The Premier’s exoneration statement is republished here to assist in keeping this expression of sorrow current and in making it more widely available.
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 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.
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?
Tell the truth. Hold conferences in good faith. Exonerate “The Chilcotin Chiefs.”
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?