Wilson Duff’s dystopia

February 23, 2010

The World Is As Sharp As A Knife
“There are no laws,
which you can trust to work.
There are just rules,
which you must make to work.
In the one hand,
you are holding the mirror.
On the other hand,
you are the mask.
Put on the mask and look in the mirror.
What you see
(the mirror does not lie)
is that which is common to both,
the truth you can believe (Wilson Duff).'”
1763, “[While Chief Pontiac and the Ottawa tribe lay siege to Fort Pitt, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commanding general of British forces, Colonel Henry Bouquet, Captain Ecuyer, and Commander William Trent conspired to intentionally infect the tribe with smallpox via blankets, handkerchiefs, and linen. While the practical ramifications of this act are disputed, the historical significance of one of the first documented acts of directed biological warfare is staggering.” Singh, Rondeep. “Smallpox in the Americas: from Imperial to Germ Warfare.” The University of Western Ontario http://helios.e-e-e.gr/medicine/files/History_of_medicine_days.pdf#page=132
1770 30% of West Coast Native Americans were killed in a smallpox epidemic.
1800s-1850 At their largest, the Haida numbered 8,000 in the first half of the 19th century. But after suffering through the ravages of foreign diseases such as smallpox their numbers dwindled. The Haida observe an ancestry of matriarchal lineage. Families are divided into subgroups of eagles and ravens according to their mother’s ancestral lines. Renowned for their expert fishing abilities and techniques, the Haida are also celebrated for their exquisite crafts and carvings.
1800-1801 Smallpox epidemic among the eastern Puget Sound Indians (Sources: Robert Boyd, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence (Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 1999), 22-24, 27-30, 34, 36-37, 55, 204-205, 273, 293-295; Menzies’ Journal of Vancouver’s Voyage April to October, 1792 ed. by C. F. Newcombe (Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin, 1923), 29, 53-63; George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific and Round the World … Vol. 2 (London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1798), p. 229-230, 241-242; Peter Puget, “Log of the Discovery. May 7-June 11, 1792,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2 (1939), p. 198; Robert T. Boyd, George M. Guilmet, David L. Whited, Nile Thompson, “The Legacy of Introduced Disease: The Southern Coast Salish” American Indian and Culture and Research Journal Vol. 15, No. 4 (1991), p. 7-8, 11.
1862 Smallpox epidemic among the eastern Puget Sound Indians (Sources: Robert Boyd, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence (Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 1999), 22-24, 27-30, 34, 36-37, 55, 204-205, 273, 293-295; Menzies’ Journal of Vancouver’s Voyage April to October, 1792 ed. by C. F. Newcombe (Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin, 1923), 29, 53-63; George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific and Round the World … Vol. 2 (London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1798), p. 229-230, 241-242; Peter Puget, “Log of the Discovery. May 7-June 11, 1792,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2 (1939), p. 198; Robert T. Boyd, George M. Guilmet, David L. Whited, Nile Thompson, “The Legacy of Introduced Disease: The Southern Coast Salish” American Indian and Culture and Research Journal Vol. 15, No. 4 (1991), p. 7-8, 11.
1860s Traditional art forms such as the carving of totem poles that preserved a family’s heritage throughout the years began to be threatened as so many First Nations die during smallpox epidemic. Since the arrival of settlers, entire villages of 500 or more are emptied of their living inhabitants because of the disease. Their artifacts remain.
1879 Mungo Martin was born in Fort Rupert, British Columbia. He was of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) tribe and was known as Chief NaKePenkim in his culture. Mungo Martin (1879-1962) learned from his stepfather Charlie James, a well known Northwestern artist. He became one of the first traditional artists to deal with many types of Northwest Coast sculptural styles.
1879  I.W. Powell took a Tsimshian mask with closed eyes from the Tsimshian village of Kitkatlawas and brought it to Ottawa. http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=3015

Alphone Pinart took a Tsimshian mask with open eyes from Metlakatla or on the Nass River. It was brought to the Musée de l’Homme in Paris where it was stored. http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=3015

1890 A few Indian oral histories survive that may describe the 1770s epidemic. In the 1890s, an “aged informant” from the Squamish tribe, located near the mouth of the Fraser River, related the history of a catastrophic illness to ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout. The ethnographer wrote:

“[A] dreadful misfortune befell them. … One salmon season the fish were found to be covered with running sores and blotches, which rendered them unfit for food. But as the people depended very largely upon these salmon for their winter’s food supply, they were obliged to catch and cure them as best they could, and store them away for food. They put off eating them till no other food was available, and then began a terrible time of sickness and distress. A dreadful skin disease, loathsome to look upon, broke out upon all alike. None were spared. Men, women, and children sickened, took the disease and died in agony by hundreds, so that when the spring arrived and fresh food was procurable, there was scarcely a person left of all their numbers to get it. Camp after camp, village after village, was left desolate. The remains of which, said the old man, in answer by my queries on this, are found today in the old camp sites or midden-heaps over which the forest has been growing for so many generations. Little by little the remnant left by the disease grew into a nation once more, and when the first white men sailed up the Squamish in their big boats, the tribe was strong and numerous again” (Boyd, 55).http://historyink.com/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5100

1920 Bill Reid was born in Victoria, BC. His father William Reid, an American of Scottish and German descent, came to BC to run hotels in two northern British Columbia towns.

