Browsing All Posts filed under »Aboriginal Notes«

William Duncan in Metlakatla

May 20, 2013


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


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 […]

Why Disease Conquered the Americas

May 17, 2013


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 […]

What Defeated the Mexica?

May 5, 2013


History of Aboriginal America 14. Disease and the conquest of the Americas, pt. 1 When Cortés entered Tenochtitlan in 1521 with his 200,000 Aboriginal allies, he made acquaintance with the true conqueror of Mexico along that great city’s causeways.  He did not salute it. Bodies lay along all the causeways in great piles, killed by […]

Hippy-Speak and Aboriginal Education

April 14, 2013


One time I was given a lesson on how to shake a hand by the managing partner of a major downtown law firm.  My grip was too limp, he said.  You have to keep it firm.  I suppose my handshake was limp.  I have always considered the classic grip handshake as a little bit too […]

Also at the Conquest

April 5, 2013


History of Aboriginal America 13 The Invisible Allies of the Conquistadors Columbus was notorious for continuing to insist, despite growing evidence to the contrary—and his own encounter with the South American continent on his fourth voyage—that he had found the route to the Indies in 1492.  You could call this insistence peculiar stubbornness (of which […]

The Conquistador’s Playbook

March 13, 2013


History of Aboriginal America 12 Cortés and the Seven Protocols of Conquest Shortly after he came ashore on the Central American mainland in 1519, Hernán Cortés symbolically “founded” the city of Vera Cruz, and after dispatching an agent to Spain, he thereafter grounded and scuttled his remaining ships.  What were these mad Spaniards up to […]

A Handful of Myths

March 11, 2013


History of Aboriginal America 11 Cortés, the conquistadors, and the myth of the “handful of adventurers.” When 19th century historian William Prescott wrote about Hernán Cortés’ and his role in the invasion and destruction of the Aztec empire beginning in 1521, he described the event as “the subversion of a great empire by a handful […]

The Treaty of Waitangi, 1840

February 10, 2013


Below is the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by the Māori and British Crown in New Zealand in 1840.  The Treaty also has a Māori version which was agreed to and signed simultaneously with the agreement below.  The Māori version (available here) is just as definitive as the English version, and is also […]