The Smallpox Graveyard in Fortune’s Field at Splatsin

The Smallpox Graveyard in Fortune’s Field at Splatsin

On July 16, 2016, the Splatsin community near Enderby, B.C. is set to answer the question “Should Splatsin enter into the Fortune Field Specific Claims Settlement Agreement?” Canada’s offer to settle this issue has two components: 1) A payment of $300,000. Canada...
The first introduction of smallpox in Nuxalk territory, early June 1862.

The first introduction of smallpox in Nuxalk territory, early June 1862.

Poole arrived in the Nuxalk Ancestors’ territory in the first week of June 1862. On his own various accounts of where his party bore responsibility, or from the newspapers, smallpox carriers from his party knowingly left the disease at: Nanaimo, Fort Rupert (north Vancouver Island), a Heiltsuk community on the approach to Bella Coola, “tribes in the neighbourhood” of Bentinck Arm, South Bentinck Arm, Q’umk’uts’ and Soonochlim (collectively known as Bella Coola, population estimated by Poole at 4000), Nautlieff and Chilcotin Lake.

The day B.C. martyred “The Chilcotin Chiefs.”

The day B.C. martyred “The Chilcotin Chiefs.”

The day began well before sunrise. Early risers could hear the prisoners’ monotone death chant drifting through the British Columbia darkness. Careful listeners could distinguish Lhatsassin’s deep voice in their common prayer.

Why did B.C. martyr the “Chilcotin Chiefs” in 1864/65?

Why did B.C. martyr the “Chilcotin Chiefs” in 1864/65?

October 26, 2014 will be the 150th anniversary of B.C.’s martyrdom of the “Chilcotin Chiefs.” The “Chiefs” were hanged at Quesnel. The attending official estimated the mostly native crowd at 250 making this one of the largest mass executions in Canadian history. Why did B.C. hang the “Chilcotin Chiefs” in 1864/65?

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