Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tsilhqot’in perspective: "you bastards hung our chiefs"

Klatsassin's Salmon Fishery (Alexis, Ualas, Ogilvie)
Resort of Indians (Alexis, Ualas, Ogilvie)
Slough, Camp detail (Waddington)
 Ferry Detail (Waddington)

First Nations chief gives lessons about Tsilhqot’in hangings 150 years later

B.C.'s apology for hanging Tsilhqot'in war chiefs one step in a long healing process WENDY STUECK

NEMIAH VALLEY, B.C. — The Globe and Mail
"After the colonial militia failed to track down the war party, an official sent the chiefs a sacred gift of tobacco and an invitation to discuss terms of peace, Ms. Clark said. “Chief Klatsassin and his men accepted this truce,” she said. “They rode into the camp to negotiate peace, and then in an unexpected act of betrayal, they were arrested, imprisoned and tried for murder.” "

Justice for Tsilhqot’in finally arrives 150 years after war hangings

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – Grand Chief Ed John was a young lawyer when he spoke more than 30 years ago at the University of Victoria’s new law-school building named after Matthew Begbie, British Columbia’s hanging judge.International scholars were present to discuss aboriginal issues and rights, but John said he was compelled to tell them they were gathered in a building named after the judge who sentenced many First Nations to hang, including Tsilhqot’in chiefs after the Chilcotin War.
“I said I want to raise a question about this law school and about this conference on aboriginal rights and I want to tie it back to what this school’s been named because I want to talk to you about Matthew Baillie Begbie, the so-called hanging judge,” said John, who now leads the First Nations Summit, B.C.’s largest aboriginal organization.
Six chiefs from B.C.’s central Interior Cariboo-Chilcotin region were hanged in 1864 for murder and for their parts in what is known as Western Canada’s deadliest attack by aboriginals on non-aboriginal settlers.
The colony of B.C. approved a toll road from Bute Inlet on the coast to Barkerville in the Cariboo gold fields, but the Tsilhqot’in, decimated by smallpox and fiercely protective of their homelands, mounted a resistance.
It started in April 1864, and by the end of May, 19 road builders and a farmer were dead.
“He was the judge who sentenced the Tsilhqot’in chiefs to hang,” John said. “These were the chiefs who were fighting for the rights to their land, for the rights of their people to their respective lands and we have this conference in this school named after this hanging judge.”
It’s taken 150 years, but the circle of justice for the Tsilhqot’in is almost complete, he said.
The Bute Inlet road to the central Interior was never completed.
UVic changed the name of the law school building, and a bronze statue of Begbie mysteriously disappeared from the campus.
Last June, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled in favour of the Tsilhqot’in after a decades-long court fight, granting them title to 1,700 square kilometres of land in the remote Nemiah Valley, land southwest of Williams Lake that would have been part of the Cariboo road.
The court victory for the Tsilhqot’in Nation is the first time in Canadian history an aboriginal nation was granted title to land."

Vaughn Palmer

"Opposition leader John Horgan provided a telling coda to the premier’s remarks when he acknowledged how the previous New Democratic Party government had chosen to handle its own version of an apology for the same wrongs.
“It was done in a press release because at that time we felt there was a fear within government that if you did the right thing, there may be consequences,” acknowledged Horgan, who served as a political staffer in that government.
"From the Oct. 28, 1993 release put out by then attorney-general Colin Gabelmann: “The hanging of the Chilcotin chiefs in 1864 is a tragedy which, if we are to move forward with respect and in good faith, must be recognized. On behalf of the government and people of B.C., I would like to say that we are sorry that those events occurred and regret their effect on the Chilcotin people.” "

“We Meant War Not Murder”: A Punk Rock History of Klatsassin and the Tsilhqot’in War of 1864

by By Sean CarletonGUEST on OCTOBER 23, 2014
"The Rebel Spell’s “The Tsilhqot’in War” offers an interpretation of this important conflict from an anti-colonial perspective and thus contributes to a greater understanding of Canada’s colonial past. The song does not get all the facts right, but by highlighting Tsilhqot’in agency in the face of disease and settlers’ attempted dispossession of Indigenous lands, The Rebel Spell successfully challenge Canada’s “myth of benevolence” which suggests colonialism was an entirely peaceful process. Such a song is especially timely given the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision early this summer to affirm Tsilhqot’in land title in British Columbia."

