Tom Swanky, J.D.: Usqalits’ – Canada’s Pacific Genocide

Date(s) - March 22, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Trinity Western University (Block Hall)

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This lecture will introduce a common teaching among native Elders about a genocide carried out at the founding of British Columbia through the intentional distribution of smallpox. Several native peoples lost 75 percent or more of their entire number with one year. The lecture will feature evidence from the written record supporting the Elders’ teaching in the Nuxalk and Tsilhqot’in territories. It will show how this local activity fits into the larger context as BC’s colonial founders caused smallpox to spread from Victoria throughout the North Pacific during 1862.

Tom Swanky, J.D., Student of the Native Elders’ teaching about the founding of British Columbia, awarded an eagle feather during the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings, keynote speaker at the ceremonies where the BC Government exonerated the Chilcotin Chiefs who were hanged for defending their communities against the intentional spreading of smallpox. Canada’s exoneration of the Chilcotin Chiefs in the House of Commons is now tentatively scheduled for March 26, 2018.

Panel Respondents:

– Peter Tallio, M.Ed., Nuxalk Scholar and Nuxalk Nation Health Director

– Deacon Rennie Nahanee, First Nations Ministry Coordinator, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver

“At the inception of colonial rule on Canada’s Pacific Coast, natives “universally believed” Governor Douglas used smallpox as a weapon to kill them in lieu of treaties or paying for land. Yet Canadian historians routinely dismiss this profound allegation without mention.”

“In Canada’s greatest catastrophe, perhaps 100,000 B.C. natives died from smallpox during 1862/63. Before then, the First Nations were still sovereign. Afterward, British Columbia subjugated and dispossessed the depopulated First Nations through small wars billed as policing and by hanging several natives resisting colonialism.”

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