GRSJ224/Post Colonialism In The 1800s
Indigenous people of the time of European Colonialism often had no single name to describe themselves until the European’s came and began classifying the people who lived on the lands before them “Indians” (Pawson, 2009). After Colonization, the Indigenous people began to call themselves names that were significant to their locations (Such as people that lived on the coast “Coast Salish”). The Indigenous people of Canada, had a large number of tribes throughout Canada, in the Interior lands and on the coast. Prior to European contact there was roughly 60000 people in the lower mainland (Wyly, 2017). Settlement Processes Europeans reached the lands of British Columbia, around the Fraser River, at the end of the 18th century. Several years passed, before they took complete control of the lower mainland. This is because the European were so focused on long distance trade routes (Wyly, 2017). An uneasy co-existence for both groups of people existed as a result. Along with the hold of the land, the Europeans also created the Crown Colony of British Columbia. These lands were taken from the First Nations, such as the land where Fort Langley Trading Post was created by Hudson’s Bay Company. Around 1881, the government took full control of power of land, courts were put into place and ownership of resource extracting plants (such as saw mills or fish canneries). First Nations were placed in small reserves, and were belittled. “ The state, industrial capital, and the cultural values of an immigrant population of predominantly British origin dominated a remade and renamed place, the Lower Mainland” (Harris, 1992).
Effects of The Columbia Exchange
There were indirect effects of the colonialism as well. Through the encounters of different populations, disease spread that the Indigenous people did not have a a developed immunity to. Diseases such as the smallpox epidemic, which took place after the balance of power was shifted (Wyly, 2017). At the end of the epidemic, there was only 9000 standing, based off of a census that was taken by Hudson’s Bay Company’s chief trade, 9000 out of 60000 Indigenous people prior to the deathly spread of small pox. Such diseases as “small pox, measles, typhus, and cholera” (Nunn & Qian, 2010) “could have swept from the coastlines initially visited by Europeans to inland areas controlled by Indigenous people who has never seen [any outsiders]” (Mann, 2002). The spread of disease was not the only thing brought over by the Europeans, during what was called the Columbian Exchange. Other goods such as “ideas, food, crops, and population” (Nunn & Qian, 2010) were brought. Unfortunately many of these goods were invasive to the land and culture of the Indigenous people who occupied the lands long before the Europeans had come, which created impactful changes both negative and positive. The positive effects were the broadening of economic possiblities, with new resources being brought Canada, and new trading opportunities. Politics of the Land Until the 1850’s coexistence of the Europeans and Indigenous people’s still existed relatively uneasy which left a very unstable relationship.When news of the gold rush broke out, many men rushed to British Columbia as the news of BC’s search for minors began to spread (Wyly, 2017). Following this, in the summer of 1858, Queen Victoria took charge and declared British Columbia and Fort Langley. From here the unstable relationship, began to change. British law was implemented, and with it came judges, jails and military force. “A new system of administration backed by the most powerful and expansionistic of nineteenth-century nation-states” (Harris, p. 49.) New Westminster was chosen as the capital in 1866, of British Columbia. As of 1881, the majority of residents in New Westminster were European (Harris, 1992). A massive shift of power took place and in just a few years European colonial law systems were implemented, property control took place and and cities were being built fast. The Lower mainland was highly encouraging settlers. As a result, the nation states were based off of mainly settlers. The land was offered at very cheap prices, but was offered off in a highly discriminatory process. If you were British your land price was cut in half. As time went on the policy was changed with land being offered as free if you were a British Subject (Harris, 1992). “Implications in such legislation was the denial of Native rights to land. From 1866, Natives were not allowed to pre-empt land, because, the Governor argues, the Crown could not delegate its constitutional trust over Indian lands. Rather, Natives received a few tiny reserves, held for them by the federal government” (Harris, 1992). Property laws set boundaries that were implemented by the Europeans. This was a form of silent violence, by denying the Indigenous people rights to their lands. In 1973, when King George III was ruling, he implemented a Royal proclamation after war began to break out between the French and interior Indigenous tribes, with the French attempting to colonize the land in the interior. The King wanted to avoid high conflict, so he established legal land claims and procedure that European settlement had to follow by. This was known as the crown-land which was reserved for the Indigenous people to have power over (Ewyly, 2017). New Economies News of the gold rush began to spread to San Francisco, and this created a big frenzy in Spring of 1858 (Harris, 1992). Other new economies came to british columbia with the Columbia exchange, such as farm land in the low lands, industrial work that utilized the vast amount of resources in BC such as logging, fishing, etc (Ewyly, 2017). “From the end of the Middle Ages, the development of European states, and their colonialization of the rest of the world gave a new impetus to international migrations of many different kinds.” (Castles & Miller, 2009) Maps The maps are all based on European points of view.