I am writing to correct some factual errors and misleading inferences contained in a Dec. 20th Globe and Mail article, “Chief executed in 1864 grouped in with the wrong crowd.” And to offer some constructive suggestions. Alas, it seems rather it is your writer who has grouped with the wrong crowd. Namely, those who deny Canada’s colonial legacy and then distort the record regarding the indigenous experience. Why otherwise would The Globe and Mail so gratuitously and callously denigrate the Tsilhqot’in People’s proud history of its noble and far-sighted heroes for so little effect?
During the Oct. 26 Lhatsassin Memorial Day ceremonies at Puntzi Lake, Chief Byron Louis of the Okanagan First Nation presented the Tsilhqot’in with a golden eagle’s feather. This feather symbolizes the ongoing continent-wide struggle to have Canada honour with good faith both its treaties with the indigenous Peoples and its own constitutional recognition of indigenous rights.
The reclamation of PKOLS to replace the colonial name Mount Douglas recognizes the nation-to-nation agreements negotiated here and supports ongoing efforts of indigenous and settler people to restore balanced relationships to the lands they call home.
Already once rejected after exhaustive hearings for a federal environmental review Panel, Taseko Mines proposes to mine our minerals at Teztan Biny/Fish Lake and then to impoverish our children by removing them without consent or comparable compensation. The Crown now has privileged the company with a new chance to impress yet another Panel with yet another round of hearings on this failed project. With the greatest respect, I would bring some issues to the Panel’s attention.
On May 22, the Saanich and Songhees indigenous people, whose territories host much of Greater Victoria, will ask their guests to honour the area’s most notable landmark by calling it with the same name as they do, PKOLS (p’cauls.) Settlers now call it Mount Douglas. Restoring the indigenous presence here would be a strong symbol of cultural unification or sharing.
My original story “Rubato” is now for sale on ShawnSwanky.com! If you’re a fan of romantic thrillers like “Basic Instinct” or “Body Heat”, you won’t be disappointed. The book is also available in print and ebook editions from my retail partners.