THE LAST CANADIAN NORTHWEST (B.C.)
ORIGINALLY INCLUDED BRITISH COLUMBIA,
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B.C. .Before -1599
It is interesting that we don't think of British
Columbia as part of the 'Old Northwest'.
At best we consider it as part of the 'American Northwest'.
or more commonly
'The Pacific Northwest'.
Why is this so?
If we believe the land bridge theory or the ocean route theory, British Columbia is the oldest occupied territory in North or South America. The current thinking is man arrived in the America's 50,000 to 100,000 B.C. If we believe the Indian claim of a migration from the south to the north then we have a whole different ball game, at least for the first migration.
Most of the early explorers to the Pacific Northwest; were the Chinese, and Russian and they did not leave easily obtainable records in the Lands of Fusang (Americas) and were not glamorized in writings by the dominant English. The Spanish conducted a lot of their activity in secret and even today their discoveries of Quanta's Island (Vancouver Island), Santa Margarita (Queen Charlotte Island) and New Spain (British Columbia) are ignored by most English writers. This ignoble action is enough to not warrant the title "Northwest". The British were more concerned in renaming things and claiming the discoveries of others. The Americans were only concerned in economic advantage so the Pacific Northwest suited them best. The Metis descendents of these explorers mostly faded into the local cultural matrix.
British Columbia was violently thrust into the future when tens of thousands of gold seekers descended on the colony within weeks, mostly Americans. The Canadians just didn't have the numbers or time to develop a unique Metis culture, like the Prairies.
The fact that much of the early fur trade was conducted by ship (170 ships a year) just didn't lend itself to the romantic story telling of the canoe, the horse, the Red River Carts of the Prairies.
The B.C. Metis however have recently been awakened to their unique culture of the Pacific Northwest and are in search of their roots.
I hope this section, as it evolves, helps in your search for your roots or just a better understanding of your beautiful environment.
Yes Dennice Goudie shamed me into working on this section of my website, I had been procrastinating for years.
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