1929 Barbeau, Marius. 1929. Totem Poles of the Gitksan. Upper Skeena River, BC.
1925 Wilson Duff ( (1925-1976) was born.
1932 Bill Reid’s father abandoned his family leaving his wife to raise the children alone. Sophie Gladstone, a Haida from the Queen Charlotte Islands, was educated at the Coqualeetza residential school. My mother thought it was a good place to live since it was full of English people and she was a life-long, ardent anglophile. She is the best example of brainwashing that the Indian residential school system ever turned out.” — Bill Reid in Saturday Night, February
1932. Sophie Gladstone supported her family by working as a dress-maker and designer in Victoria. When he was young, Reid knew little of his mother’s Native heritage. Although the young Reid had some interest in carving,
literature, music, and poetry, his development as an artist was a prolonged process which stretched over several decades.
1943 Bill Reid was twenty-three when he first visited Skidegate, his mother’s home town, and met his grandfather, Charles Gladstone. Gladstone was a carver and engraver who had learned his art from his uncle, a man named Charles Edenshaw, who was, perhaps, the best-known nineteenth-century Haida carver. At the time he met his grandfather, Charles Gladstone, Reid was already working in radio and he soon moved to Toronto to take up a job with the CBC.
1947 In his sixties, artist Mungo Martin (1881-1962) accepted UBC’s offer to oversee the restoration of totem poles. Mungo learned his craft from his stepfather Charlie James. He restored totems and taught others the skill until he died in 1962. He began replicating old poles for the British Columbia Provincial Museum’s outdoor display in Thunderbird Park. Mungo taught his son-in-law Henry Hunt and his grandson Tony Hunt, both of whom worked with Mungo at Thunderbird Park. In the 1980s his grandson Richard Hunt continued his work. Mungo also taught the Haida artist Bill Reid the traditional woodworking techniques of the Southern Kwakiutl, and worked with Doug Cranmer, the grandson of Mungo’s second wife Abayah.
1949 29-year-old Bill Reid became discontented with his CBC job as night-time newsreader in Toronto. At first he had wanted to be the best soap salesman chief salesman for Procter and Gamble but he soon became bored and
disillusioned although he remained with the CBC as a honey-voiced announcer for 20 years. Working the 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift, Reid was at loose ends during the day and enrolled in a jewellery-making course at Ryerson Institute of Technology to occupy himself during his time off work. Reid also served an apprenticeship there. He visited the Royal Ontario Museum to study totem poles (which had been “purchased?” or stolen? from northern BC Native peoples) , all the while continuing his work in radio. Bill Reid scraped by working as a CBC newsreader in Toronto to support his family.
1949 Wilson Duff earned his BA UBC, Vancouver at 24-years-old; Based on his fieldwork with six main informants in the summers of 1949 and 1950, Wilson Duff provided the first modern ethnographic study of the Cowichan group in 1952. Who were these informants?
1950 Barbeau, Marius. 1950. Totem Poles. 2 volumes. National Museum of Canada.
1951 Bill Reid worked for the CBC in Vancouver. Here he visited the UBC Museum of Anthropology. He set up his own jewelry shop, and began to work on totem pole replication and restoration projects. He began to study Haida
art and culture as a white man investigating a set of formal design problems. See art critic Roger Downe. He first worked on a replication project in Thunder Bird park where he met Mungo Martin, a highly-skilled Kwakwaka’wakw
carver who was overseeing the project. Martin helped Reid to develop his skills as a carver. He next worked on a project sponsored by the University of British Columbia Department of Anthropology restoring a Haida house and
totem pole.
1951 Wilson Duff earned his MA at 26-years-old; His MA was based on fieldwork with the Stó:lõ Salish people of the Fraser River in B.C.
1952 Duff, Wilson. Totem Poles of the Gitksan Totem-Poles 1952. a survey of those totem poles in Barbeau (1929) that were still standing in 1952. Totem Poles of the Gitksan. Upper Skeena River, BC.
1952 Based on his fieldwork with six main informants in the summers of 1949 and 1950, Wilson Duff provided the first modern ethnographic study of the Cowichan group in 1952.
1950- 1965 Wilson Duff was Curator of Anthropology at the British Columbia Provincial Museum. At 25 Duff became the first anthropologist to be fully employed by the provincial government of B.C. as its curator of anthropology at the provincial museum in Victoria (from 1950 to 1965).
He was involved with Mungo Martin in the reclamation of totem poles.
“Having served as a consultant for the Kitwancool in northern B.C., Wilson Duff served as an expert witness for both the Calder Case and the ensuing Nisga’a land claims case before the B.C. Supreme Court. As an avid photographer and a carver of no small skill himself, he published a guide to Victoria’s Thunderbird Park and he made an important contribution by identifying personal art styles among Aboriginal artists, particularly Charles Edenshaw. This work led others, such as Bill Reid, to believe that most of the finest carving on Haida Gwaii was accomplished by relatively few gifted artists.”
1950s Wilson Duff was only in his twenties when he decided to take the last remaining Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) totem poles by having them removed from their village Kitwancool (a.k.a. Gitanyow) and brought to the Royal British Columbia Museum or RBCM) in Victoria for preservation. They were cut down with chain saws and hauled to Victoria by boat.
1957 Wilson Duff, Bill Reid and … went to Haida villages and used power saws to cut down totems.
1957-11-01 “Carvers of the totem poles.” CBC. “It’s 1957 and Bill Reid is an announcer for CBC Radio in Toronto. In this CBC Radio clip, Reid takes a reprieve from his news-announcing duties and narrates a program about totem
poles. But in the meantime, Reid’s two passions of art and broadcasting are colliding. In various CBC Radio and Television specials, Reid acts as the unofficial spokesman on Haida art and culture. In this clip, Reid praises the Haida
carvers’ unparalleled virtuosity.”
1958 Bill Reid worked on a project sponsored by the University of British Columbia Department of Anthropology to restore a Haida house and totem pole. Bill Reid became a full-time artist at the age of 38. He resigned from the CBC where he had worked as the honey-voiced announcer for 20 years.
1958. Duff, Wilson; Kew Michael. 1958. “Anthony Island, a Home of the Haida.” British Columbia Provincial Museum Annual Report for 1957. pp. 37-64. An account of the expedition which salvaged sections of 11 poles.
1959 Duff, Wilson. “Histories, Territories, and Laws of the Kitwancool.” Anthropology in British Columbia. pp 21-30.
1960-1966 Wilson Duff chaired the Archaeological Sites Advisory Board.

1963 Wilson along with Willard Ireland and Dr. Clifford Carl, provided the impetus for the formation of the BCMA, and served as the Associations third President from 1963-1964 and was active in encouraging native participation in the Association.

