIA IN SHIP NAVIGATION. THE AMERICAN WAS JOHN JACOB ASTOR, A NEW YORK ENTREPRENEUR. HE'D STARTED THE PACIFIC FUR COMPANY, AND WAS TRYING TO ENTER THE WESTERN FUR TRADE. HIS SHIP, THE TONQUIN, WAS SAILING AROUND THE HORN TO THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA, WHILE A SECOND OVERLAND PARTY WAS RETRACING LEWIS AND CLARK'S ROUTE TO THE WEST. "JOHN JACOB ASTOR IS LIKE DONALD TRUMP. HE'S GOT BUSINESS DEALS ALL OVER WITH EVERYBODY. INCLUDING THE NORTH WEST CO." A YEAR EARLIER, ASTOR HAD OFFERED THE NORTH WEST COMPANY, ONE THIRD INTEREST IN HIS PACIFIC VENTURE. " AND IT SOUNDS LIKE A PARTNERSHIP BUT IT'S SO, CONVOLUTED THAT YOU CAN TELL IT MIGHT NOT WORK" WITH THE AMERICANS INVOLVED, THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO LONGER TO COMPLETE HIS EXPLORATIONS DOWN THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND DETERMINE WHETHER IT WAS NAVIGABLE TO THE SEA. HE NEEDED TO GET BACK WEST. BUT THE PIEGAN HAD OTHER IDEAS. THEY HAD SET UP A BLOCKADE AT HOWES PASS. "THE PEIGAN THREATENED DURING THE BLOCKADE, THAT THEY'RE GOING TO KILL ANY WHITE MAN THEY FIND WEST OF THE MOUNTAIN, AND THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE DRIED MEAT OUT OF THEM. BELIEVE ME, THE HUDSON'S BAY CO, THE NW CO. TOOK THAT THREAT SERIOUSLY" ALEXANDER HENRY - ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE: " THIS AFFAIR OF HIS CANOES BEING STOPPED BY THE PIEGANS HAS INDUCED HIM TO ALTER HIS ROUTE AND ENDEAVOR TO OPEN A NEW ROAD. AND IN SUCH RUGGED COUNTRY THE BLACKFEET INDIANS WOULD NEVER DARE TO ENTER. ALEXANDER HENRY-ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE-1811" THOMPSON HAD BEEN SEEKING AN ALTERNATE ROUTE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FOR SOME TIME. HE'D HEARD PROMISING REPORTS OF A CROSSING AT THE HEADWATERS OF THE ATHABASCA RIVER. BUT A WINTER CROSSING OVER ATHABASCA PASS, WOULD BE DIFFICULT,. REQUIRING DOG SLEDS AND SNOWSHOES. "THE PROBLEM FOR HIM REALLY IS THAT BY GOING FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN TO THE ATHABASCA HE'S IN A NEW FUR TRADE DISTRICT AND THE VOYAGERS WHO HE TAKES WITH HIM AREN'T USED TO WORKING FOR HIM. SO ALL THE OLD FAMILIAR NAMES AND THE GUIDES HE'S GONE BACK AND FORTH WITH ALL THESE YEARS ARE NO LONGER WITH HIM. AND THESE NEW GUYS THINK THAT HE'S CRAZY, AND NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN ACROSS THE PASS BEFORE, AND HE WORKS THEM TOO HARD, AND HE'S MAKING A WINTER CROSSING. SO THERE ARE ALL THESE REASONS FOR THINGS TO GO WRONG" THOMPSON JOURNALS: "DU NORD THREW HIS LOAD ASIDE , SAYING HE WOULD NOT HAUL IT ANY MORE ALTHOUGH HE HAS ONLY 80 POUNDS AND TWO GOOD DOGS, IN MY OPINION HE IS A POOR SPIRITLESS WRETCH. " "THESE GUYS ARE SCARED AND THERE'S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF SNOW, AND THE TEMPERATURE WARMS UP FROM 30 BELOW TO 30 ABOVE IN ABOUT 36 HOURS. THE SLEDS START TO SINK, THEY CAN'T FIND ANY FOOD, THE VOYAGERS ARE BEATING THE DOGS TO DEATH." THOMPSON JOURNALS JANUARY 14, 1811 -: "THE COURAGE OF PART OF MY MEN IS SINKING FAST. THEY SEE NOTHING IN ITS PROPER COLOR, FEAR GATHERS ON THEM FROM EVERY OBJECT." CANADIAN OUTFITTER WENDY BUSH HAS BEEN DRIVING DOG TEAMS IN THE BACK COUNTRY MOST OF HER LIFE. "SLED DOGS," BUSH SAYS, "ARE A STRONG PART OF HER CANADIAN HERITAGE. " " EVERY FAMILY HAD A DOG AND THEY HOOKED THAT DOG UP AND PULLED THEIR TOBOGGANS WITH FIREWOOD OR WHATEVER CHORES THEY HAD TO DO SO IT WAS A VERY CANADIAN THING TO DO FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, TO USE YOUR SLED DOG" IN THOMPSON'S TIME, DOG DRIVERS DIDN'T RIDE, BUT RAN BESIDE THE DOGS, HELPING TO DIRECT THE TOBOGGAN OVER SNOW AND ICE. " SO HE MADE HIS OWN SNOW SHOES AND HIS TOBOGGAN. THAT'S PRETTY TOUGH GOING TO BUILD YOUR OWN GEAR" TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENNIAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL PARKS, BUSH, USING HER OWN SLED DOGS, RETRACED THOMPSON'S HISTORIC 1811 CROSSING OF ATHABASCA PASS. "WE HAD BEEN TRAVELING IN THE BACK COUNTRY OF JASPER NATIONAL PARKS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS SO WE WERE IN GOOD SHAPE AND OUR DOGS WERE WELL TRAINED AND WE HAD LOTS OF MODERN EQUIPMENT. THOUGH REGARDLESS OF MODERN EQUIPMENT, THERE ARE HAZARDS OUT THERE AND YOU CAN STILL FALL IN THE WATER IF YOU MAKE A MISSTEP AND DRAG YOUR DOG TEAM WITH YOU" THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THE DESCENT WAS SO STEEP THAT THE DOGS COULD NOT GUIDE THE SLEDS, AND OFTEN CAME ACROSS THE TREES WITH SOME FORCE, THE DOGS ON ONE SIDE AND THE SLED ON THE OTHER" BY THIS TIME, FOUR OF HIS MEN HAD PLAINLY HAD ENOUGH OF THOMPSON, AND THE FEELING WAS MUTUAL. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "DU NORD WITH THE FORT DE PRAIRIE MEN, HAVING LONG BEEN DISPIRITED AND USELESS AS OLD WOMEN, TOLD ME HE WOULD RETURN, AND I WAS HEARTILY TIRED OF SUCH WORTHLESS FELLOWS" " EARLY HISTORIANS REPRESENTED THAT AS A MUTINY AND EVERYBODY LEAVING. BUT IN HIS JOURNAL, WHICH HE'S KEEPING AT THE TIME, HE SAYS, I'M GLAD TO BE RID OF THESE GUYS, I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THEY TREAT THE DOGS, THEY'RE EATING TOO MUCH, THEY'RE JUST A PAIN. GIVE ME THESE GUYS THAT ARE DEPENDABLE" THOMPSON JOURNAL: "ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS THE TREES WERE SMALL, THERE WE WERE MEN, BUT ON THE WEST SIDE WE WERE PIGMIES, IN SUCH FORESTS WHAT COULD WE DO WITH AXES OF TWO POUND WEIGHT? THOMPSON, AND HIS REMAINING THREE MEN, DUG IN FOR WINTER AT THE TOP BEND OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER; AT A PLACE THOMPSON NAMED BOAT ENCAMPMENT. FROM THIS VANTAGE POINT, THOMPSON COULD HAVE TRAVELED DOWNSTREAM TO THE PACIFIC. BUT, HE HAD A LARGE LOAD OF TRADE GOODS TO DISTRIBUTE TO HIS POSTS ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU. "SO HE SPENDS SIX WEEKS BUILDING A NEW KIND OF CANOE THAT IS SPLIT CEDAR PLANKS SEWN TO A REGULAR FRAME WITH SPRUCE ROOT WATAP, AND HE JUST DOES A BEAUTIFUL JOB OF IT. " AT HIS HOME OVERLOOKING LAKE PEND OREILLE, BOAT BUILDER BILL BRUSSTAR IS BUILDING A REPLICA OF DAVID THOMPSON'S CEDAR PLANK CANOE. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS, THE NOR'WESTERS HAD STRUGGLED TO BUILD CANOES, BECAUSE THE BIRCH BARK WAS SO THIN. BUT THOMPSON DESIGNED SOMETHING NEW. " BUT HE STARTED OUT WITH A BOTTOM BOARD, THE KEEL BOARD, THAT WAS 17 INCHES WIDE. HE WANTED TO BUILD THE WHOLE BOAT IN ONE BOARD ALMOST, 17 INCHES WIDE IS REALLY WIDE AND HE BROKE IT IN HALF. FOR TWO DAYS AFTER THAT THERE IS NOTHING BUT NUMBERS, THAT'S ALL HE DID WAS TOOK NUMBERS AND HELD IT INSIDE. DAVID THOMPSON: " WE WORKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANOE, BUT SPIT IN TWO LIFTING IT UP BEING TOO THIN TO SUPPORT IT'S OWN WEIGHT AND WAS THUS SPOILT. " "HE ENDED UP WITH A BOARD SIX INCHES IN THE MIDDLE AND HE NARROWED IT DOWN TO THE BOW AND STERN TO TWO INCHES AND HE CURVED THAT BOW ALL THE WAY UP TO A TWO FOOT ARC. A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE BOW AND A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE STERN. SO, HE USED ONE SINGLE BOARD. HE HAD TO SPLIT THE ENDS OF THEM IN HALF, SO HE HAD A TWO INCH BOARD LIKE THAT AND HE CUT IT IN HALF, SO IT WOULD TAKE THAT BEND. " BRUSSTAR SEEMS TO BE LEARNING AS MUCH ABOUT THE MAN AS THE CANOE. "YOU GET A MUCH CLOSER