Pallatsis. A Special Place in Lekwungen Tradition

By Grant Keddie. For the Indigenous Lekwungen of greater Victoria there are two special places associated with the acquiring of spirit power. One is at the Gorge waterfalls under the Tillicum bridge and one here in the downtown core of Victoria. This is the location of Songhees Point – the rocks sticking out into Victoria Harbour across from Laurel Point. Pallatsis (p’alac’as) “place of cradle” is the name given by Songhees Sophie Micheal and Ned Williams for Songhees Point In traditional culture the natural and supernatural worlds are inseparable; each is intrinsically a part of the other. Pallatsis, was a sacred place where people deposited the cradles of children who had reached the walking stage and put there to ensure … Continue reading “Pallatsis. A Special Place in Lekwungen Tradition”

Victoria’s Early Hospital Properties

Originally published in Discovery: Friends of the Royal British Columbia Museum Quarterly Review, 19(3), 4-5. By Grant Keddie. Summer 1991. Introduction In the early 1850s, temporary locations – usually private homes – served as Victoria’s first public hospitals. People who were declared insane were put with prisoners in the Public Jail. In 1853, Governor James Douglas was ordered to construct what became Vancouver Island’s first real hospital, the Esquimalt Naval Hospital. It was established for wounded British veterans of the Crimean War. The Crimean soldiers never came, but the hospital eventually was used in Esquimalt as a naval hospital. In 1858, Reverend Edward Cridge argued that “We ought immediately to unite and found a hospital, and an asylum and having … Continue reading “Victoria’s Early Hospital Properties”