Friday, February 3, 2012

Vancouver's First Residents

This building was built in the early 1920s.

Anthropologists believe that the first humans to settle what is now known as Vancouver did so about 10,000 years ago. This would have been about the time that the Wisconsin Glacial Episode, the ice age, ended. However the scientists don't agree whether they came by sea or land.

Some argue that the first inhabitants moved down a deglaciating coast and then followed rivers formed by the retreating Cordilleran ice sheet into the province's interior valleys in the search of fish and game that populated the area.

Others make the case that the peoples travelled and ice-free inland route then traversed the rivers to the coast.

The Sto:lo people took their name from the Fraser River itself. They believe that their occupation of Vancouver began with the arrival of sky creatures who transformed into ancestral animals.
The Sto:lo people are bonded by a common language even though they are divided into distinct tribal groups. All speak variations of Halkomelem with those that had occupied the region of what is now known as Metro Vancouver speaking the Hun'qmyi'num' dialect. The Sqamish of North Vancouver speak a distinct language even though they are part of the Coast Salish group that includes Halkomelem speakers.

These two buildings are on East Broadway. The red house, 731, was built in 1925 while the larger building beside it was built in 1904.

The Squamish originally inhabited the region around the head of Howe Sound but by the mid-19th century had expanded into the Vancouver area.

Contact with the Europeans in the late 18th century was done by the Musqueam, according to what was recorded. They lived at the mouth of the Fraser River whiled the Kwikwetl'em resided on the Coquitlam River and Coquitlam Lake; the Q'eytsi'i - anglicized as Katzie - lived in the Pitt River watersheds; the Kwantlen lived around what is now known as New Westminster; the Skayuks were at the Stave Lake watersheds; the Mathekwi of Matsqui; the Q'o:leg: of Whonnock and the Sne'kwomes, or Snokomish lived around what is now White Rock.

Following European contact many of these populations moved. When a Hudson's Bay Company trading post was established at Fort Langley in 1827, the Qw'o:ntl'an, Katzie, Snokomish, Skayuks and Q'o:leq' moved closer to the fort so that they would be near the source of trade goods. Unfortunately this also led to a depopulation of the nations due to various introduced epidemics.

When the Europeans settled the area in the mid-1850s Vancouver was largely occupied by the Musqueam people. Their villages extended from the Fraser River Delta around Point Grey, False Creek, the West End, Stanley Park and along Burrard Inlet.
The preceding information was gathered from the book, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver by the late Chuck Davis.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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