I began by visiting the Tsilhqot’in Chief’s memorial. To remember, at first, all those who died. Tsilhqot’in or otherwise. The Tsilhqot’in have a central role in this story but it affects all British Columbia natives. Yet this marker, hidden away at Quesnel, is the only one I know of touching victims of the 1862 genocide.
Many B.C. native elders believe settlers deliberately spread smallpox in 1862 as a means of overthrowing their governments. And for seizing their land without paying or making treaties. The official B.C. history is different. However, while researching the Tsilhqot’in War for a movie, my father and I discovered the proof, almost by accident, that the native story is right.