1964. Duff, Wilson. “Contributions of Marius Barbeau to West Coast Ethnology. Anthropologica. Review of the existence of totem poles at the time of European contact.
1965 40-year-old Wilson Duff resigned? as Curator of Anthropology at the British Columbia Provincial Museum (1951-1065). He became Associate Professor/Professor of Anthropology, UBC (1965 on)
1967 Duff, Wilson; Holm, Bill; Reid, Bill. Arts of the Raven: Masterworks of the Northwest Coast Indians. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery. animal forms.
1967 Following his preparation of the 191-page Arts of the Raven catalogue for a Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit in 1967, Wilson became obsessed with the notion of bringing together the only two stone masks known to exist from the Northwest Coast; the other with open eyes was kept in Paris.
1969 Wilson Duff served in court as an expert witness in the Nisga’a land-claims case Calder vs. Attorney-General of B.C., the famous “Calder case.”
1970s By the early 1970s Wilson Duff was consumed with studying Haida art in all its formalistic and cosmological complexity — taking in structuralist and psychoanalytical insights — an endeavour which he undertook with his friend the Haida artist Bill Reid but which never resulted in a comprehensive published articulation. His immersion in the Haida thought-world was so total that, as he wrote in the early 1970s, colleagues “are concerned about my sanity and reputation.”
“His profound admiration for the arts of the West Coast was obvious at all times, and so was his anxious need, always unsatisfied, to penetrate their most secret meaning, even beyond the meaning assigned by the artists themselves… He was, one felt, tormented by problems related to the psychology–I would even say the metaphysics–of art.” — Claude Lévi-Strauss
1973-02 Hesquiat Band Cultural Centre: Lack of funds hit by Chief Rocky Amos. Nesika. Vancouver. Indian Affairs denied Hesquiat Band’s request for funds for their proposed Cultural Centre.
Chief Rocky Amos argued that UBC was granted $10 million to house Indian artifacts so “more white people could study Indians.” Chief Rocky Amos also cautioned that the linguistic programme which includes language lessons prepared for pre-school children in Hesquiat dialect of central Nootka language, is on the verge of closing due to lack of funds. http://qmackie.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/nesika-1973-volume-2-number-1.jpg
1973-02 By a member of the Hesquiat Band. Whitemen Stole Indian Artifacts: People now demand own museums. UBC basement storage has an unsurpassed collection of Northwest Coast Indian art. These Indian artifacts have no didactic material on who did the carving, what family owns the crests, who obtained the art work, was it purchased or stolen?
“I have seen places in the Queen Charlottes where ancient totem poles have been cut off at the base with a power saw, dragged to the sea and towed behind a tug through salt water to be relocated. I have seen groups of Indian children escorted through government-run museums; small brown-eyed children under the watchful eyes of white museum guards, looking at glass cases in which lie the history of their people. A history made odd, different, and strangely foreign because it is lying in a glass case in a white man’s institution. [] Who ever asked for permission to remove our heritage and place it in glass cases? [] Why are there no funds for museums for us? [] There is money for a boat to take archaeology students up and down our coastline to dig up the bones of our grandfathers and sift, sort and label sacred objects from our burial grounds, but no money for us to treat our heritage with the dignity it deserves?”
Nesika. Vancouver.
1975 Wilson Duff and Vancouver Art Gallery director Richard Simmins succeeded in obtaining permission from France to transport their priceless Tsimshian mask to British Columbia. Wilson Duff retrieved the twin Tsimshian mask from the Musée de l’Homme for a one-year period, bringing it to his home in Vancouver; Hilary Stewart transported the mask from Vancouver to the Victoria Art Gallery where it was reunited with the mask from Ottawa. Hilary Stewart transported the mask from Vancouver to the Victoria Art Gallery where it was reunited with the mask from Ottawa. “The sightless mask was lifted carefully and placed over the face of its seeing twin,” Stewart recalled. “…the two nested together in a close, snug fit. It was a deeply moving moment as the two masks came together again for the first time in a hundred years or more.”  After consulting with Musqueam Della Kew, Duff ensured the twin stone masks were henceforth stored together, one cradled by the other, each an equal part of a whole. He later wrote, “Life is a pair of twin stone masks which are the very same but have opposite eyes.” The masks represented the “living paradoxes in myth and life” that he believed were near the source of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art.”http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=

1976 Duff, Wilson. “Mute Relics of Haida Tribe’s Ghost Villages.” Smithsonian.
1976-08-08 “Wilson Duff committed suicide on August 6, 1976 in Vancouver, at age 51, hoping to be reincarnated as an Aboriginal from Haida Gwaii or the Tsimshian First Nation. Claude Lévi-Strauss wrote, “I wonder if it was not, after all, this desperate quest for infinite mysteries–perhaps because they were above all an exigency of his mind–that killed this unaffected, charming, altruistic and kind man, who was also a great scholar.” For his 50th birthday, Bill Reid had given Wilson Duff a silver medallion with a Haida design with an inscription on the back saying “survivor, first class.” He was wearing the medallion when he shot himself to death.” “He as on the planning committee for the new Vancouver Museum, consultant to the National Museum of Man, Ottawa. His publications were classics in the field – contributions to the study of First Nations cultures that added considerably to the development of museums around the province. He was recognized as one of the leaders I the “redefinition of ethnological materials as fine arts” within the early Canadian museum community. see
1981 Donald N. Abbott edited The World Is As Sharp As A Knife: An Anthology in Honour of Wilson Duff . The title was drawn from a poem by Wilson Duff of the same name.
1998 Bill Reid died. He had become an internationally-recognized artist whose work earned him wide praise. He is likely the best-known of all the artists who contributed to what is sometimes referred to as a renaissance in Native
Canadian art.
1999 Bierwert, Crisca. 1999. Brushed by Cedar, Living by the River: Coast Salish Figures of Power. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999. Reviewed by Brian Thom, McGill University. [this review is to be published in American Anthropologist]
“In Brushed by Cedar Bierwert takes us to two Coast Salish Native communities (Stó:lo and Lushootseed) on the Northwest Coast and explores Coast Salish ways of making sense of current moral, intellectual, political and spiritual issues and dilemmas.” Bierwert was aware of the dangers inherent in writing about the power of the spirit dance.
“When told about one initiate dying and another losing the ability to write when they had both joined the spirit dance in order to write about it, she reflected with some concern on the death of the two other scholars who published on Stó:lo spirit dance practices (Wilson Duff’s suicide and Oliver Well’s accidental death while vacationing in Scotland) and the controversy surrounding the publication of Jilek’s self-serving psychoanalytical text on spirit dancing. She describes the subsequent tension of being engaged in the community, even participating in a spirit dance, and the degree of circumspection needed in writing about spiritual matters, which she is left to figure out for herself. She finds that writing about these things is a part of a larger social dynamic, where “the boundaries of practice allow for variation, for deployment at different limits and different times” (133) and it is the movement of these boundaries which reveal the processes of power which give tension to these dynamics. Coast Salish people see syowen (the spirit which empowers the dancers) as an active agent, much the same way particular places are seen as containing power. Coast Salish people are motivated by the power of the syowen to respond to ritual, political and everyday situations with attention to the unique ways that the power may manifest itself. It motivates Bierwert to respect a boundary of appropriateness in her own writing about spirit dancing, staying clear of describing or trying to explain the details of the practice, while at the same time giving a sense of its power. In the most emotionally potent chapter Bierwert grapples with the ongoing problem of family violence in Stó:lo communities. She first brings forward the voices of some of the Stó:lo women – her friends – who discussed with her the violence which had occurred in her own marriage. The chapter sensitively moves back and forth between their commentary, their descriptions of their own experiences, and Bierwert’s discussion of how this unfortunately common violence may be uniquely understood in particular Coast Salish ways. Her friends respond the violence in their lives in various ways, but almost never did they or their families intervene. Like in spirit dancing, there are different boundaries of power which must be respected. Bierwert concludes that while traditional family structures which may have kept past violence in check have been disrupted by colonial institutions, the violence is now perpetuated by a difficult configuration of Native men appropriating the kinds of violence that is more widely present in non-Native communities and Coast Salish ways of thinking about how bad things need to run their course (Thom’s review).”
2001 Marjorie Halpin was curator of ethnology at UBC MOA until her untimely death. She studied under Wilson Duff?
2004 approximately 2,000 Haida lived in Canada, almost all in Haida Gwaii.
2010 Artistic Directors Dennis Garnhum (Calgary) and Max Reimer (Vancouver) presented the world premiere production of Beyond Eden, written and composed by Bruce Ruddell, during their 2009-10 seasons at Theatre Calgary and the Playhouse Theatre Company of Vancouver. Beyond Eden will be featured as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

