Monday, November 27, 2017

"Ready for the cast--Qagyuhl" - Edward Curtis photograph 1914.

photo credit: Edward Curtis, November 1914.

This photo is entitled "Ready for the cast--Qagyuhl" and depicts two Kwakiutl men in a canoe preparing to spear fish. Local Northern Vancouver Island Indigenous peoples were hunter gatherers, often travelling great distances by canoe to procure seasonal harvests. Local fish, at low tide, were an important staple of the diet. Many species of fish and even octopus were harvested by hook and line and by spear. Edward Curtis was an ethnologist and photographer who traveled around North America documenting the lives of Indigenous people in the early 1900s. He made a number of trips to Northern Vancouver Island and also produced the movie "Land of the Headhunters" featuring local Indigenous peoples. He took many photographs of local Indigenous peoples going about their daily life in the early 1900s.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Nimpkish Camp "A" at Anutz Lake

Camp A shop - 1940s
In the days before the highway system on the North Island, forestry and mining workers used to live in a series of 'camps' which in many cases have been reclaimed by the North Island wilderness.
Nimpkish Camp A was located at Anutz Lake, where a campsite is still situated today. At one time this community included single men's bunkhouses, a cook house, a large number of married quarters and a large shop. Originally build to house those employed in the logging industry, in the 1950s the community also became home to workers at the Nimkish Iron Mine. Many North Islanders have fond memories of growing up in these camps.

Family Quarters - Nimpkish Camp A - 1944

Sointula - Circa 1910

In the late 1800s a group of Finnish miners at Nanaimo were growing frustrated with their working conditions, and formed a temperance society, which was a socio-political group that allowed them the freedom to discuss their frustrations and aspirations in Canada.
The miners decided that they aspired to a better life, with more freedom and equality, and toward that end they wrote to Matti Kurikka, a Finnish political philosopher, playwright, writer, and organizer, asking him to come to Vancouver Island. Kurikka arrived and the Finns established the Kalevan Kansan Colonization Company, and pre-empted land for the colony on Malcolm Island, naming their town Sointula, meaning "place of harmony." By the spring of 1903 the population of the colony was 238.
Sointula circa 1910