IDEA OF WHAT ACTUALLY WAS GOING ON IN THOSE DAYS, 'CAUSE THE PROBLEMS I HAD, HE HAD THE SAME. " OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, THOMPSON WOULD BUILD AT LEAST NINE CEDAR PLANK CANOES, CONTINUALLY IMPROVING ON HIS DESIGN. MEANWHILE, A THOUSAND MILES DOWNSTREAM, THE SAILING SHIP THE TONQUIN WAS ANCHORED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA. ASTOR'S MEN HAD ALREADY STARTED BUILDING FORT ASTORIA. MARK WEADICK, AND HIS GROUP OF FUR TRADE RE-ENACTORS, PADDLE AROUND THE CONFLUENCE OF THE LITTLE SPOKANE AND SPOKANE RIVERS. BETWEEN THE TWO RIVERS, ON THIS FLAT, TRIANGLE SHAPED PENINSULA, SPOKANE HOUSE WAS BUILT BY JACO FINLEY IN 1810. BY THE TIME THOMPSON ARRIVED, THE POST HAD BEEN UP AND RUNNING FOR A YEAR. FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, THE SPOKANE HAD GATHERED HERE TO CATCH AND DRY FISH. "SPOKANE HOUSE WAS ON THE MIDDLE SPOKANE PEOPLES CAMPGROUND, IT WAS IN THERE AREA, AND IT WAS WITH THEIR PERMISSION THAT JACKO FINLAY AND HIS CREW IN 1810 WERE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT THE FIRST SPOKANE HOUSE. THERE WAS IN THOSE DAYS A TREMENDOUS CHINOOK SALMON FISHERY THAT CAME UP THE FALLS" THOMPSON CALCULATED THE LONGITUDE OF SPOKANE HOUSE AND RECORDED IT IN HIS JOURNAL. IT WOULD BE THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. AFTER A TWO MONTH DETOUR, THOMPSON WAS FINALLY FREE TO EXPLORE THE MIDDLE AND LOWER COLUMBIA. HIS PARTY TRAVELED NORTH ON THE ILTHKOYAPE ROAD, TO KETTLE FALLS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER, WHERE A LARGE NUMBER OF THE ILTHKOYAPE OR COLVILLE WERE FISHING. THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE SALMON ARE FROM 15 TO 30 POUNDS WEIGHT HERE, THEIR FLESH IS RED AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY WELL MADE. " AFTER YEARS OF EFFORT, ON JULY 3RD, 1811 THOMPSON WITH HIS CREW AND TWO SANPOIL SET OFF FROM KETTLE FALLS ON THEIR VOYAGE DOWN THE COLUMBIA TO THE SEA. DAVID THOMPSON TRAVELS: "IMAGINATION CAN HARDLY FORM AN IDEA OF THE WORKING OF THIS IMMENSE BODY OF WATER UNDER SUCH COMPRESSION, RAGING AND HISSING, AS IF ALIVE. " "IGNUS, THE IROQUOIS, WHO HE HIRED TO BE THE STEERSMAN GOT BOUNCED RIGHT OUT OF THE CANOE. IT WAS THAT POWERFUL, AND NONE OF THESE GUYS CAN SWIM. SO THEY DO THIS CRAZY FRENETIC RESCUE AND GET IGNUS ON SHORE AND SQUEEZE ALL THE WATER OUT OF HIM" AT THE TIME, ABOUT THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES OF THE COLUMBIA HAD BEEN CHARTED. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER, THOMPSON WILL HAVE SURVEYED THE REMAINING NINE HUNDRED MILES. DAVID THOMPSON: "THE COLUMBIA PRESENTED MUCH STEEP ROCK, OFTEN IN STEP LIKE STAIRS OF 20 TO 30 FEET PERPENDICULAR. " TRAVELING WITH THE CURRENT, IT TOOK THOMPSON JUST TEN DAYS TO GET TO THE PACIFIC. "IT'S ABOUT 700 RIVER MILES. HE STOPS AT EVERY VILLAGE ALONG THE WAY AND DOES HIS LITTLE RAP, I'M COMING TO TRADE YOU KNOW. YOU SHOULD TRAP BEAVER, I'LL BUILD A TRADE HOUSE HERE. HE SAYS THAT AT EVERY VILLAGE THAT HE COMES TO AND HE STILL MAKES IT IN 10 DAYS. " THOMPSON MET 150 FAMILIES OF SANPOIL,. NEAR THE SANPOIL RIVER. "THEY ALL, FORMED A LINE IN AN ELLIPSIS; THEY DANCED WITH THE SUN IN A MINGLED MANNER, ALL THEIR DANCES ARE A KIND OF RELIGIOUS PRAYER" HE MET METHOW, JUST BEYOND THE OKANAGAN RIVER, AND, 120 FAMILIES OF SINKAUSE, AT ROCK ISLAND NEAR WENATCHEE. "THE WOMEN ADVANCED ALL ORNAMENTED WITH FLLETS AND SMALL FEATHERS, THEY SMOKED WITH THE MEN" THOMPSON SMOKED WITH 62 SAHAPTIN SPEAKING MEN, THE WANAPUM, NEAR PRIEST RAPIDS. AND THERE WERE THE YAKIMA. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THESE PEOPLE, ARE MAKING USE OF THE SEINE NET, WHICH IS WELL MADE FROM WILD HEMP, WHICH GROWS ON THE RICH LOW GROUNDS. " AT THE DALLES CULTURE PATTERNS CHANGED FROM PLATEAU TO COASTAL. THE THREE HUNDRED FAMILIES CAMPED THERE WERE SPEAKING BOTH SAHAPTIAN AND CHINOOKAN LANGUAGES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THE CHIEF CAME AND INVITED ME TO HIS HOUSE,. THE INSIDE CLEAN AND WELL ARRANGED HAD SEPARATE BED PLACES FASTENED TO THE WALLS THAT RAISED ABOUT 3 FEET ABOVE THE FLOOR" THOMPSON FELT STRONGLY THAT THE LANDS OF THE COLUMBIA THAT HE HAD SURVEYED BELONGED TO GREAT BRITAIN. WHAT THOMPSON CALLED A 'SATISFACTORY BOUNDARY' FOR CANADA, INCLUDED MUCH OF TODAY'S AMERICAN NORTHWEST. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "HERE I ERECTED A SMALL POLE WITH A HALF SHEET OF PAPER WELL TIED AROUND IT, ...KNOW HEREBY THAT THIS COUNTRY IS CLAIMED BY GREAT BRITAIN AS PART OF ITS TERRITORIES" ON JULY 15, 1811, THOMPSON'S PARTY ARRIVED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, AT FORT ASTORIA. ALEXANDER ROSS, A SCOT CLERK FOR THE PACIFIC FUR COMPANY "WE WERE RATHER SURPRISED AT THE UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL OF A NORTH WEST PROPRIETOR AT ASTORIA. MR. THOMPSON. HE CAME DASHING DOWN THE COLUMBIA IN A LIGHT CANOE MANNED WITH EIGHT IROQUOIS AND AN INTERPRETER. " THE ASTORIANS FOUND THEMSELVES IN AN ODD SITUATION. THOMPSON CLAIMED THEY WERE PARTNERS, BUT TO THEIR KNOWLEDGE, NO JOINT AGREEMENT HAD TAKEN PLACE. THEY DANCED AROUND EACH OTHER NOT KNOWING WHETHER THEY WERE FRIEND OR FOE. LATER, THE PARTNERSHIP DID INDEED FALL APART. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER, THOMPSON HAD SURVEYED THE ENTIRE COLUMBIA RIVER FROM ITS HEADWATERS TO ITS MOUTH. ONE OF HIS MOST MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTIONS. PADDLING HARD ON LAKE SUPERIOR, THE 2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE WILL SOON COMPLETE THE FINAL LEG OF THEIR JOURNEY TO FORT WILLIAM. THOMPSON TOO, RETURNED EAST, CROSSING THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FOR HIS FINAL TIME, AND RETIRING FROM THE FUR TRADE IN 1812. FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, THOMPSON WORKED ON HIS MAPS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. IT WAS AN ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING, USING HIS SURVEYS AND DISCOVERIES FROM THE LAST 20 YEARS. "HE STARTS WORKING ON HIS GREAT MAPS. SORT OF MAGNUM OPUS TO SHOW IN ONE GRAND CANVAS WHAT HE'S BEEN DOING WITH ALL OF HIS LIFE. " ONE OF THOMPSON'S WALL SIZE MAPS WAS HUNG IN THE DINING ROOM AT FORT WILLIAM TO BE USED BY TRAVELERS HEADING WEST FOR THE NEXT FOUR DECADES. "HE LIVED DURING A TIME THAT REALLY SAW THE TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. SO WHEN HE WAS BORN IN 1770, EUROPEAN PEOPLE KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT WHAT WAS SOUTH AND WEST OF HUDSON'S BAY. BY THE TIME HE DIED IN 1857, THE WEST WAS BEING PREPARED FOR EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT. SO, HE'S A FIGURE WHO EXPERIENCED ALL THAT, AND IN SOME SENSES WAS THE AGENT OF THAT. " HIS EXPLORATIONS OPENED WHAT WOULD BECOME THE PRIMARY TRADE ROUTE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE PACIFIC. THIS INLAND NORTHWEST PASSAGE WAS THE LAST LINK OF A FUR TRADE HIGHWAY CONNECTING A CONTINENT FROM SEA TO SEA. HIS TIRELESS MAP WORK REALIZED THE DREAM THAT HE EXPRESSED IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND AFTER HIS FIRST WINTER AT THE SOURCE LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA. DAVID THOMPSON'S LETTER: I WISH TO HEAVEN YOU COULD BE TRANSPORTED BY SOME GENIIS TO SEE HOW THIS COUNTRY IS FORMED. ♪ ♪