See also Rhyne, Charles S. 2000. “Changing Approaches to the Conservation of Northwest Coast Totem Poles.” Tradition and Innovation: Advances in Conservation Contributions to the Melbourne Congress, 10-14 October 2000. London: International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2000. Pp.155-160, color plates 7.1-7.4.

http://academic.reed.edu/art/faculty/rhyne/papers/approaches.html http://home.istar.ca/~bthom/brushed.htm http://gsdl.ubcic.bc.ca/cgi-bin/library?e=q-11000-00—off-0nesika1-nesika1,ubcicnew,unitybul,ubcicbu1-01-1–0-10-0—0—0prompt-10—4——-0-1l–11-en-50—20-about-archaeology–00-3-1-01-0-0-11-0-0utfZz-8-00&a=d&cl=CL1″ target=”_blank”>http://gsdl.ubcic.bc.ca/cgi-bin/library?e=q-11000-00—off-0nesika1-nesika1,ubcicnew,unitybul,ubcicbu1-01-1–0-10-0—0—0prompt-10—4——-0-1l–11-en-50—20-about-archaeology–00-3-1-01-0-0-11-0-0utfZz-8-00&a=d&cl=CL1 http://qmackie.files.wordpress.com/2010/02 http://qmackie.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/nesika-1973-volume-2-number-1.jpg http://historyink.com/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5100 http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=3015 http://helios.e-e-e.gr/medicine/files/History_of_medicine_days.pdf#page=132 http://academic.reed.edu/art/faculty/rhyne/papers/approaches.html

In the southwest of the city, trees were covered in hoar frost, Christmas lights shone through halos of dense fog and there were patches of black ice on the bridge across the Bow. My mind was far away even as I listened. I had googled Cambodia before we went to the dinner invitation, but nothing could have prepared me to meet this survivor of the “killing fields.” This gifted scientist, with an unshakable belief in God, was the sole infant who somehow miraculously clung to life while hundreds of mothers’ babies lay lifeless beside him, around him, under him. He rejects the label of miracle child, preferring to travel the globe to study, to learn and to share, to either help or do no harm . . . with an intensity that can be vertiginous.

A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled the following list of cultural differences (1978) shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds. Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included this comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries.

We live in time. We live in space.
We are always at rest. We are always on the move.
We are passive. We are aggressive.
We accept the world as it is. We try to change it according to our blueprint.
We like to contemplate. We like to act.
We live in peace with nature. We try to impose our will on nature.
Religion is our first love. Technology is our passion.
We delight to think about the meaning of life. We delight in physics.
We believe in freedom of silence. We believe in freedom of speech.
We lapse in meditation We strive for articulation.
We marry first, then love. We love first, then marry.
Our marriage is the beginning of a love affair. Our marriage is a happy end of a romance.
Love is an indissoluble bond. Love is a contract.
Our love is mute. Our love is vocal.
We try to conceal it from the world. We delight in showing it to others.
Self-denial is a secret to our survival. Self-assertiveness is the key to our success.
We are taught from the cradle to want less and less. We are urged every day to want more and more.
We glorify austerity and renunciation. We emphasize gracious living and enjoyment.
Poverty is to us a badge of spiritual elevation. Poverty is to us a sign of degredation.
In the sunset years of life, we renounce the world and prepare for the hereafter. We retire to enjoy the fruits of our labor.


Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included the following comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries. A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled this list of cultural differences shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds.

Webliography and Bibliography

Chung, Douglas K. Taoism: a Portrait. http://origin.org/UCS/sbcr/taoism.cfm

Chung, Douglas K. 1992.


It started with a metaphor: The El-Zekkum is a thorny tree which symbolizes a very severe punishment and bitter remorse for those who lack spiritual discernment. By deceiving themselves and choosing an unhealthy path, they prefer an illusion of reality— a tree whose fruit resembles the almond but is extremely bitter– to the delicious, merciful and spiritual food of Divine Reality.

So I tried to map the metaphor.

See My Google Map entitled Mapping Metaphors: Zeqqumhere. This map will be updated as I find new relevant links.

Metaphor (metapherein Gr. meta: between phero:to bear) the description of one thing as something else, can be traced as far back as Ur. Since the 1960s and 1970s continental philosophers such as Derrida and Ricoeur have revisited the term.

A friend who has lived in Saudi Arabia has seen this plant which is also referred to in the Koran the as Tree of Zaqqum ( Surah 44 verse 43). And she found this photo of of a Zaqqum Tree in At Ta’if by Naseem Najd whose site includes great travel photos of Ta’if.

Then I found this photo of the similar Eltham Indian Fig, or Sweet Prickly Pear (Opuntia dillenii) with the fruits. Coastal semidesert altitude zone, Teno peninsula. North-west coast of the Tenerife Island, Canary Archipelago taken by Alexander Bogolyubov, January, 2008.

In wikipedia the reference claims that Zaqqum (Arabic: زقوم‎) is a tree that Muslims believe grows in Jahannam (hell). The Khati’un are compelled to eat Adh-Dhari, bitter fruit, to intensify their torment (Qur’an 69:36-37). The Khati’un may eat only the fruit or Ghislin (foul pus from the washing of their wounds) (Qur’an 69:36). Its fruits are shaped like devils’ heads (Qur’an 37:62-68). According to Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar, a professor at the University of Jordan, once the palate of the sinners is satiated, the fruit in their bellies churns like burning oil. Some Islamic scholars believe the fruit tears their bodies apart and releases bodily fluids. The Qur’an says: [44.43] Surely the tree of the Zaqqum, [44.44] Is the food of the sinful [44.45] Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies,
[44.46] Like the boiling of hot water.[1] The name zaqqum has been applied to the species Euphorbia abyssinica by the Beja people in eastern Sudan.[2] In Jordan, it is applied to the species Balanites aegyptiaca.[3]

“Is that better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum? For We have truly made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers. For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hellfire: The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils: Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. Then on top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water… (Surah Al-Saffat Those Ranged in Ranks Surah 37:Verse 62 – 67)”

“Verily the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinful, -like molten brass; it will boil in their insides, like the boiling of scalding water. (Surah Al-Dukhan – Smoke – Surah 44:Verse 43 – 46)”