To the Tsilhqot'in, with Gloves How a people, its chiefs and a chief justice have bravely ennobled the Canadian spirit.By Ian Gill, 26 Jul 2014,

 "The court process in defence of the Tsilhqot'in's rights and title -- a long, ugly, unseemly and expensive battle, as they always are -- ended a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed Aboriginal title a quarter of a century after the Tslihqot'in called the question.
"That might seem like a long time, but as Roger William said in a deposition opposing the mine two years ago, the struggle dates back to 1846, even before the Chilcotin War, when the British Crown asserted sovereignty before British Columbia even joined Confederation, something the Tsilhqot'in now view as merely the first chapter in a long "story of betrayal" for which governments have only now been called to account."

court decision:
June 26, 2014 - Supreme Court of Canada Ruling [pdf]

maps: sources
Title: Salmon Fishery of Klatsassin
Map-maker: Alexis and Ualas
Archive or Repository: Public Record Office, Great Britain
Reference Number: MPG6541
Notes: Detail from the Alexis Map showing Klatsassin's Fishery. From map originally drawn by Indians Alexis and Ualas as interpreted by Mr. Ogilvie, signed W. Cox, Benshee Lake, 22 July 1864.
Title: Alexis Map, Resort of Indians
Map-maker: Alexis and Ualas
Archive or Repository: Public Record Office, Great Britain
Reference Number: MPG6541
Notes: Detail from the Alexis Map showing favorite place for the Tsilhqot'in to take refuge in times of danger. From map originally drawn by Indians Alexis and Ualas as interpreted by Mr. Ogilvie, signed W. Cox, Benshee Lake, 22nd July 1864
Title: Waddington Map, Ferry Detail
Map-maker: Alfred Waddington
Archive or Repository: British Columbia Surveyor General Branch
Reference Number: Vault, Original Maps, 47 TY1
Notes: Copy of Original Map

Title: Waddington Map, Slough, Camp Detail
Map-maker: Alfred Waddington
Archive or Repository: British Columbia Surveyor General Branch
Reference Number: Vault, Original Maps, 47 TY1
Notes: Copy of Original Map

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Carole Gray: birth portraits

Carole Gray 1986

More pen & ink drawings by Carole Gray, shared with permission:

Carole Gray 1986

Carole Gray, 1986


Carole Gray, 1993


in Mother Time there is a poem 
based on these birth portraits that my sister made for me
"Birth Sketch I" & "Birth Sketch II"


when i removed the 1986 birth images from the frame, 
i found a hidden image, the oldest of the group, 1982


face 1982
madonna & child 1986
circle of birth 1993

all images (c) Carole Gray


kicking around
 a collaborative chapbook idea, like this:

Monday, 20 October 2014

municipal elections: Henry Yao

Henry Yao

2. Be an educated voter. To further reinforce a person's effectiveness of their vote, it is important for them to be educated before they vote. Learn about the candidates' character, explore their policies and action plans, and understand current issues.

Henry's DrawMyLife

Henry would like to remind everyone about the importance of civic engagement and participation in democratic processes. Please take 3 minutes out of your day to watch the video. It is summarized in the following 5 points:

1. It is extremely important for everyone to vote. Policy makers know voters' demographics such as: age, ethnicity, economical standing, geographical living area, etc. When a person votes, he/she represents his or her connection to the community. When people don't vote, policies and rules are slowly skewed away from the non-voters. Furthermore, for an individual to combat corruption, challenge bad policies, punish ineffective politicians or even reward good governments, an individual's vote is the first and best step.

2. Be an educated voter. To further reinforce a person's effectiveness of their vote, it is important for them to be educated before they vote. Learn about the candidates' character, explore their policies and action plans, and understand current issues.

3. Do not give out random votes when voting on the ballot. When a voter is selecting members for Richmond City Council, he/she has the right to cast 1-8 votes. However, when a voter has only decided to vote for 6 candidates, it is important for the voter not to waste his/her 2 unused votes on random candidates. Random votes not just increase the chance for the person whom the voter did not know to win, but they also reduce the chance for the person whom the voter wants to win the election. Remember, in Richmond's City Council election, the top 8 candidates who receive the most votes win. Therefore vote only for the candidates you want to win and use your votes wisely.

4. It is also important for voters to find a candidate who listens. A good candidate or political party that listens will do what the voters encourage them to do. However, when money or special interests replace a voter's voice, the democratic process suffers. It is important for voters to find a candidate who listens and is not influenced by special interests.

5. As an independent candidate who is running for Richmond City Council, I sincerely hope to be the candidate whom you can trust. If there are things I can do better or if there are recommendations, please send them my way and I will read them all with a great sense of respect and appreciation.