Contents

Indigenous peoples

Human history in what has come to be known as British Columbia dates back thousands of years. Archaeology finds in British Columbia have been dated to as early as 13,500 years ago, with some exciting potential for underwater sites beginning to be detected.

The geography of the land influenced the cultural development of the peoples - and in places, allowed for the cultural development of permanent villages, complex social institutions and a huge range of languages. BC is divided by anthropological theory into three cultural areas - the Northwest Coast, The Plateau and the North. First Nations in each area developed customs and approaches to living that fit the resources in the region. Through much of British Columbia salmon are available and formed a substantial part of the diet where available. The term pre-contact is used to describe the time period prior to contact between First Nations and European explorers. The precise time of contact varied according to circumstance but took place on the coast between the 1770s and 1800. In places in the Interior, it occurred later.

British Columbia, before the arrival of the Europeans, was home to many Indigenous peoples speaking more than 30 different languages, including Babine-Witsuwit'en, Danezaa (Beaver), Carrier, Chilcotin, Gitxsan, Haida, Halkomelem, Kaska, Kutenai, Lillooet, Nisga'a, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk, Sekani, Shuswap, Sinixt, Squamish, Tagish, Tahltan, Thompson, Tlingit, Tsetsaut, and Tsimshian. There was frequent contact between bands and voyages across the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca were common.

The abundance of natural resources, such as salmon and cedar, enabled the development of a complex hierarchical society within coastal communities. With so much food being available, the peoples of the coastal regions could focus their time on other pursuits such as art, politics, and warfare.

Early Spanish explorers

The first visitors to present-day British Columbia were Spanish sailors and other European sailors who sailed for the Spanish crown. There is some evidence that the Greek-born Juan de Fuca, who sailed for Spain and explored the West coast of North America in the 1590s, might have reached the passageway between Washington State and Vancouver Island—today known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca [citation needed]. (A later British explorer named Charles William Barkley named the passage after Juan de Fuca's reputed visit.)

There is actually no evidence that Juan de Fuca arrived in British Columbia. He invented a popular fiction known as the Strait of Ainan in 1560, which captured the minds of Europeans looking for a quick, direct route from Europe to China (I will not delete it as future Wiki readers can read and understand the controversy over this issue). This became known as the Northwest Passage, a dangerous sea-ice covered route through the Arctic Circle which only ninety-four boats have ever made after the great Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen's three-year expedition from 1903-1906. The Spanish and the British sent several expeditions to find this semi-mythical Northwest Passage, including James Cook's 1778 expedition. If Juan de Fuca were to be believed, he would have crossed the Arctic Ocean in 1560. While Europeans knew about the Northwest Passage, with John Cabot's failed 1479 expedition being the first attempt to pass it which ultimately lead to the explorer's death. This is further complicated by the fact that controversy exists as to whether or not Juan de Fuca was even a real person, with some scholars doubting that he actually exists Juan de Fuca#Controversy.

There is not much evidence to suggest that European traders and explorers regularly came to present-day British Columbia in the 17th century. The first recorded European discovery of British Columbia was by James Cook in 1778.

The arrival of Europeans began to intensify in the mid-18th century, as fur traders entered the area to harvest sea otters. While there is a theory and some evidence that Sir Francis Drake may have explored the British Columbia Coast in 1579,[2][3][4] it is conventionally claimed that it was Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra who completed the first documented voyage, which took place in 1775 [citation needed]. In doing so, Quadra reasserted the Spanish claim for the whole of the Pacific coast, first made by Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513, who declared the whole of the Pacific and its shores as part of the Spanish Empire. Quadra sailed over Sonora Reef, named after his boat, on Destruction Island in 1775. His crew were murdered by the cannibal natives on the beach, and they attempted to board his ship until his crew destroyed them with cannon-fire. Quadra left the coast of Washington and sailed to Sitka, Alaska, but he did not make landfall or "discover" British Columbia. It was not until Captain James Cook's doomed third expedition that British Columbia was "discovered" when he anchored in Friendly Cove, modern-day Nootka Sound.

In 1774, the Spanish navigator Juan José Pérez Hernández, a native of Mexico, sailed from San Blas, Nueva Galicia (modern-day Nayarit), with instructions to reach 60° north latitude to discover possible Russian settlements and take possession of the lands for the Spanish Crown. Hernández reached 55° north latitude, becoming the first European to sight the Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island. He traded with the natives near Estevan Point, although apparently without landing. The expedition was forced to return to Nueva Galicia, due to the lack of provisions.[5][6]

Since Pérez Hernández's first expedition failed to achieve its objective, the Spanish organized a second expedition in 1775 with the same goal. This expedition was commanded by Bruno de Heceta on board the Santiago, piloted by Pérez Hernández, and accompanied by Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra in La Sonora. After illnesses, storms, and other troubles had affected the expedition, de Heceta returned to Nueva Galicia, while Quadra kept on a northward course, ultimately reaching 59° North in what today is Sitka, Alaska.[7] During this expedition, the Spanish made sure to land several times and formally claim the lands for the Spanish Crown, while verifying the absence of Russian settlements along the coast [citation needed]. Three years later, in 1778, the British Royal Navy Captain James Cook arrived in the region, searching for the Northwest Passage, and successfully landed at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, where he and his crew traded with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation. Upon trading his goods for sea otter pelts, his crew in turn traded them for an enormous profit in Macau on their way back to Britain. This led to an influx of traders to the British Columbian coast, and ongoing economic contact with the aboriginal peoples there.

Early European villages (1788–1790s)

Reconstruction of Fort San Miguel.
Reconstruction of Fort San Miguel.
Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound. Volume I, plate VII from: "A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World" by George Vancouver.
Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound. Volume I, plate VII from: "A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World" by George Vancouver.

In 1788, John Meares, an English navigator and explorer, sailed from China and explored Nootka Sound and the neighbouring coasts. He bought some land from a local chief named Maquinna and built a trading post there.