“Then will you truly, O you that go wrong, and treat (Truth) as falsehood! ‘You will surely taste of the Tree of Zaqqum. Then will you fill your insides there with. (Surah Al-Waqi’ah-The Inevitable Event-Surah 56:Verse 51 – 53)”

Zakkum is listed by L. J. Musselman (2003) in his publication entitled “Trees in the Koran and the Bible.” Of the 22 trees of the Bible, the date palm, fig, olive, pomegranate and tamarisk are also included in the Koran. Unique to the Koran are the talh (scholars are undecided as to whether this is the banana plant, which is not a tree, or a species of the widespread genus Acacia), the sidr (a thorn bush, probably Zizyphus spina-christi) and the mysterious and foul “tree of Hell”, or zaqqm (As-Saffat 37:65, Ad-Dukhn 44:49, Al-Waqi’a 56:51): “Is this not a better welcome than the zaqqm tree? We have made this tree a scourge for the unjust. It grows in the nethermost part of Hell, bearing fruit like devils’ heads: on it they shall feed, and with it they shall cram their bellies, together with draughts of scalding water. Then to Hell shall they return.” Musselman also noted that “Similarly, in eastern Sudan, the Beja people call the large, arborescent cactus Euphorbia abyssinica “zaqqm” after the tree of Hell mentioned in the Koran. It is unlikely that the conception of the zaqqm in the Koran was based on this succulent, since the zaqqm fruit was described as resembling a devil’s head, for instance. It is perhaps owing to its very bitter sap that Euphorbia abyssinica has been likened to the zaqqm.” He also added that, “In the Koran, trees are most frequently cited as gifts of a beneficent Creator, with the notable exception of the tree of Hell, zaqqm. In both scriptures, fruits from trees are highly valued (Musselman 2003:45-7) .”


1. Jean Léonard, whose work (1981-1992) entitled “Contribution à l’étude de la flore et de la végétation des déserts d’Iran (Dasht-e-Kavir, Dasht-e-Lut, Jaz Murian)” was published by the Jardin Botanique National de Belgique (The National Botanic Garden of Belgium) may have insight into the plant referred to be .

2. maps work on the basis of a totalizing classification (Anderson 1991 [1983]).

3. In her book entitled Naming Nature: the Clash between Instinct and Science, (2009) biologist, science writer (New York Times, Science, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times Carol Kaesuk Yoon calls for a reclamation of the scientific field of taxonomy, the ordering and naming of things. As science educator-consultant (Cornell University, Microsoft) she encourages critical thinking in biology.

4. “O thou who art partaking of the Heavenly Food! Know thou verily the Divine Food is descending from heaven, but only those taste thereof who are directed to the light of guidance, and only those can enjoy it who are endowed with a sound taste. Otherwise every diseased soul disliketh the delicious and merciful food and this is because of the sickness which hath seized him, whereby the El-Zekkum [1] is sweet (to his taste) while he fleeth from the ripe fruit of the Tree of the Living and Pre-existent God — and there is no wonder in that. [1 El-Zekkum — a thorny tree so called, which bears fruit like an almond, but extremely bitter. Therefore the tree symbolizes a very severe punishment and bitter remorse for the unbelievers.] In a similar way, thou beholdest some women who have abandoned the Testament, and to them the bitterness of discord is sweet. They keep aloof from the Extended Shadow and dwell under the shade of a “black smoke.” Alas for them and grief for them! They will surely lament and find themselves in loss. Verily, this is but an evident truth! (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 130-1).

5. “Yet I had planted thee, a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?” Jeremiah 2:21. 21st Century King James Version. Try <a href="“>also

 21Yet I had planted thee, a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?


6. For an image and botanical description of Euphorbia abyssinica [zaqqum]:“Montane vegetation of the Red Sea hills: Up to 2 260 m high, these hills are situated in the north-eastern edge of the Sudan. The seaward facing slopes of the hills have a winter rainfall, while those not facing the sea have a very low summer rainfall. Mist and clouds have an important effect on the vegetation. A few localities enjoy both summer and winter rains. Near the Eritrean border, forests of Juniperus procera are found, with a few well-stocked areas but most ravaged by fire and overgrazing. Associated with Juniperus is Olea chrysophylla. Characteristic plants of the drier parts of this range include Dracaena ombet and Euphorbia abyssinica [zaqqum].” (www.euphorbia.de/e_abyssinica).”

7. For a botanical illustration of Balanites aegyptiaca [zaqqum]

Paradeiooj Greek? – Garden

My Webliography and Bibliography

Tigay, Jeffrey Howard. Paradise.

Léonard, Jean. 1981-1992. “Contribution à l’étude de la flore et de la végétation des déserts d’Iran (Dasht-e-Kavir, Dasht-e-Lut, Jaz Murian). Jardin Botanique National de Belgique.

Jeffrey Howard Tigay’s Bibliography

J. Frazer, Folklore in the Old Testament, 1 (1919), 45–77; Th. C. Vriezen, Orderzoek naar de paradijs-voorstelling bij de oude Semietische Volken (1937), incl. bibl.;

P. Humbert, Etudes sur le rMcit du paradis et de la chute dans la GenIse (1940), incl. bibl.; U. Cassuto, in: Studies in Memory of M. Schorr (1944), 248–58;

J. L. Mc-Kenzie, in: Theological Studies, 15 (1954), 541–72; E. A. Speiser, in: BASOR, 140 (1955), 9–11; idem, in: Festschrift Johannes Friedrich (1959), 473–85;

R. Gordis, in: JBL, 76 (1957), 123–38; B. S. Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament (19622), 43–50; N. M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis (1966), 23–28;

T. H. Gaster, Myth, Legend and Custom in the Old Testament (1969), 6–50, 327–71; J. A. Bailey, in: JBL, 89 (1970), 137–50. See also Commentaries to Genesis 2:4–3.

R. H. Charles, Eschatology (19632); K. Kohler, Heaven and Hell in Comparative Religion (1923);

H. Strack and P. Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 4 (1928), 1928), 1016–65.


Arctic Adventurer: We Feel Fine

Arctic Adventurer: We Feel Fine,
originally uploaded by ocean.flynn.

Photos of Iqaluit cemetery taken October 2002; Uploaded to Flickr, Trawled by wefeelfine, Linked to wordpress, wefeelfine.org

American artist, Jonathan Harris describes his work on his website:

“I make (mostly) online projects that reimagine how we relate to our machines and to each other. I use computer science, statistics, storytelling, and visual art as tools. I believe in technology, but I think we need to make it more human. I believe that the Internet is becoming a planetary meta-organism, but that it is up to us to guide its evolution, and to shape it into a space we actually want to inhabit—one that can understand and honor both the individual human and the human collective, just like real life does (Harris).”

