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, TheTyee.ca

 "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

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