Two years later, in 1789, the Spanish commander Esteban José Martínez, a native of Seville, established a settlement and started building a fort in Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, which was named Fort San Miguel. This territory was already considered as part of New Spain by the Spanish due to the previous explorations of the region. Upon Martinez's arrival, a number of British ships were seized, including those of Captain Meares. This originated the Nootka Crisis, which almost led to a war between Britain and Spain. The controversy resulted in the abandonment of the Nootka Sound settlement by the Spanish. Some months later, Manuel Antonio Flórez, Viceroy of New Spain, ordered a Francisco de Eliza to rebuild the fort. The expedition, composed of three ships, the Concepción, under the command of De Eliza, the San Carlos, under the command of Salvador Fidalgo and the Princesa Real, under the command of Manuel Quimper, sailed in early 1790 from San Blas in Nueva Galicia and arrived at Nootka Sound in April of that year. The expedition had many Catalan volunteers from the First Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia, commanded by Pere d'Alberní, a native of Tortosa. The expedition rebuilt the fort, which had been dismantled after Martínez abandoned it. The rebuilt fort included several defensive constructions as well as a vegetable garden to ensure the settlement had food supplies. The Catalan volunteers left the fort in 1792 and Spanish influence in the region ended in 1795 after the Nootka Convention came into force.[8]

Late British expeditions (1790s–1821)

Subsequently, European explorer-merchants from the east started to discover British Columbia. Three figures dominate in the early history of mainland British Columbia: Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, and David Thompson. As employees of the North West Company, the three were primarily concerned with discovering a practicable river route to the Pacific, specifically via the Columbia River, for the extension of the fur trade. In 1793, Mackenzie became the first European to reach the Pacific overland north of the Rio Grande. He and his crew entered the region through the Rocky Mountains via the Peace River, reaching the ocean at North Bentinck Arm, near present-day Bella Coola. Shortly thereafter, Mackenzie's companion, John Finlay, founded the first permanent European settlement in British Columbia, Fort St. John, located at the junction of the Beatton and Peace Rivers.

Simon Fraser was the next to try to find the course of the Columbia. During his expedition of 1805-09, Fraser and his crew, including John Stuart, explored much of the British Columbia interior, establishing several forts (Hudson's Hope, Trout Lake Fort, Fort George, Fort Fraser, and Fort St. James). Fraser's expedition took him down the river that now bears his name, to the site of present-day Vancouver. Although both Mackenzie and Fraser reached the Pacific, they found the routes they took impassable for trade. It was David Thompson who found the Columbia River and followed it down to its mouth in 1811. He was unable to establish a claim, however, for the American explorers Lewis and Clark had already claimed the territory for the United States of America six years earlier. The American Fur Company of John Jacob Astor had founded Fort Astoria just months before Thompson arrived, though within a year the local staff at Astoria sold the fort and others in the region to the North West Company, which renamed it Fort George. Though "returned" to US hands as a result of treaty complications at the end of the War of 1812, this meant only there was a parallel US fort adjacent to the NWC one, which was the more prosperous of the two. Following the forced merger of the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, Fort Vancouver was established as the new regional headquarters.

From fur trade districts to colonies (1821–1858)

Although technically a part of British North America, British Columbia was largely run by the Hudson's Bay Company after its merger with the North West Company in 1821. The Central Interior of the region was organized into the New Caledonia District, a name that came to be generally attributed to the mainland as a whole. It was administered from Fort St. James, about 150 km northwest of present-day Prince George. The Interior south of the Thompson River and north of California was named by the company the Columbia District, and was administered first from Fort Vancouver (present day Vancouver, Washington).

Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, the HBC controlled nearly all trading operations in the Pacific Northwest, based out of the company headquarters at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. Although authority over the region was nominally shared by the United States and Britain through the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, company policy, enforced via Chief Factor John McLoughlin of the company's Columbia District, was to discourage any settlement, including US settlement, of the territory. The company's effective monopoly on trade virtually forbade any settlement in the region. It established Fort Boise in 1834 (in present-day southwestern Idaho) to compete with the American Fort Hall, 483 km (300 mi) to the east. In 1837, it purchased Fort Hall, also along the route of the Oregon Trail, where the outpost director displayed the abandoned wagons of discouraged settlers to those seeking to move west along the trail.

Fort Vancouver was the nexus for the fur trade on the Pacific Coast; its influence reached from the Rocky Mountains to the Hawaiian Islands, and from Alaska into Mexican-controlled California. At its pinnacle, Fort Vancouver watched over 34 outposts, 24 ports, six ships, and 600 employees. Also, for many primarily American settlers the fort became the last stop on the Oregon Trail as they could get supplies before starting their homestead.

By 1843 the Hudson's Bay Company operated numerous posts in the Columbia Department, including Fort Vancouver, Fort George (Astoria), Fort Nisqually, Fort Umpqua, Fort Langley, Fort Colville, Fort Okanogan, Fort Kamloops, Fort Alexandria, Flathead Post, Kootanae House, Fort Boise, Fort Hall, Fort Simpson, Fort Taku, Fort McLoughlin (in Milbanke Sound), Fort Stikine, as well as a number of others.[9]

A very high degree of linguistic variation occurs in BC; a response to this was the development of a trade jargon, Chinook Jargon. Not a complete language, it was used in trade, governance and some early writings, for example hymns.

By 1811 John Jacob Astor had founded Astoria, and ten years later the Hudson's Bay Company had established itself on the Columbia. In the meantime the explorers and traders had been coming by land. Somewhere and sometime during this period the existence of the (Chinook) Jargon became known. All the Indians talked it to each other and resorted to it in their conversations with the whites. Knowledge of this trade language became a necessary part of the trader's equipment.[10]

Fort Victoria was established as a trading post in 1843, both as a means to protect HBC interests, as well as to assert British claims to Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands. The Gulf Islands and Strait of Juan de Fuca are the access point to Puget Sound as well as a fall back position in preparation for the "worst case" scenario settlement of the dispute, in the face of manifest destiny. Increasing numbers of American settlers arriving on the Oregon Trail gave rise to the Oregon boundary dispute. The Hudson's Bay Company dominated and controlled all territory north of the Columbia River. The British position was that a fair division of the Columbia District was a boundary at the Columbia River.

In 1844, the United States Democratic Party asserted that the U.S. had a legitimate claim to the entire Columbia District or Oregon Country, but President James Polk was prepared to draw the border along the 49th parallel, the longstanding U.S. proposal. When the British rejected this offer, Polk broke off negotiations, and American expansionists reasserted the claim, coining slogans (most famously "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!"). With the outbreak of the Mexican–American War diverting attention and resources, Polk was again prepared to compromise. The Oregon boundary dispute was settled in the 1846 Treaty of Washington. The terms of the agreement established the border between British North America and the United States at the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the sea, the original American proposal, with all of Vancouver Island retained as British territory.

This effectively destroyed the geographical logic of the HBC's Columbia Department, since the lower Columbia River was the core and lifeline of the system. The U.S. soon organized its portion as the Oregon Territory. The administrative headquarters of fur operations, and of the Columbia Department, then shifted north to Fort Victoria, which had been founded by James Douglas.

In 1849, the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island was created; and in 1851, James Douglas was appointed Governor. Douglas, known as the father of British Columbia, established colonial institutions in Victoria. He started the process of expanding the economic base of the new colony by signing 14 treaties between 1850–1854 to purchase land for settlement and industrial development (coal deposits were known by the HWBC in the vicinities of Nanaimo and Fort Rupert).[11] Subsequent native population crashes later in the 19th century along with economic upheaval and native wars allowed his political successors to be much less consistent with British principles, treaties, and laws.

Meanwhile, on the mainland, New Caledonia continued to focus on the fur trade with few non-native inhabitants (mostly HBC employees and their families)[citation needed] under the administrative oversight of Douglas, who was also the HBC's regional chief executive. The Hudson's Bay Company like the previous French colony and North West Company of Montreal still officially discouraged settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. The fur trade was a mutually beneficial relationship between the local HBC trading fort and adjacent native tribes. American expansion and control of territory was predicated primarily by settlement of the land not commercial relationships with the existing local population.[12][13] The British made virtually no effort to assert sovereignty over the aboriginal peoples of the area. In accordance with the Royal Proclamation of 1763, large-scale settlement by non-aboriginal people was prohibited until the lands were surrendered by treaty.

Colonial British Columbia (1858–1871)

In 1858, gold was found along the banks of the Thompson River just east of what is now Lytton, British Columbia, triggering the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. When word got out to San Francisco about gold in British territory, Victoria was transformed overnight into a tent city as prospectors, speculators, land agents, and outfitters flooded in from around the world, mostly via San Francisco. The Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Langley burgeoned economically as the staging point for many of the prospectors heading by boat to the Canyon.

A wide range of linguistic diversity among First Nations and explorers/traders made communication difficult. Trade jargon, initially used by First Nations expanded and changed to include words from English and French to become the Chinook Jargon. Not a complete language, the jargon became widespread among First Nations and early Europeans to enable communication and trade. Though little used today a significant number of place names in British Columbia derive from Chinook and early anthropologists sometimes recorded stories using the jargon.

At the time, the region was still not under formal colonial authority. Douglas, fearing challenges to the claim of British sovereignty in the region in the face of an influx of some 20,000 Americans, stationed a gunboat at the mouth of the Fraser in order to obtain license fees from those seeking to head upstream. The resolution of the Oregon Boundary Dispute whereby British interests, primarily the HBC, lost governance of all territory between the 49th Parallel and the Columbia River due to a sudden influx of American settlers 8 years previous.