“Sep Kamvar is a consulting professor of Computational Mathematics at Stanford University. His research focuses on data mining and information retrieval in large-scale networks. He also is interested in using large amounts of data and accessible media in the study of human nature through art. [Among his other areas of interest he includes] probabilistic models for classification where there is little labeled data (Sep Kamvar’s blog profile).”

Glossary of Terms

Nonlinearity: “At the beginning of Chapter 5 in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim finds himself in jail on the planet of Tralfamadore. Billys captors give him some Tralfamadorian books to pass the time, and while Billy can’t read Tralfamadorian, he does notice that the books are laid out in brief clumps of text, separated by stars. “Each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message — discribing a situation, a scene,” explained one of his captors. “We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn’t any relationship between all the mssages, except that the author has chosen then carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.” Harris and Kamvar aimed to write Almanac of Human Emotions in the telegraphic, schizophrenic manner of tales from Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers are.”

Open Platforms: “The power of open platforms in enabling the easy generation of consumable content has been demonstrated repeatedly on the internet, not only with the web itself, but also with sub-platforms like Facebook, Flickr, Google Gadgets, among others. I am interested in platforms that easily enable high-quality content creation for developers and provide a straightforward content consumption and navigation experience for users.”

Open Sub-platforms Open Sub-platforms like Facebook, Flickr, Google Gadgets, among others, facilitate the generation-creation of high-quality consumable content while providing easier access and consumption for users.


Webliography and Bibliography



“The Stoney-Nakoda bands, commonly composed of extended families, lived along Alberta’s Rocky Mountain foothills from the headwaters of the Athabasca River south to Chief Mountain in Montana. These forest and foothill people hunted bison and other big game animals. With the establishment of Edmonton House (1795) and Rocky Mountain House (1799), they traded furs, hides and fresh meat, and were invaluable guides to traders, explorers (Lord Southesk, John Palliser, James Hector), surveyors (Canadian Pacific Railway; Geological Survey of Canada) and missionaries. They were introduced to Christianity by Methodist missionaries after 1840. The Methodist Mission at Morleyville on the Bow River was established by Reverends George and John McDougall in 1873. The Stoney, led by Chiefs Jacob Bearspaw, John Chiniki (also Chiniquay) and Jacob Goodstoney, accepted Treaty No 7 at Blackfoot Crossing in September 1877. The original reserve of 109 square miles was surveyed adjacent to the Morleyville mission in 1879. The Bearspaw and Wesley nations later claimed additional reserve land to the south and north. After years of petitions and negotiations, both the Bighorn (Kiska Waptan) reserve (west of Nordegg) and the Eden Valley reserve (west of Longview) were established in 1948. Descendants of the Wood Stoney people also live on the Alexis and Paul reserves west of Edmonton, which were set aside under the provisions of Treaty No 6 (1876). The traditional way of life based on hunting, fishing and trapping along the Rocky Mountain foothills has been largely replaced by agricultural activity and mixed farming. The economic base of the Stoney-Nakoda includes trapping, big-game hunting, guiding, ranching, lumbering, handicrafts, labouring and various professions. The Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley nations at Morley enjoy a high standard of living based on natural gas royalties and operate several commercial enterprises (such as stores, restaurants, service stations, a rodeo centre, a campground and the Nakoda Lodge). Their social life centres on family and cultural activities – the PowWows, Treaty Days, Rodeos, stampedes and camp meetings. Members of the 3 Nakoda nations live at Morley, Bighorn, Eden Valley. Their population numbered over 3400 in 1996 (Researcher Ian A. L. Getty, Morley, Alberta).”

“Stoney (Bearspaw, Chiniki, Wesley) Nation: The main Stoney reserve is located along the Trans Canada Highway #1, midway between Calgary and Banff. Morley townsite is situated beside the Bow River. The Stoney Nation is composed of three bands: Chief Jacob Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley/Goodstoney. The current chiefs of the three Stoney Nations are: Chief Darcy Dixon, Bearspaw Nation, Chief Bruce Labelle, Chiniki Nation and Chief Clifford Poucette, Wesley Nation. Each of these bands signed Treaty Seven in 1877 with the British Crown. The lands which make up the Stoney homeland are found in three separate locations. The Eden Valley reserve lies to the south of Morley; the Big Horn reserve to the north; the reserve at Morley, to the west of Calgary is the site of the Chief Goodstoney Rodeo Centre, where the Nakoda Pow-Wows are held annually. The Goodstoney Rodeo Centre is named after Chief Jacob Goodstoney, the leader who signed Treaty Seven on behalf of the people-Jacob’s Land. As descendants of the great Sioux nations, the Stoney tribal members of today prefer to conduct their conversation and tribal business in the Siouan mother tongue. The pow-wow celebration is an important aspect of our spiritual relationship with our homelands-our mother Earth. Our people agreed to share our lands with the new Canadians and to live in peace according to the queen’s promises made in Treaty Seven. Like many other Indian nations in Alberta and across Canada, the three Stoney bands have aboriginal treaty rights going back more than one hundred years.” http://www.treaty7.org/Article.asp?ArticleID=37

Sioux nations > Stoney Nation > Chief Jacob Bearspaw band

Sioux nations > Stoney Nation > Chiniki band

Sioux nations > Stoney Nation > Wesley/Goodstoney band

Stoney-Nakoda or îyârhe Nakodabi, “Rocky Mountain Sioux,” are culturally and linguistically allied to the Plains Assiniboine, but in Saskatchewan and Montana are characterized by differences in language and culture. They speak the northern dialect of the Dakota language.” Stoney: [1,000 to 1,500 (1987 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,200 (1987 SIL). Southern Alberta, west and northwest of Calgary, and central Alberta, west of Edmonton. Southern Stoney occupy 3 reserves represented on the Stoney Tribal Council at Morley, Alberta: Eden Valley, west of Longview, Alberta, the southernmost reserve and principally Bearspaw Band members (about 400 speakers); Morley, west of Calgary, the main administrative center of Stoney Country, with about 2,700 people of all three southern bands: the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley Bands; Big Horn Reserve west of Rocky Mountain House, the most northerly of the 3, with about 100 people, mostly Wesley Band. Alternate names: Stony, Nakoda. Dialects: Southern Stoney, Northern Stoney. Dialects nearly 100% intelligible with each other. The northern dialect is spoken at Duffield (Paul Band) and Lac St. Anne (Alexis Band). Lexical similarity 89% with Assiniboine, 86% with Dakota of Manitoba, 85% with Dakota of North Dakota, 83% with Lakota. Classification: Siouan, Siouan Proper, Central, Mississippi Valley, Dakota.

