Indigenous Peoples and Potato Cultivation

February 3, 2023. By Grant Keddie Introduction During the early period of European exploration and settlement, on what became the Colony of Vancouver Island, outsiders often spoke of the great skills of indigenous people in acquiring specific foods. However, the planning that went into Indigenous resource management practices was not recognized. Activities such as the organizing and placing of tied fir branches in inlets to collect herring eggs were not recognized as a form of aquaculture – which today they would be. Just as today we use the term oyster farms, would we not have to call the latter practice herring egg farming? The bias of Europeans as to what they considered forms of farming was clearly toward land-based agriculture. … Continue reading “Indigenous Peoples and Potato Cultivation”

Clallam Mat Lodge

By Grant Keddie. 2013. Introduction The Victoria Harbour area, on Vancouver Island, is within the traditional territory of the Lekungen people who are represented by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. In 1843, the Hudson’s Bay Company built Fort Camosun (later Fort Albert and Fort Victoria) in the Harbour. In the early days of this establishment (1843-1855), Clallam First Nations, from the American side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, set up camps during their trading and employment activities with the Fort. The location and nature of these camps has been a subject of some uncertainty. But, the location of one of the Clallam camps has been made clear by the finding of unique images located in the Royal … Continue reading “Clallam Mat Lodge”

The Imaginary Plank Houses of Henry Warre

By Grant Keddie.  2013. Introduction Captain Henry Warre, while on a spy mission for the British Government, painted a detailed water-color that shows the view looking north along the west side of Fort Victoria ( Figure 1). The image, painted on September 27, 1845, shows at least four traditional style First Nations plank houses adjacent to the Fort. The presence of these more permanent style plank houses has caused some confusion in the placing of various First Nations villages or encampments. Other images of Fort Victoria drawn or painted around the same time period clearly show that these plank houses did not exist. Based on the available evidence it is clear that the plank houses painted by Henry Warre in … Continue reading “The Imaginary Plank Houses of Henry Warre”