Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Trutch" we never Trusted. How about Truce, Christy?

 What's in a name eh......    Names of landmarks have been changed across British Columbia like Chinaman Lake to Chunamun Lake and Boss Lake (Uranium Fame $30 million worth) to Bosk Lake.

A BC Government Website likes to hang onto the old names database, by listing off their "Alias", like it was a crime, a fraud and to a large degree, they were.   If Grandpa called the best fishing hole in British Columbia "Rum Cache", don't look for it on the map, the name is now Cicuta Lake, south-west of Vanderhoof, well before you reach the Nechako Reservoir.

Christy Clark is the MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, although you'd never know it (RossK...... ). Within the next 33 days, before she leaves her three Offices as Premier of British Columbia, perhaps she would consider putting pen to paper and ask Vancouver's Mayor Gregor Robertson to delete the street called Trutch.    Doyle Street?

And please Christy, no more of your pandering towards specific groupings for votes with a Street name.

92% of 100% Reserve land was put aside for the 1% like Trutch, by Trutch, for Trutch!

Page 8 of  279

Land policy under Colonial B.C. 1850 - 1871

The first Indian (First Nation Land) Reserves were created in this period.  These reserves were located on southern Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Canyon, Kamloops, the Nicola Valley, the Okanagan,  and the Shuswap Lake areas.  Most of these were set up by Sir James Douglas in the early 1860's.

Douglas' reserve policy generally allowed Indians to select as much land as they wanted.  In 1861 Douglas directed the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, who had responsibility for laying out these early reserves, to "take measures to .... for marking out distinctly, the Indian Reserves throughout the Colony".  He added that "the extent that the Indian Reserves to be defined" was to be "as they may be pointed out by the native themselves".

This policy was dramatically reversed in 1864 - 1865 by Joseph Trutch.  As head of the colonial Department of Lands and Works, Trutch initiated a policy of reduction of the Douglas' reserves, of reluctance to allot additional reserves, and of non-recognition of the Indian's aboriginal claim  (native title).

An example of Trutch's policy of reduction can be seen along the Thompson River.  The Indians of Kamloops, Neskainlith and Shuswap Lake originally held a reserve along the north bank of the South Thompson River from Kamloops to Shuswap Lake.  This included Little Shuswap Lake and areas around Adams Lake.  In 1866 these reserves were "adjusted" by Trutch by reducing them to approximately their present size.

This policy was extended to the Fraser Valley in 1867.  It is difficult to get precise information on the location and size of the present reserves in the Fraser Valley are only remnants of the original reserves.

To learn more about these early "cut-offs" and other land grievances in the 1850 -1871 period, see the article, "Joseph Trutch and Indian Land Policy"  in B.C. Studies  (1971 - 72) by Robin Fisher.


CBC Lede: Sticker campaign targets Trutch Street signs

..... He (Trutch) also made sure Indian reserves were small, quickly overturning the generous and inclusive decisions of his colonial predecessor, Governor James Douglas.

"He reduced the reserves that Douglas had allowed for by 92% and changed the laws so that a Sto:lo family could only occupy about 10 acres of land," says Kluckner.
Trutch went on to be the first lieutenant-governor of B.C. in 1871, when the province decided to join Confederation.

"His policies and the policies of the government of the time were perfectly in keeping with serving the needs of the British government,” says documentary filmmaker Vince Hemingson.  .......

1 comment:

scotty on Denman said...

Trutch was what we would today all agree in calling a racist who held totally negative prejudices against all First Nations and acted on that twisted sentiment. He wasn't shy about his position, writing and speaking in blatant terms with unabashed relish. The term he most frequently used was "savages". The cut-off lands were spiteful as there was (and still is) plenty to go around. It was his kind of racism that allowed several Tsihlqot'in chiefs to be summarily executed after they'd been offered clemency for surrendering and set the stage for harm and abuse meted out on innocent FN people ever since.

It is remarkable how many apologists defend Trutch by arguing he merely reflected the biases of the times, a convenient absolution that ignores more enlightened times bookending his hateful policies. The legacy has proved so difficult to work around, so damaging to BC's society and economy right up to this very day.

Perhaps it is a measure of racism's pervasiveness that while we don't balk at ridiculing many BC political figures from de Cosmos to Wacky, Trutch still has ardent defenders over a century after his hateful reign.