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Fraser Canyon War: Nations at War (Season 1)

This title is a part of the series Nations at War (Season 1)

Catalogue Number:  CP0002EN
Producer:  Chasing Pictures Inc.
Subject:   Indigenous Peoples
Language:  English
Grade Level:  6 - 8, 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Copyright Year:  2019
Running Time:  22:00

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In 1858 at the end of the California Gold Rush, rumours of gold in the Fraser River Canyon drew thousands of prospectors north. This wave of greed threatened the local Nlaka’pamux nomadic way of life, fishing salmon streams in summer and then moving to winter camps for hunting and trapping. What followed was a forgotten war which decided the fate of British Columbia.

Governor Douglas, fearing American annexation, blocked the Fraser River mouth, but the land route was still open. The foreign miners treated indigenous peoples as inferiors, depleting fish stocks. The Nlaka’pamu valued their resources, and soon the miners had provoked a war with this Salish Nation. Governor Douglas assembled a troop to restore order at Camchlin where the Thompson River met the Fraser, but by the time they arrived the Battle of Boston Bar was over. The miners’ superior firepower could not compete with warriors who knew the canyon terrain, so they retreated to Yale where a peace agreement was reached. Douglas subsequently felt justified in asserting British control over the region, creating the basis for today’s BC land claims. 

Also available: Fraser Canyon War (Coast Salish Version)

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