Richard Clement Moody and the Royal Engineers

When news of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush reached London, the Colonial Office established the mainland as a Crown colony on August 2, 1858, naming it the Colony of British Columbia.[14] Richard Clement Moody was hand-picked by the Colonial Office, under Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, to establish British order and to transform the newly established Colony of British Columbia (1858–66) into the British Empire's "bulwark in the farthest west" [15] and "found a second England on the shores of the Pacific".[16] Lytton desired to send to the colony 'representatives of the best of British culture, not just a police force’: he sought men who possessed ‘courtesy, high breeding and urbane knowledge of the world’[17] and he decided to send Moody, whom the Government considered to be the archetypal 'English gentleman and British Officer’[18] at the head of the Columbia Detachment, which was created by an Act of the British Parliament on 2 August 1858. The Engineers were believed to exemplify the qualities sought by the Government.[19]

Col. Richard Moody, commander of the Columbia detachment
Col. Richard Moody, commander of the Columbia detachment

Moody arrived in British Columbia in December 1858, commanding the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment. He was sworn in as the first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia. On the advice of Lytton, Moody hired Robert Burnaby as his personal secretary, and the two became close friends.

Ned McGowan's War

Moody had hoped to begin immediately the foundation of a capital city, but upon his arrival at Fort Langley he learned of an outbreak of violence at the settlement of Hill's Bar. This led to an incident popularly known as "Ned McGowan's War", where Moody led 22 Engineers and Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie to Yale to face down a group of rebellious American miners. Order was restored without further strict pain.

The Foundation of New Westminster

In British Columbia, Moody ‘wanted to build a city of beauty in the wilderness’ and planned his city as an iconic visual metaphor for British dominance, ‘styled and located with the objective of reinforcing the authority of the Crown and of the robe’.[20] Subsequent to the enactment of the Pre-emption Act of 1860, Moody settled the Lower Mainland. He selected the site and founded the new capital, New Westminster. He selected the site due to the strategic excellence of its position and the quality of its port.[20] He was also struck by the majestic beauty of the site, writing in his letter to Blackwood,

"The entrance to the Frazer is very striking--Extending miles to the right & left are low marsh lands (apparently of very rich qualities) & yet fr the Background of Superb Mountains-- Swiss in outline, dark in woods, grandly towering into the clouds there is a sublimity that deeply impresses you. Everything is large and magnificent, worthy of the entrance to the Queen of England’s dominions on the Pacific mainland. [...] My imagination converted the silent marshes into Cuyp-like pictures of horses and cattle lazily fattening in rich meadows in a glowing sunset. [...] The water of the deep clear Frazer was of a glassy stillness, not a ripple before us, except when a fish rose to the surface or broods of wild ducks fluttered away".[21][22]

Moody likened his vision of the nascent Colony of British Columbia to the pastoral scenes painted by Aelbert Cuyp
Moody likened his vision of the nascent Colony of British Columbia to the pastoral scenes painted by Aelbert Cuyp

Moody designed the first Coat of arms of British Columbia.[23][24]

However, Lord Lytton 'forgot the practicalities of paying for clearing and developing the site and the town’ and the efforts of Moody's Engineers were continuous hampered by insufficient funds, which, together with the continuous opposition of Douglas, 'made it impossible for [Moody’s] design to be fulfilled’.[25]

The feud between Moody and Governor James Douglas

Throughout his tenure in British Columbia, Richard Clement Moody was engaged in a bitter feud with Sir James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver Island, whose jurisdiction overlapped with his own. Moody’s position as Chief Commissioner and Lieutenant-Governor was one of ‘higher prestige [and] lesser authority' than that of Douglas, despite Moody's vastly superior social position in the eyes of the Engineers and the British Government: Moody had been selected by Lord Lytton due to his possession of the quality of the "archetypal English gentleman and British Officer", his family was "eminently respectable": he was the son of Colonel Thomas Moody (1779-1849), one of the wealthiest mercantilists in the West Indies, who owned much of the land in the islands where Douglas's father owned a small amount of land and from which Douglas's mother, "a half-breed", originated. Governor Douglas's ethnicity and made him ‘an affront to Victorian society’.[26] Mary Moody, the descendant of the Hawks industrial dynasty and the Boyd merchant banking family,[27] wrote on 4 August 1859 "it is not pleasant to serve under a Hudson's Bay Factor" and that the "Governor and Richard can never get on".[28] In letter to the Colonial Office of 27 December 1858, Richard Clement Moody boasts that he has ‘entirely disarmed [Douglas] of all jealously"[29] Douglas repeatedly insulted the Engineers by attempting to assume their command[30] and refusing to acknowledge their value in the nascent colony[31]

Margaret A. Ormsby, author of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography entry for Moody (2002), condemns Moody for a contribution to the abortive development of the city. However, most other historians have exonerated Moody for the abortive development of the city and consider his achievement to be impressive, especially with regard to the perpetual insufficiency of funds and the personally motivated opposition of Douglas, whose opposition to the project continually retarded its development. Robert Edgar Cail,[32] Don W. Thomson,[33] Ishiguro, and Scott have praised Moody for his contribution, the latter accusing Ormsby of being ‘adamant in her dislike of Colonel Moody’ despite the evidence,[34] and almost all biographies of Moody, including those of the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Royal Engineers, and the British Columbia Historical Association, are flattering.

Other developments

Moody and the Royal Engineers also built an extensive road network, including what would become Kingsway, connecting New Westminster to False Creek, the North Road between Port Moody and New Westminster, and the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park. He named Burnaby Lake after his private secretary Robert Burnaby and named Port Coquitlam’s 400-foot "Mary Hill" after his wife. As part of the surveying effort, several tracts were designated "government reserves", which included Stanley Park as a military reserve (a strategic location in case of an American invasion). The Pre-emption act did not specify conditions for distributing the land, so large parcels were snapped up by speculators, including 3,750 acres (1,517 hectares) by Moody himself. For this he was criticized by local newspapermen for land grabbing. Port Moody is named after him. It was established at the end of a trail that connected New Westminster with Burrard Inlet to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the US.

By 1862, the Cariboo Gold Rush, attracting an additional 5000 miners, was underway, and Douglas hastened construction of the Great North Road (commonly known now as the Cariboo Wagon Road) up the Fraser Canyon to the prospecting region around Barkerville. By the time of this gold rush, the character of the colony was changing, as a more stable population of British colonists settled in the region, establishing businesses, opening sawmills, and engaging in fishing and agriculture. With this increased stability, objections to the colony's absentee governor and the lack of responsible government began to be vocalised, led by the influential editor of the New Westminster British Columbian and future Premier, John Robson. A series of petitions requesting an assembly were ignored by Douglas and the colonial office until Douglas was eased out of office in 1864. Finally the colony would have both an assembly and a resident governor.

Frederick Seymour, second governor of the Colony of British Columbia, and his cat.
Frederick Seymour, second governor of the Colony of British Columbia, and his cat.

Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment was disbanded in July, 1863. The Moody family, only 22 men and 8 wives returned to England, while the rest, 130 sappers, elected to remain in BC.[35] Scott contends that the departure of the Engineers 'doomed' the development of the settlement and the fruition of Lord Lytton's dream.[36] Chartres Brew replaced Moody as land commissioner.

The Second Gold Rush

A second major gold rush in the Cariboo region of the colony occurred in 1861-64, in the midst of smaller ones, notably in the Omenica, Big Bend and on the Stikine. The influx of gold miners into B.C.'s economy led to the creation of basic infrastructure in B.C., most notably, the creation of the Cariboo Wagon Road which linked the Lower Mainland to the rich gold fields of Barkerville. However, the enormous costs of the road, and its predecessor the Douglas Road and services such as the Gold Escort, left B.C. in debt by the mid-1860s. In 1866, because of the massive debt left over from the gold rush, the mainland and Vancouver Island became one colony named British Columbia, with its capital in Victoria.

On Vancouver Island settlement and industrial development took place along the shorelines. For example, see the 19th century settlement in Comox or Colony of Vancouver Island.

Annexation debate

In 1867, there were three options open: to continue as a British colony, to be annexed by the United States, or to confederate with the newly formed Dominion of Canada.[37][38] In Britain, many Little Englanders expected, or even hoped, that its North American colonies would depart from the British Empire.[39] Admiral Joseph Denman told the Admiralty that British Columbia did not deserve Royal Navy protection, and advised the British government to "divest herself of these possessions by any means consistent with honour".[40] Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Granville stated his wish that British North America "would propose to be independent and annex themselves". The Times' view was the British consensus:[41]

British Columbia is a long way off. ... With the exception of a limited official class it receives few immigrants from England, and a large proportion of its inhabitants consists of citizens of the United States who have entered it from the south. Suppose that the colonists met together and came to the conclusion that every natural motive of contiguity, similarity of interests, and facility of administration induced them to think it more convenient to slip into the Union than into the Dominion. ... We all know that we should not attempt to withstand them.