Thank you,
Henry Yao

Civic Engagement

Throughout all his work, Henry has focused on two core principles: the value of youth, and the effectiveness of trust-based delegation and interaction. Henry’s uncompromising outlook on what it means to be a leader is tightly bound to the idea of building relationships, hearing everyone’s opinions, and placing value in the ideals of democratic decision making. Nevertheless, Henry has a powerful voice that never fails to facilitate discussion, a leadership skill he has developed through working with over 3,000 young people over the past seven years alone. He also has a real admiration towards the effectiveness and dedication of the community. If elected, Henry will seek ways to increase government efficiency, empower the community, and foster a brighter future for Richmond.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Milestone: The Woodcock Fund

Realities of the Writing Life

Despite his successful writing career, George Woodcock was well aware of the difficulties faced by those who have chosen to devote their lives to literature. Not only is writing a solitary profession with no health benefits or pension plans, not only is little or no income generated during the long pre-publication period when a book is being born, there is no guarantee that even when a book is published it will generate enough income to provide a decent standard of living. A number of factors contribute to a book’s financial success (quality being only one of them) and almost all of these factors are impossible to control.

What We Have Been Able to Accomplish

Established in 1989 by George and his wife Ingeborg, the program has to date distributed more than one million dollars and supported more than 200 Canadian writers, a number of them prominent and established in their respective fields.
video from the website + youtube
images from Writers' Trust of Canada newsletter, Fall Update 2014

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Resurgence ~ 2 October 2014

SFU Department of English &
Department of First Nations Studies are proud to present:


Resurgence: New Directions in Indigenous Literary Studies
in the 21st Century

A roundtable discussion, book launch and reception

Celebrating the recent publication of:

Anahareo, Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl. Ed. Sophie McCall.
Winnipeg: U Manitoba P, 2014.

James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice, eds. The Oxford Handbook of
Indigenous American Literature
. Toronto: Oxford UP, 2014.

Neal McLeod, ed. Indigenous Poetics in Canada. Waterloo ON: Wilfrid Laurier
UP, 2014.

Books For Sale! Cash Only Please

Date: October 2, 2014

Time: 5:30 – 9:30 pm:

5:30 – 7:00 pm: Roundtable discussion
7:00 – 8:00pm: Reception
8:00 – 9:30pm: Book Launch

Place: Room 1900, Harbour Centre Campus, SFU
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC

Light refreshments will be served

Free and open to the public

This event will bring together leading writers and scholars whose recent publications are charting new critical directions while drawing upon complex and varied historical contexts.

Each of the publications represents notable "firsts." 

Neal McLeod¹s edited collection of essays, Indigenous Poetics in Canada (Wilfrid Laurier UP 2014), is the first book in WLUP’s Indigenous Studies series, broadening the way in which Indigenous poetry is examined, studied, and discussed in Canada. 

James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice’s reader, The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (Oxford UP, 2014), is the first comprehensive study to fully take into account the last fifteen years of critical dialogues in the field, emphasizing resurgence and recovery. 

The new critical edition of Anahareo’s memoir, Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl, originally published 1972, is the first in the series, First Voices, First Texts (U Manitoba P 2014), reintroducing readers to a very important but largely forgotten memoir by one of Canada’s most talented Aboriginal writers.

The event aims to create a lively discussion and dialogue in a roundtable format that critically engages with the vibrant field of Indigenous literary studies. Each of the invited speakers will talk about their respective book projects, focusing on questions of resurgence in Indigenous literary studies in the 21st century, before opening up the floor to questions and comments.

Following the roundtable, there will be a book launch with authors and contributors present.

Invited Participants:
Joanne Arnott is a Métis poet and author of 10 books of poetry and children’s literature. Her most recent publication is Halfling Spring (Kegedonce Press, 2014). She is a contributor to Indigenous Poetics.

Sarah Henzi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the First Nations Studies Program (UBC) and a Sessional Instructor in the Department of First Nations Studies (SFU). Her research focuses on Indigenous literatures and New Media, pop culture and alternative genres. She is a contributor to The Oxford Handbook.

Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee) is Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Literatures and Expressive Culture and Associate Professor of First Nations Studies and English at the University of British Columbia. He is the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature.

Neal McLeod (Cree) has two books of poetry: Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow (2005) and Gabriel’s Beach (2008). Cree Narrative Memory (2007) was nominated for book of the year at the Anskohk McNally Aboriginal Literature Awards. He teaches Indigenous studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He is the editor of Indigenous Poetics.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter's/Little Peguis) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is the co-editor of the award-winningManitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) and Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013). He is a contributor to Indigenous Poetics.

Katherine Swartile (Mohawk) is the daughter of Anahareo. She wrote the preface to the new edition of Devil in Deerskins.

Many Thanks to:English Department (SFU), First Nations Studies Department (SFU), Office for
Aboriginal Peoples (SFU), First Nations Studies Program (UBC), U Manitoba P, Oxford UP, and Wilfrid Laurier UP.