Old Man’s Whiskers (Geum triflorum),

Post-treaty Life of Treaty 7 First Nations

Excerpts from Hildebrandt, Walter; Carter, Sarah; First Rider, Dorothy. 2008. The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7: Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council With Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider, and Sarah Carter. Mcgill-Queens Native and Northern Series. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. ISBN: 0-7735-1522-4 408pp. http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1419

“The name of John McDougall still evokes strong feelings among the Stoneys. Both Archie Daniels and Lazurus Wesley said that McDougall did not work in the best interests of the Stoneys: “McDougall voiced his own opinion, not that of the Stoneys.” Lazurus Wesley went on to state that McDougall never really discussed treaty issues with the Stoneys and that his main purpose both at and after the treaty was to help the government. The Stoneys who had converted to Christianity were pressured by McDougall to help change the minds of those who did not want to sign the treaty. Bill Mclean also said that McDougall paved the way for the treaty among the Stoneys. McDougall, furthermore, was very unsympathetic to the religious practices of traditional Stoney spirituality, especially when it came to the Sun Dance (p.157).”

“Gwen Rider remembered it being said that McDougall was a “cruel person,” that he always tried to talk the Stoneys into allowing roads through their lands and “always had his way.” Matthew Hunter thought the Stoneys should never have placed their trust in McDougall: “McDougall told us to close our eyes and pray, but when we opened them our land was gone (p.157).”

“Another criticism of the missionaries came from former chief John Snow, who said that the missionaries “did not respect the Stoneys: “I have noticed that they think of the Indians as lower-class people. They call us savages referring to animals.” “[They] downgraded our culture,” Snow went on, and “criticized our religion.” McDougall was out for himself, taking his own land first, rather than acting in the interest of the Stoneys; when land questions were at issue the missionaries commonly worked against the best interests of the Stoneys. When Snow tried to explain what the Stoney position at the treaty had been, he was never listened to, but neither was he met with indifference: “I told missionaries [on the reserve today] about treaty agreements, that the government didn’t do what it should have done, that Indians have been overpowered – that the White man has been working to overpower the Indian all along . . . But the missionaries didn’t think [this] was important.” As an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, Snow has successfully conveyed his people’s belief in the treaty process to a wide audience in church circles and in the constitutional meetings held across Canada in the early 1990s (p.157-8).”

Biographies p. 355

“John Chiniquay, the wife of Chief Chiniquay, who accepted the treaty for the Chiniki Nation. Chief Chiniquay had a son and two daughters, one being Bill’s grandmother. Chief Chiniquay’s other daughter was married to George Crawler. George had a younger brother called Hector Crawler, who was Bill’s

A Selected Timeline Related to Critical Events in this Region

11,000 years ago Prehistoric hunters chipped stone spearpoints to hunt in the hot grasslands. The Plano Period (10,000 – 8,000 BP) About 10,000 years ago the climate began to change and grasslands spread across southern Alberta. Mammoths and many other Ice Age animals became extinct, A beautiful example of an Alberta point. While other animals flourished including antelope and a new, smaller species of bison. This period, known as the ‘Plano’ period after the Spanish word for plains, lasted up to 8,000 years ago.

For more information on the Plano period see the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s site entitled “A History of the Native People of Canada – Palaeo-Indian Culture.

Stoney oral tradition asserts that their forefathers resided along the Rocky Mountain foothills from time immemorial. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Dakota (Sioux) occupied what is now western Ontario and eastern Manitoba prior to 1200 AD, and western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan prior to 900 AD.??

1640 “The first recorded story (cited in the Jesuit Relations) was that the Stoney-Assiniboine separated from the Dakota/Lakota nation sometime before 1640, and it is postulated that they migrated westward with the Cree as the fur trade moved west along the Saskatchewan River trade routes.” wikipedia1670 “Hudson’s Bay Company employee Henry Kelsey traveled with Assiniboine-Stoney traders.” wikipedia

1700s Assiniboine hunted bison with bows. Aspen trees were already established. Prior to the arrival of Anthony Henday in central Alberta in 1754, Aboriginal people from the area were trading with Europeans either directly by visiting posts to the north and east themselves, or indirectly by trading with Cree and Assiniboine groups. These Aboriginal traders exchanged goods they had acquired from fur trade posts for furs, Beaver Indians at trading post. horses, food and other products. In turn, they then traded furs and other goods at posts for more goods that they could trade later. In this way European trade goods reached Alberta in unknown qualities for at least half a century before the first European arrived in person to trade.

1754 Trader Anthony Henday, recorded in his diary that he met Stoney-Assiniboine camps on his journey to Alberta. wiki

1790 Surveyors and explorers of the late nineteenth century typically turned to Siouan-speaking Stoney (Nakoda) guides, and as a result many landforms in Banff National Park are still known by their Stoney names.

1790 “Father de Smet reported in 1840 that the Rocky Mountain Stoney separated from the Plains Assiniboine about 1790, though he might have been referring to groups such as the Bearspaw band, who have by oral accounts had a tradition of fleeing westward to escape devastating smallpox epidemics.” wiki

1795 “Edmonton House was established. Stoney-Nakoda bands, commonly composed of extended families began to they trade furs, hides and fresh meat, and were invaluable guides to traders, explorers (Lord Southesk, John Palliser, James Hector), surveyors (Canadian Pacific Railway; Geological Survey of Canada) and missionaries. (Researcher Ian A. L. Getty, Morley, Alberta).”

1799 Rocky Mountain House was established.

1837 OZÎJA THIHA (meaning “bear’s foot”; Jacob Bearspaw; Mas-gwa-ah-sid, which reflects the Cree translation of his name), Stoney warrior and chief; b. c. 1837; d. 1903, probably near Morley (Alta).

1873 Reverend John Chantler McDougall and his father George Millward McDougall set up a mission in Stoney territory.

1875- Cattle ranchers had already arrived. Pine trees were already established.50 years ago Stoney Indian wove freshly-cut willows into the walls of a sweat lodge. There was already an open meadow.

1875 The Ontario family Andrew Sibbald came to Morley, AB from Ontario to teach at George and John McDougall’s mission at Morley. In May 1900, Andrew Sibbald’s son, Howard E. Sibbald became the farmer in charge at Morley, and from 1901 to 1904 he was the Indian agent there.

1877-09-22 The three bands, Chief Jacob Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley/Goodstoney of the Stoney Nation descendants of the Sioux nations, signed Treaty Seven with the British Crown. Ozija Thiba Bearspaw Stoney Chief Treaty 7 signer. OZÎJA THIHA (meaning “bear’s foot”; Jacob Bearspaw; Mas-gwa-ah-sid, which reflects the Cree translation of his name), Stoney warrior and chief; b. c. 1837; d. 1903, probably near Morley (Alta). http://www.treaty7.org/Article.asp?ArticleID=37 http://www.treaty7.org/Article.Asp?ArticleID=38

1879 The Canadian Pacific Railway station was established at Bearspaw in 1879 and was named after Chief Masgwaahsid, (Mas-gwa-ah-sid) or Bear’s Paw, who signed the treaty at Blackfoot Crossing, September 22, 1877.