Financially, becoming officially part of the United States made sense since British Columbia was economically essentially a satellite of San Francisco—the most important city of the entire American west and North America's Pacific coast—Washington, and Oregon, which provided all of the colony's supplies despite a substantial American tariff. American currency circulated widely in the colony, whose nearest British neighbors were Red River 2,000 miles to the east, and Hong Kong to the west.[39][41] San Francisco's population in the 1860s exceeded 60,000, while Victoria's never rose above 4,000. All mail from British Columbia went through San Francisco, forcing the colony's post office to keep large quantities of American postage stamps.[42]:184,186–187 The opening of the American transcontinental railroad in 1869 made it possible to travel by ship from Victoria to San Francisco, then by train to Ottawa or Washington in just 24 days. With the gold now gone, most of the American miners had left, and the economic future did not look promising unless B.C. could join the very rapidly growing, rich economies of the Pacific states.

While American residents of British Columbia celebrated the United States' purchase of Alaska in 1867, having American territory to their north and south caused British residents' fears for the future of their colony to grow.[43] Alaska was part of American Secretary of State William H. Seward's plan to incorporate the entire northwest Pacific Coast, chiefly for the long-term commercial advantages to the United States in terms of Pacific trade. Seward believed that the people in British Columbia wanted annexation and that Britain would accept this in exchange for the Alabama claims. In the event, Seward dropped the idea of an exchange and accepted an arbitration plan that settled the Alabama claims for cash.[44] When a false report circulated in April, soon after the Alaska news, that the British government was considering settling the claims by ceding the colony, a substantial annexation movement appeared supported by many residents and three of the colony's six newspapers.[43]

Anti-confederationists, who were not necessarily annexationists, were the majority on Vancouver Island. That said, annexationists argued that the colony would never be able to negotiate with the United States a free trade agreement similar to the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, and that annexation would end the disadvantage of the American tariff. Most Canadian-born residents supported confederation with their land of origin but were not very popular, as many in the colony believed that they sent their money home instead of spending it in British Columbia as the American-born colonists did. Residents of the mainland almost unanimously supported confederation with the rest of British North America; they argued that this would benefit the colony as Canada would soon negotiate another reciprocity treaty. Many British-born colonists were on both sides.[41][42]:190–192,208–209

Representative Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts' Annexation Bill of 1866 offered voluntary annexation to British North America, including territorial status for Vancouver Island and British Columbia together as the "territory of Columbia". The bill was unsuccessful, as was Senator Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota's 1867 proposal that the United States, as part of another reciprocity treaty with Canada, offer $6 million to the Hudson's Bay Company for the territory west of the 90th longitude. The US would assume British Columbia's $2 million debt, and subsidize the Northern Pacific Railway to build a road to Puget Sound.[42]:196–198 Two American military officers, who travelled throughout British Columbia for two months while arranging for supply of occupation troops in Alaska, wrote a detailed report to Washington in November 1867 of their belief that a majority of residents supported annexation. They claimed that "[i]t did not become necessary in a single instance to broach the subject of the cession of that territory to the United States, for it was the constant theme of conversation". Employees of the Hudson's Bay Company were said to be especially supportive, although they and many others could not make their opinion public because of fears of being denounced as disloyal.[43] A majority of British Columbians never publicly supported American annexation, however, and support for joining Canada grew over time;[39] in particular, annexationists failed to persuade the anti-confederation Hudson's Bay Company officials and their friends that dominated Vancouver Island politics.[42]:209 Accusations that "American gold" and "American greenbacks" funded "renegade Englishmen" likely hurt annexation support; whether the US officers' belief of the existence of widespread covert support was correct, by October 1867 annexation no longer appeared as a topic in British Columbia newspapers or documents.[43]

Until the Alaska Purchase and the new Dominion status[45] (which were almost simultaneous), the British had been indifferent to the fate of British Columbia. London realized its value as a base for its imperial trade opportunities in the Pacific and the need of the Royal Navy for a station in the region.[46] By 1868 public opinion was likely on the confederation side. Annexationists (or, at least, anti-confederationists) were in control of the Legislative Council of British Columbia, however, and in February 1869 passed a resolution opposing confederation;[42]:213[41] until his death the colonial governor, Frederick Seymour, also opposed confederation. Successor Anthony Musgrave supported confederation (after being unsuccessful in bringing Newfoundland into Canada)[42]:192 but due to an accident was delayed in his duties; meanwhile, annexation support revived during the winter of 1869-1870.[41] One hundred and four individuals, about one percent of the white population of the colony, signed an 1869 petition to President Ulysses S. Grant asking for annexation. While there is no reason to believe that they accurately represented the majority opinion, many colonists viewed Washington and London as equal competitors for British Columbia's loyalty depending on who offered more incentives, while Ottawa was more foreign and less familiar.[42]:206–208

In August 1869 Lord Granville communicated London's new view of British Columbia when he wrote to Musgrave, "I have no hesitation in stating that [support of confederation] is also the opinion of Her Majesty's Government."[42]:195 In February 1870 Musgrave successfully persuaded the Legislative Council to pass a resolution supporting confederation with Canada. Many British-born colonists now supported confederation as the best way to maintain a connection with Britain. By April the Victoria Colonist reported that a mass meeting in Victoria supported confederation while "the most vague hint in the direction of annexation was met with a howl of execration".[41][42]:214 Musgrave proposed an attractive plan for joining Canada, with the Dominion assuming the colony's debt and building a new Canadian transcontinental railway that would eliminate the reliance on the American railroad. The United States was focused on issues of Reconstruction and few Americans considered Seward's plan to expand Manifest Destiny to the Pacific.[47][48][40]

Entry into Canada (1871–1900)

1896 map of British Columbia showing federal electoral districts.
1896 map of British Columbia showing federal electoral districts.
A map produced in London in 1873 to facilitate emigration to British Columbia showing the natural resources of the new province.
A map produced in London in 1873 to facilitate emigration to British Columbia showing the natural resources of the new province.

Both the depressed economic situation arising from the collapse of the gold rushes, as well as a desire for the establishment of truly responsible and representative government, led to enormous domestic pressure for British Columbia to join the Canadian Confederation, which had been proclaimed in 1867. The Confederation League, spearheaded by three future premiers of the province — Amor De Cosmos, Robert Beaven, and John Robson — took a leading role in pushing the colony towards this goal. And so it was on July 20, 1871, that British Columbia became the sixth province to join Canada. In return for entering Confederation, Canada absorbed B.C.'s massive debt, and promised to build a railway from Montreal to the Pacific coast within 10 years.

Contrary to popular belief British Columbia did not demand a transcontinental railroad as a condition of confederation; its delegates expected a wagon road, but John A. Macdonald's national government proposed the railroad as a substitute, with Ottawa and London viewing it as a way of connecting not just British Columbia but the prairies with the rest of the British Empire.[42]:235–236 The promise of a railroad became, however, the most important reason for British Columbia to stay within Canada. The provincial legislature threatened to secede in 1878 because Macdonald's successor Alexander Mackenzie, whose Liberal Party had opposed the railroad, attempted to modify the promise; Macdonald's return to power that year likely kept British Columbia from departing Canada.[41][42]:236–238 In fulfillment of the promise, the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven in Craigellachie on 7 November 1885. (No good road yet existed between British Columbia and other provinces; until the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway automobiles had to enter the United States to travel to eastern Canada.)[42]:240–241,406

The mining frontier in B.C. led to the creation of many mines and smelters, mostly through American investment. One of the world's largest smelters still exists today in Trail. The capital and work to be found in B.C. during the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century led to the creation of several new towns in B.C. such as Nelson, Nakusp, Slocan, Kimberley, Castlegar, Rossland, and Salmo. A large coal empire run by Robert Dunsmuir, and his son and later premier, James Dunsmuir also developed on Vancouver Island during this era.

As the economy on the mainland continued to improve as a result of improved transportation and increased settlement, other resource-based economic activity began to flourish. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, fishing, forestry, and farming (including the planting of extensive orchards in the Okanagan region) became the "three F's" on which the new province built its economy — a situation that persisted well into the late twentieth century.

With the booming economy came the expansion of the original fur trading posts into thriving communities (such as Victoria, Nanaimo, and Kamloops). It also led to the establishment of new communities, such as Yale, New Westminster, and — most notably, though a latecomer — Vancouver. The product of the consolidation of the burgeoning mill towns of Granville and Hastings Mill located near the mouth of the Fraser on Burrard Inlet in the later 1860s, Vancouver was incorporated in 1886 following its selection as the railhead for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Despite a devastating fire which all but wiped out the city three months later, Vancouver quickly became the largest city in the province, its ports conveying both the resource wealth of the province as well as that transported from the prairie provinces by rail, to markets overseas. Vancouver's status as the principal city in the province has endured, augmented by growth in the surrounding municipalities of Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, Coquitlam, and New Westminster. Today, Metro Vancouver is the third most populous metropolitan area in Canada, behind Toronto and Montreal.

