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South Island Aboriginal and First Nations issues and discussion


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#341 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:11 AM

here is a perspective to read complete with video.  from sam sullivan.  

 

https://www.vancouve...allpox-bc-1862/

 

talks about how every single esquimalt and songhees member was spared small pox - zero deaths - in large part due to douglas having doctor helmcken inoculate over 500 local natives.  many if not most northern natives refused inoculations.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 14 October 2019 - 06:40 AM.

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#342 Sparky

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:38 AM

Are you really that uneducated about a major event in BC history?

 

There's solid evidence local authorities deliberately spread smallpox among south island First Nations and then spread it into the interior. If that's not genocide I don't know what is.

 

Yes.

 

I look forward to reading about the solid evidence. 


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#343 Sparky

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:40 AM

^^

 

"Governor James Douglas “recommended instant measures be adopted”, including reinstating quarantine of ships. The elected assembly refused. Douglas met with 30 local native leaders to convince them of the threat. With their support, 500 local native people were inoculated by Dr John Helmcken. The local Songhees and Esquimalt would be relatively unscathed. Douglas and Helmcken then sent vaccine around the province. A doctor spent a month vaccinating indigenous people along the Fraser and Nicola Rivers which Douglas reimbursed. A priest vaccinated dozens of communities in the Fraser Valley.

 

Anti Douglas settlers spread rumours that Douglas wanted to infect aboriginal people with blankets. This accusation continues today. It should be noted that Douglas had an aboriginal wife and children. The Germ Theory of Disease was only then being developed by Louis Pasteur. Most people believed smallpox was caused by bad air. The smallpox virus dies within 24 hours at room temperature with the relative humidity of Victoria.

 

Reverend Alexander Garrett and his assistant were the only ones to provide aid to the camp of Northern First Nations outside of Victoria. He lamented that “ they refused with few exceptions to be vaccinated”. Newspaper editor Amor De Cosmos, the champion of the Chinese Head Tax, criticized Douglas often for allowing native people to live near Victoria and in one editorial he accused the Governor of putting the City at risk. Later that day, while Douglas was in New Westminster, the police towed the Northerners to the ocean and sent them home. Many had smallpox and their return would create cascades of misery and death. Haida oral tradition recorded in Raven’s Cry credits Douglas for his efforts to prevent infection."



#344 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:34 AM

Chief Coun. Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation says it's hard to put into words the excitement and emotion she feels at Sunday's opening of the first ceremonial Big House in the territory in modern history.

The last Big House in the First Nation's territory along the B.C. coast was destroyed 120 years ago and the community has been planning and fundraising to build a new one for decades.

The opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events like potlatches and the naming of babies, which had previously been held in a community centre, she said.

"It feels great, it feels surreal, it feels sometimes like a dream," Slett said in an interview.

https://www.cbc.ca/n...emony-1.5320212

#345 spanky123

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 04:48 PM

Yes.

 

I look forward to reading about the solid evidence. 

 

According to the History channel, there was only ever one documented case of the British discussing using blankets with smallpox and that was out East. Even then, there is no evidence that it was actually carried out or that it would have even worked if it was.

 

https://www.history....allpox-blankets



#346 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:58 PM

This feature story by Don Wipond of Focus magazine is a good overview of the topic of the deliberate spread of smallpox in BC.

 

https://focusonline.ca/node/413


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"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

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#347 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:12 PM

Basically it boils down to a change in BC laws that encouraged settlement of "unoccupied" land. A 1862 trip through various stops in the interior by a party of officials shortly after the arrival of "patient zero" at Victoria coincided with smallpox outbreaks in those villages. 


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#348 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 05:23 AM

As the Cowichan tell it, before the arrival of Europeans it was they who commanded the Salish Sea. From their homelands in the modern-day Cowichan Valley, Cowichan canoes regularly crossed the Strait of Georgia to push ashore at what is now Vancouver International Airport, Steveston and Point Roberts.

 

“We were the most powerful tribe on the southern coast of what is now called British Columbia. We were the undisputed rulers of our territory,” reads the website of the Duncan-based Cowichan Tribes, B.C.’s largest First Nation.

 

 

 

 

https://capnews.ca/c...1b756-119762929


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 15 October 2019 - 05:25 AM.


#349 Sparky

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 04:29 PM

There was more than one smallpox decimation of indigenous peoples on the west coast. Here is what Captain Vancouver found on his arrival some 70 years before the outbreak that the San Francisco miner brought to town.

“Everywhere they looked, there were corpses. Abandoned, overgrown villages were littered with skulls; whole sections of coastline strewn with bleached, decayed bodies.”

https://nationalpost...-of-a-holocaust

Here is my favourite read on the topic buy a UVic student that addresses some of the theories proposed by Swanky as well as others. It’s a good read...and it’s only 40 some odd pages.

https://www.uvic.ca/...cAulay 2017.pdf

“Tom Swanky has argued a radically different interpretation of the epidemic: that it was a genocide perpetrated deliberately by the Douglas government in collusion with a group of land speculators, including Doctor Helmcken. He asserts that smallpox was deliberately introduced from San Francisco, and that once the infected passenger landed he was conducted directly to the Songhees village in order to spread the disease there.”

#350 Rob Randall

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 06:21 PM

That Cowichan history is one hell of a story. The oral histories of the people that were there as children are fascinating. I had no idea the Cowichan had a Fraser River connection. 

 

There was more than one smallpox decimation of indigenous peoples on the west coast. Here is what Captain Vancouver found on his arrival some 70 years before the outbreak that the San Francisco miner brought to town.

“Everywhere they looked, there were corpses. Abandoned, overgrown villages were littered with skulls; whole sections of coastline strewn with bleached, decayed bodies.”

https://nationalpost...-of-a-holocaust

Here is my favourite read on the topic buy a UVic student that addresses some of the theories proposed by Swanky as well as others. It’s a good read...and it’s only 40 some odd pages.

https://www.uvic.ca/...cAulay 2017.pdf

“Tom Swanky has argued a radically different interpretation of the epidemic: that it was a genocide perpetrated deliberately by the Douglas government in collusion with a group of land speculators, including Doctor Helmcken. He asserts that smallpox was deliberately introduced from San Francisco, and that once the infected passenger landed he was conducted directly to the Songhees village in order to spread the disease there.”

 

There are some people that think Swanky is a bit ahead of his skis on this. That's why I linked Wipond's article. There's also a BC Bookworld review worth reading if you're interested. 

 

The fact that the colonial records from the period covering the Jim Taylor excursion into the interior are missing from Victoria, Ottawa and London remains very suspicious.

 

Page 3 of the June 13, 1864 Colonist has the Alfred Waddington allegations. That the account is contemporary (within a few months, anyway) is compelling. It could be false but you have to admit at that time there was a huge incentive to speed up the smallpox epidemic to unlock the settler's land claims.

 

https://archive.org/...p/search/taylor

 

Irony alert: Waddington died in Ottawa of smallpox.


Edited by Rob Randall, 15 October 2019 - 06:37 PM.

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"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

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