A Missing Genocide and the Demonization of its Heroes

Is a tolerance for poor scholarship regarding the indigenous Peoples a colonial legacy that is still alive and well at Canadian universities? A Review of the University of Victoria website about Klatsassin and “The Chilcotin War” shows a disrespect for the Tsilhqot’in voice and a careless disregard even for the content of the written record.

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Canada's "War" of Extermination on the Pacific

Native Elders have always taught that settlers intentionally spread smallpox to depopulate the Pacific shelf at the inception of the colonial period. With special attention to the events in Tsilhqot’in territory, this book assembles evidence from the written record showing that the Elders’ teaching reflects the truth more accurately than the version taught by settlers.

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The Great Darkening

At the beginning of European settlement on Canada’s Pacific shelf, settlers imagined themselves as bringing the light of the European enlightenment. Native Elders teach that, instead, there was a great darkening. One that began with settlers spreading smallpox as a means of displacing the indigenous Peoples in what is now British Columbia. Combining the native tradition with the written record, this prospective documentary film script outlines one of the greatest human tragedies of Canadian history.

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The Smallpox War in Nuxalk Territory

In 1862 settlers in the new Colony of British Columbia intentionally spread smallpox in Tsilhqot’in territory, leading to the Chilcotin War and the martyrdom of the “Chilcotin Chiefs.” What happened in Nuxalk territory during this “Smallpox War” connects the violence in Tsilhqot’in territory with the course of similar smallpox epidemics elsewhere in the British Pacific Colonies.

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