It was also during this period where ethnic diversity began to develop significantly, as immigration was not fed entirely by European countries. Chinese and Japanese emigrants made many coastal settlements home, beginning in the 1850s, and became increasingly more pronounced in the 1880s.[citation needed] Indian emigrants also began sailing to British Columbia in the following years, and would help develop the provincial logging industry. [49]

20th century

Truck loaded with logs on temporary logging road, BC 1936
Truck loaded with logs on temporary logging road, BC 1936

Since the days of the fur trade, British Columbia's economy has been based on natural resources, particularly fishing, logging and mining. From the canneries to the mills and mines, B.C.'s resource sector was increasingly the domain of large commercial interests.

With industrialization and economic growth, workers arrived to join in the seemingly boundless prosperity. Increasingly, these workers came from Asia as well as Europe. The mix of cultures and diversity was a source of strength, but also, often, of conflict. The early part of the 20th century was a time of great change and talk between immigrants and the First Nations, all of whom found their lives changing rapidly.

Rise of the labour movement

The dominance of the economy by big business was accompanied by an often militant labour movement. The first major sympathy strike was in 1903 when railway employees struck against the CPR for union recognition. Labour leader Frank Rogers was killed while picketing at the docks by CPR police during that strike, becoming the British Columbia movement's first martyr.[50] Canada's first general strike occurred following the death of another labour leader, Ginger Goodwin, in 1918, at the Cumberland coal mines on Vancouver Island.[51] A lull in industrial tensions through the later 1920s came to an abrupt end with the Great Depression. Most of the 1930s strikes were led by Communist Party organizers.[52] That strike wave peaked in 1935 when unemployed men flooded the city to protest conditions in the relief camps run by the military in remote areas throughout the province. After two tense months of daily and disruptive protesting, the relief camp strikers decided to take their grievances to the federal government and embarked on the On-to-Ottawa Trek,[53] but their commandeered train was met by a gatling gun at Hatzic, just east of Mission City, and the strikers arrested and interned in work camps for the duration of the Depression.[54]

Race and ethnic relations

The Komagata Maru and HMCS Rainbow
The Komagata Maru and HMCS Rainbow

At the time that BC was settled the ideology of the British Empire, and of many of its colonial settlers was based on an assumption of superiority, often racial superiority based on the pseudo-science of Race. Racism and a desire to create a white colony were widespread. The scientific thinking of Charles Darwin was used to develop a theory of the races, which is today completely discredited - came to be known as Social Darwinism.

Under the ideology of Social Darwinism a series of restrictive laws were passed, by both federal and provincial levels of government. The Potlatch Ban outlawed First Nations cultural and spiritual practices,[55] non-white people were denied the vote - specifically First Nations, Chinese and Japanese people were not eligible to vote.

During the 20th century, many immigrant groups arrived in British Columbia and today, Vancouver is the second most ethnically diverse city in Canada, only behind Toronto. In 1886, a head tax was imposed on the Chinese, which reached as much as $500 per person to enter Canada by 1904. By 1923 the government passed the Chinese Immigration Act, which prohibited all Chinese immigration until 1947. Sikhs had to face an amended Immigration Act in 1908 that required Sikhs to have $200 on arrival in Canada, and immigration would be allowed only if the passenger had arrived by continuous journey from India, which was impossible. Perhaps the most famous incident of anti-Sikh racism in B.C. was in 1914 when the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour with 376 Sikhs aboard, of whom only 20 were allowed entry. The Komagata Maru spent two months in harbour while the Khalsa Society went through the courts to appeal their case. The Khalsa Society also kept the passengers on the Komagata Maru alive during those two months. When the case was lost, HMCS Rainbow, a Royal Canadian Navy cruiser, escorted the Komagata Maru out to sea while thousands of Caucasians cheered from the seawall of Stanley Park.

During the Second World War, security concerns following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Canada's entry into the war versus Japan led to controversial measures. The local Japanese-Canadian population was openly discriminated against, being put in internment camps. The Pacific Coast Militia Rangers were formed in 1942 in order to provide an armed presence on the coast in addition to the pre-war fortress garrisons, which were expanded after hostilities. Japanese military attacks against BC amounted to a small number of parachute bombs released from great distance away and by the middle of 1942 the threat of direct attack diminished following defeat at the Battle of Midway by US forces.

Prohibition

Alcohol was prohibited in British Columbia for about four years, from 1917 to 1921. A referendum in 1916 asked BC citizens whether they approved of making alcohol illegal (the other question was whether women had the right to vote). The contested results rejecting prohibition led to a major political scandal that subsequently saw the referendum being overturned and alcohol prohibited.[56] However, by 1921 the failures were so apparent—a thriving black market, arbitrary (often class- and race-based) enforcement and punishment, rampant corruption—that alcohol was established as a commodity subject to government regulation and taxation as it is today. U.S. prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s led to a thriving business of producing and smuggling alcohol to quench the thirst of BC's southern neighbors. Many of Vancouver's richest families built or consolidated their fortunes in the rum-running business. Some compare today's robust cannabis-growing industry in BC (the number-one cash crop) to this earlier era.[57]

World War II contributions

A Pacific Command was created in 1942 also, and was disbanded in 1945. During the war a range of coastal defences were constructed, including harbour defences for Vancouver. Today's Museum of Anthropology at UBC sits atop the foundation for gun batteries that were used to command Vancouver Harbour approaches.

Militia units from southern BC provided cadres for many regiments that eventually fought in Europe. The Rocky Mountain Rangers sent a battalion to fight the Japanese in the Battle of the Aleutian Islands in 1943. Thousands more British Columbians volunteered for the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force. Two soldiers, Ernest Alvia Smith and John Keefer Mahony, were awarded the Victoria Cross for actions with BC-based regiments in Italy.

Columbia River Treaty

In 1961, British Columbia ratified the Columbia River Treaty which required the building of three large dams in British Columbia in return for financial compensation related to U.S. hydroelectric power production enabled by the dams. The dams flooded large areas within British Columbia, but would prove to be a very stable and renewable source of power for the province.

21st century

If the 20th century can be said to have been (see above) one of ethnocultural strife, the 21st thus far can be said to be one of relative harmony. One of the first pronouncements of Stephen Harper, upon his victory in the 39th general election to the Parliament in Ottawa, was that proper redress would be afforded the payers of the Chinese head tax. [58] On 22 June 2006, he offered an apology and $20,000 compensation for the head tax once paid by Chinese immigrants.[59] Asian people, at 20.2% of the total population, were in the 2006 census by far the largest visible minority demographic, with many of the Lower Mainland's large cities having sizable Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean communities.[60]

The Chinese appeasement policies continue to bear fruit. Whereas prior to 2009 the Federal government was ill-disposed toward the Chinese,[61] by spring of that year the China Investment Corporation was able to purchase of a 17% share fraction of the Vancouver miner Teck Resources.[62] The transition of views on the Chinese government has been unprecedented, from one of fear[63] to one of official cooperation[64][65] in the space of five years, and in the face of popular trepidation.[66] In November 2013, British Columbia finance minister Mike de Jong reported a successful placement of Chinese RMB$2.5bn in dim sum bonds.[67]

The province hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.

Crimes

  • The scandal of the December 2003 BC Legislature Raids, which led to the October 2010 conviction of Dave Basi and Bob Virk, ministerial aides to Gary Collins and Janet Reid, respectively,[68] involved "bribes - cash, meals and NFL tickets - in exchange for leaking confidential [information] about the sale" of BC Rail.[68] The case set precedent in R. v. Basi, according to which defendants' counsel may participate at pre-trial hearings involving a police informant.
  • Although Robert Pickton had apparently claimed responsibility for 49 murders at or near his pig farm in Port Coquitlam, at trial by jury in 2007 he was only convicted of six.
  • On August 13, 2007, Vancouver Police Department fatally opened fire on Paul Boyd instead of deploying his taser, without legal consequence.
  • On 14 October 2007, Robert Dziekański was tasered by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. The incident might have been unreported, but for the cell-phone video taken by eyewitness Paul Pritchard. It took six years for the provincial coroner to determine that death of Dziekanski was a homicide.[69]
  • A drug dealer who failed to pay $100,000 to the Red Scorpion gang for trafficking on the its turf was the catalyst for the execution of six people in a Surrey high rise in 2007.[70]

