Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

The piece of land which we now refer to as British Columbia was first the home of a multitude of Indigenous cultures, territories, languages, and people. Throughout history, the British Crown referred to this land as Terra Nullius, meaning empty land. There were treaties made on Vancouver Island, but the majority of the province remains unceded in reference to Indigenous title to land. Yet, here we are in 2020 with colonial civilization flourishing. How we got here, specifically in the Interior region of BC, is my research question. I investigate this topic by focusing on the relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples. In the Interior of BC, the relationship between Indigenous peoples and newcomers has changed over time. What was once a mutually respectful relationship quickly became lacking of everything a trusting relationship requires. When explorers such as Simon Fraser came to the Interior, he wrote of amicable interactions with the Nlaka’pamux people in the Thompson Region. Further explained in the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Memorial, fur traders were also experienced similar interactions in this territory and surrounding nations. However as other whites, including settlers and miners, began encroaching on Indigenous land, their relationship began to change. In this presentation, the relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples from these territories are analyzed in order to understand why the Interior of British Columbia remains unceded.

Department

History

Faculty Advisor

Tina Block

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A History of Dispossession: An Analysis of Indigenous-Settler Relations in the Secwepemc, Nlaka’pamux, and Syilx Territories of British Columbia

The piece of land which we now refer to as British Columbia was first the home of a multitude of Indigenous cultures, territories, languages, and people. Throughout history, the British Crown referred to this land as Terra Nullius, meaning empty land. There were treaties made on Vancouver Island, but the majority of the province remains unceded in reference to Indigenous title to land. Yet, here we are in 2020 with colonial civilization flourishing. How we got here, specifically in the Interior region of BC, is my research question. I investigate this topic by focusing on the relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples. In the Interior of BC, the relationship between Indigenous peoples and newcomers has changed over time. What was once a mutually respectful relationship quickly became lacking of everything a trusting relationship requires. When explorers such as Simon Fraser came to the Interior, he wrote of amicable interactions with the Nlaka’pamux people in the Thompson Region. Further explained in the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Memorial, fur traders were also experienced similar interactions in this territory and surrounding nations. However as other whites, including settlers and miners, began encroaching on Indigenous land, their relationship began to change. In this presentation, the relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples from these territories are analyzed in order to understand why the Interior of British Columbia remains unceded.

 

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