Browsing All posts tagged under »Indians of North America«

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Legends of Myself 64

March 5, 2013


64.  Gitanmaax, 1959-1960:  The Poles Beside the Ballfield I never saw the crest poles as they appeared in the old photographs, when they stood along the ridge at the edge of Gitanmaax village, peering out towards the Skeena, peering down upon Hazelton.  The families who erected those poles had been told in 1884 that the […]

Legends of Myself 63

February 25, 2013


63.  Hazelton, 1959-1960:  The Middle Row After the local late nineteen century gold rush was over (which was very quickly) and once again after the railway-induced land rush at the beginning of the 20th century which left the original site of Hazelton off to the side—out of the mainstream—facing a real danger of irrelevance, it […]