Civil amercement

After a scandal-filled second term for the BC NDP government, the BC Liberals won the 2001 election with the biggest landslide in BC history: 77 of 79 seats. Gordon Campbell became the seventh premier in ten years, and the first Liberal premier in almost 50 years. On 25 November 2005, the Civil Forfeiture Act (CFA) was passed by Campbell's second government with a 3:2 majority. This Act followed Ontario's Civil Remedies Act, which had passed in November 2003.[71] This Act makes it possible for the government to amerce or to seize property without due process, and the Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) has been eager to use this power in order to fill the coffers of government.[72][73] The office does not need criminal charges, or convictions, to amerce a property.[73] Bill 5 was introduced by Solicitor-General Rich Coleman, who made liberal use of the "organised crime" fear, uncertainty and doubt tactic.[74] He also mentioned that Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta had also recently introduced similar legislation.[74]

The Act, which was brought in with "organised crime" as the target, since at least 2007 has been expanded to target ordinary citizens. In latter-day practice, amercements may include partial (Jang) or full seizure (Lloydsmith, Rai) of a house.[71] On 4 May 2011, Solicitor-General Shirley Bond of Christy Clark's first government introduced the concept of "administrative forfeiture", under which a civil court is no longer required to judge amercements of property worth less than $75,000.[71] The CFO moved in summer 2012 to seize the Guide Certificate of Robert Milligan, a certain way to destroy his livelihood.[71] The CFO has a budgetary target.[73] Offences under the Motor Vehicle Act, Wildlife Act and Employment Standards Act are now pursued by the CFO.[73] The public is now bribed with the proceeds, for example, violence-prevention projects at six schools, an anti-gang campaign, women and family violence programs and a workshop on sexual exploitation awareness.[73] Justice Minister Suzanne Anton expressed unreserved support for the CFO and CFA in a January 2014 interview.[73]

First Nations

The legacy of British Imperialism in BC is unusual in that neither conquest nor treaties were undertaken as settlement occurred under the doctrine of Terra Nullius. With few exceptions (the Douglas Treaties of Fort Rupert and southern Vancouver Island) no treaties were signed. Some early settlers assumed, based on the catastrophic population crash of First Nations peoples linked to smallpox, and racist ideas that 'Indians' were a dying race led to a lack of action to deal with what was then termed the 'Indian Land Question'.

Upon Confederation the federal government assumed responsibility for Indians and lands reserved for Indians, while the province had responsibility for non-Aboriginal civil matters and resources. The 1913 McKenna-McBride Royal Commission made some amendments to lands but failed to deal with issues pertaining to title and First Nations rights. Several delegations to Ottawa and London were sent by First Nations seeking redress for grievances, to little avail. Instead the Indian Act, federal legislation governing First Nations, was amended to make it a crime to organize or engage legal council. Other oppressive measure also accompanied the amendment including the Potlatch Ban and the increasingly applied Indian Residential School system designed to assimilate First Nations.

The status of the First Nations (Aboriginal) people of British Columbia is a long-standing problem that has become a major issue in recent years. First Nations were confined to tiny reserves that no longer provide an economic base. They were provided with inadequate education and discriminated against in numerous ways. In many areas they were excluded from restaurants and other establishments. Status Indians gained the right to vote in 1960. They were prohibited from possessing alcohol, which rather than preventing problems with this drug, exacerbated them by fostering unhealthy patterns of consumption such as binge drinking.[citation needed] Certain privileges of status Indians are governed by the Indian Act. With the exception of what are known as the Douglas Treaties, negotiated by Sir James Douglas with the native people of the Victoria area, no treaties were signed in British Columbia until 1998. Many native people wished to negotiate treaties, but the province refused until 1990. Another major development was the 1997 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia case that aboriginal title still exists in British Columbia.

60% of First Nations in British Columbia are aligned with the First Nations Summit. This brings a total of 58 First Nations, but only 20 are said to be in active negotiations. Three Final Agreements have been settled, with one being rejected by Lheidli T'enneh in 2007. The other two, the Maa-nulth treaty group, a 5 Nuu-chah-nulth member group, and the Tsawwassen First Nation. Although these treaties have yet to be ratified by Parliament in Ottawa and Legislature in Victoria, neighbouring First Nations are seeking to block these treaties in the courts. A group of Vancouver Island and some mainland First Nations, the WSANEC, Lekwungen, and Semiahmoo, are seeking to block to Tsawwassen First Nation treaty, claiming infringement on their rights and land titles. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Ditidaht First Nation is doing the same against the Maa-nulth treaty group. The only treaty signed in recent years, the Nisga'a Treaty (1998), was negotiated outside of the current treaty process. There is considerable disagreement about treaty negotiations. Among indigenous people, there is mounting criticism of extinguishment of Aboriginal title and continued assimilation strategies by attempting to change the indigenous peoples from nations to municipal style government. Therefore, a substantial number of First Nations governments consider the current treaty process inadequate and have refused to participate.[citation needed]

A November 2007 court ruling for the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation called future participation in the process into question. The judge ruled that the Xeni Gwet'in could demonstrate aboriginal title to half of the Nemaia Valley, and that the province had no power over these lands.[75] Under the BC treaty process, negotiating nations have received as little as 5% of their claimed land recognized. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, called the court victory a "nail in the coffin" of the B.C. treaty process.[75]

See also

Indigenous peoples

European empires

Important figures

By nationality, in chronological order of influence to the region:

Places

Events

Other history articles

References

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  14. ^ It was named after the Columbia Department of the Hudson's Bay Company, which in turn was named after the Columbia River. Ged Martin, "The Naming of British Columbia," Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 257-263 in JSTOR
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  20. ^ a b Scott, Laura Elaine (1983). The Imposition of British Culture as Portrayed in the New Westminster Capital Plan of 1859 to 1862. Simon Fraser University. p. 26.
  21. ^ Moody, Richard Clement. Letter of Colonel Richard Clement Moody, R.E., to Arthur Blackwood, February 1, 1859, preserved in the British Columbia Historical Quarterly (January – April 1951), ed. Willard E. Ireland, Archives of British Columbia. British Columbia Historical Association. pp. 85–107.
  22. ^ Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia, (Toronto: University of Toronto) p.7
  23. ^ Ormsby
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  64. ^ G+M: "Clark, Robertson to lead B.C. trade missions to Asia" 22 Oct 2013
  65. ^ "B.C. and China endorse partnerships" 26 Nov 2013
  66. ^ thetyee.ca: "BC Premier Urged to Consider Fast Legal Action Against China Treaty" 24 Oct 2013
  67. ^ "Canadian Province Issues Offshore Yuan-Denominated Bonds" 5 Nov 2013
  68. ^ a b G+M: "BC Rail trial ends after deal reached" (Mason) 18 Oct 2010
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  70. ^ news24.com: "Dead drug dealer failed to pay gang, 'Surrey Six' trial hears" 19 Dec 2013
  71. ^ a b c d G+M "Timeline: How B.C. has seized $41-million in property in nearly eight years" 25 Jan 2014
  72. ^ G+M: "B.C. Opposition plans to question scope of ‘cash cow’ office that seizes property" 28 Jan 2014
  73. ^ a b c d e f G+M: "WHEN THE PROVINCE GOES AFTER ILL-GOTTEN GAINS, WHO PAYS?" 25 Jan 2014
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Further reading

  • Barman, Jean. The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia U. of Toronto Press, 1991. 430pp
  • Carlson, Roy L. and Bona, Luke Dalla, eds. Early Human Occupation in British Columbia. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1996. 261 pp.
  • Carty, R. K., ed. Politics, Policy, and Government in British Columbia. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1996. 381 pp.
  • Cole, Douglas & Ira Chaiken "An Iron Hand Upon the People: The Law Against the Potlatch on the Northwest Coast." Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1990. ISBN 0-88894-695-3
  • Francis, Daniel, ed. Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour, 2000. 806 pp.
  • Griffin, Harold. Radical Roots: The Shaping of British Columbia. Vancouver: Commonwealth Fund, 1999.
  • Hak, Gordon. Turning Trees into Dollars: The British Columbia Coastal Lumber Industry, 1858-1913. U. of Toronto Press, 2000. 239 pp.
  • Harris, Cole. The Resettlement of British Columbia: Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1997. 314 pp.
  • Hayes, Derek. Historical Atlas of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest: Maps of Exploration. Vancouver: Cavendish, 1999. 208 pp.
  • Johnston, Hugh, ed. The Pacific Province: A History of British Columbia. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996. 352 pp.
  • McGillivray, Brett. Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 2000. 235pp
  • Muckle, Robert J. The First Nations of British Columbia. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1998. 146pp.
  • Norris, John. Strangers Entertained: A History of Ethnic Groups in British Columbia. Vancouver: Evergreen Press, 1971. 254 pp.
  • Ormsby, Margaret A. British Columbia: A History (Macmillan, 1958) online edition
  • Recksten, Terry. The Illustrated History of British Columbia. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2001. 280 pp.
  • Roy, Patricia E., ed. A History of British Columbia: Selected Readings (1989)
  • Woodcock, George. British Columbia: A History of the Province. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1990. 288 pp.
  • Whitcomb, Dr. Ed. A Short History of British Columbia. Ottawa. From Sea To Sea Enterprises. 2006. 71 pp.

External links

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