Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2013«

Legends of Myself 77

May 23, 2013

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77.  The People of the Cane The Kitka’ata, like many other Tsimshian, trace their origins to Temlaxham, which was destroyed and its people scattered when the side of Stekyawden Mountain slipped some 45 centuries ago.  There are many stories in-between, but at last the chief ‘Wamoodmłk, seeking a site for a new village with salmon, […]

William Duncan in Metlakatla

May 20, 2013

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From In the Wake of the War Canoe by William Collison.   The story of Metlakatla is a quintessentially British Columbia story, which, in the middle of the 19th century, represented the farthest, deepest reaches of the British Empire.  The founding of the community represented an experiment in Christian Utopianism, an experiment that failed, among […]

Meeting the Haida Fleet by WH Collison

May 19, 2013

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William  Henry Collison arrived on the Northwest Coast in 1873 to begin work as a missionary for the Church Missionary Society.  He learned Tsimshian while teaching at the Utopian (and totalitarian) Tsimshian community of Metlakatla, which was then under the management of the famous William Duncan.  He also worked with the Nass River Nisga’a at the beginning […]

Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble

May 19, 2013

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The Inevitable Carbon Bubble We know that climate change is with us and getting worse.  97% of climate scientists say so, as if wasn’t already obvious.  A new study by John Cook of Skeptical Science says that 97% of their published papers say so as well. (See http://www.skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-cook-et-al-2013.html) The body of peer-reviewed scientific literature effectively is science.  […]

Why Disease Conquered the Americas

May 17, 2013

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History of Aboriginal America 15. Disease and the conquest of the Americas, pt.2 The scale of what happened in the Americas is unparalleled in human history.  An estimated 80 to 100 million people died in the century or two following Columbus. Some are dying still.  For comparison, Europe itself contained only about 80 million people when […]

Mama Remembers 400

May 13, 2013

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A little discussion with Mama about the meaning of 400 parts per million. Mama was looking through the bones of her extinct children the other day (Mama doesn’t keep photographs) and pulled out a strange skull, gigantic, tusks attached to its lower jaw. “Deinotherium, what a lovely name.  Of course, Deino never heard it since […]

Legends of Myself 76

May 12, 2013

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76. Inside Passage, 1960:  Klemtu Brides Klemtu was once—and I suppose still is—Klemdulxk, which is Tsimshian for “blocked passage.”  There was once a thick forest of kelp to slow traffic in Klemtu harbour. The village has also been called Kitasoo—which I suppose it still is in some households.  That’s Tsimshian for “place of two peoples.”  […]