1880s Indian agents did tolerate or even encourage Indians to hunt for subsistence during the winters during the 1880s and early 1890s, and even later in more remote regions, but they believed that when a sedentary agricultural way of life was feasible for any given community, that community should be dissuaded from hunting. Thus, from the perspective of some Indian officials, the restriction of aboriginal hunting rights might be a blessing in disguise.

1895 Quebec established its 2,531-square-mile Laurentides National Park in prohibiting all hunting in the park.

1898 Bearspaw, along with his fellow leaders, repeatedly lobbied the federal government to grant the Stoney tribe additional reserve land and to respect their hunting rights as promised under the treaty. The three Stoney chiefs formally established a land committee in 1898 to pursue territorial claims.

1900 Quebec deputy superintendent general reported that the aboriginals’ loss of hunting rights in the 2,531-square-mile Laurentides National Park near their reserve was one of the important factors that led them to direct their efforts towards agriculture.

1900 The last known wild passenger pigeon was killed around 1900.

1902 Howard E. Sibbald was the the Indian agent on the reserve when the outer boundaries of Banff National Park were enlarged to encompass nearly all the hunting grounds of the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations. In his annual report (1902) he wrote that the Stoney “took the enlargement of the Banff National Park very hard.” Reflecting on the enlargement of Banff National Park, wrote “I hope it will be for the best, for as long as there was any game so close to the reserve, it was hard for them to get down to work.”

1903-02 The Canadian Magazine published its obituary for the wild passenger pigeon species.

“[L]aws for the protection of our fish and game we have in plenty, but laws that are not enforced, and which are not supported by public sympathy, are worse than useless.” See Binnema and Niemi 2006.

1903 In his annual report Indian agent, Howard E. Sibbald, wrote that although hunting restrictions were “a hard blow to some of the old [Siouan-speaking Nakoda-Stoney] hunters, … the majority see the benefits to be derived from this preserve in years to come.” By that time, more Stoney had taken up paid work as guides even in the national park. He added that

“I consider these Indians have behaved very well under certain restrictions put upon them in connection with their hunting in the National Park; this was a hard blow to some of the old hunters who have hunted over this ground all their lives, but the majority see the benefits to be derived from this preserve in years to come (Sibbald 1902, 1903 Binnema and Niemi 2006)”

1903 In his annual report Howard Douglas argued that,

“Moose were frequently seen, elk, and black tail deer, big horns, and goats were plentiful; now some of these have totally disappeared… [and] there can only be one opinion on the subject. The Stony Indians are primarily responsible for this condition of affairs. They are very keen hunters, and have always been, and they are the only Indians who hunt in this section of the mountains. For years, from their reserve, they have systematically driven the valleys and hills and slaughtered the game. Their lodges are full of wild skins and meat. From thirty to fifty of the lodges are continually in the mountains from September 1 till Christmas … [T]he old haunts are deserted, the sheep runs are falling into disuse, and the greatest game country the sun ever shone upon is fast becoming a thing of the past. True, within the last few years, there has been a close season in which the Indians are supposed to stop harassing the game, but no notice has been taken of the law, and in short time this vast tract of mountain land, abounding in all that is required for the sustenance of wild animals, will be deserted, unless the Indians are compelled to live on their reserves. Laws are useless unless they are enforced. There seems to be a feeling that it would not do to press the more radical feature of the law amongst Indians. I feel that we have reached the time, when we can take a step in advance, when we can apply the laws more forcibly than we have, without creating any adverse sentiment. Let the line be drawn now; if we wait longer, the game will be gone (Douglas 1903).”

In his annual report Howard Douglas made an appeal for game wardens as the noted that with the expansion of the boundaries of the park, that there were increased difficulties in enforcement. What was not clearly explained in his annual report was that the new boundaries prevented the Nakoda-Stoney from hunting on almost all their hunting grounds! Douglas called for “the establishment of a rigid and thorough system of game guardians to maintain the legislation needed for the enforcement of much more severe penalties for its infraction.”

The Canadian government provided for the hiring of game wardens in national parks. Douglas believed that the Nakoda-Stoney were the most serious threat to the game of Banff National Park and he therefore chose Howard E. Sibbald as the first chief game guardian.

1910 In Glacier National Park in Montana, William R. Logan, the park’s first superintendent, was the former Indian agent on the Blackfoot reservation.

1911 The Canadian government passed the Dominion Forest Reserves and Parks Act, which established the Dominion Parks Branch-the world’s first national park service-and helped institutionalize the Warden Service of the national parks. This altered the boundaries of national parks so that areas that were not important tourist destinations were removed from the national parks. As a result much of the land in Banff Park was reallocated to a forest reserve. The Stoney only briefly took heart. In August 1911, the assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior sent a sternly worded letter to the secretary of the DIA announcing that it intended to enforce a new regulation that stipulated that no one was allowed to enter the forest reserves without special permission from the Department of Forestry. The documents suggest then, that the policies of barring aboriginal people from Banff National Park were rooted primarily in the goals and values of conservationists and sportsmen. But aboriginal subsistence hunting also frustrated one of the central goals of the DIA at the time: the civilization and assimilation of aboriginal people. When he was still the Indian agent at Morley, in 1903, Howard Sibbald opined that “as long as they can hunt you cannot civilize them. I have lived alongside of them for twenty six years, and with the exception of a few of the younger ones they are no more civilized now than they were when I first knew them, and I blame hunting as the cause.”

1930s By the 1930s, few Nakoda-Stoney could depend on full-time subsistence hunting.


1996 RCAP

2008 Harper’s Apology

Bibliography and Webliography

Anderson, Raoul. 1970. “Alberta Stoney (Assiniboine) Origins and Adaptations: A Case Study.” Ethnohistory.

Binnema, Theodore (Ted) and Melanie Niemi, ‘Let the Line be Drawn Now’: Wilderness, Conservation, and the Exclusion of Aboriginal People from Banff National Park in Canada. Environmental History. 11.4 (2006): 33 pars. 15 Jun. 2008 <http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/eh/11.4/binnema.html>.

Barbeau, Marius. 1960. Indian Days on the Western Prairies. Ottawa.

Canadian Parliament. Sessional papers, 1901–5, annual reports of the Dept. of Indian Affairs, 1900–4.

Dempsey, H. A. 1978. Indian Tribes of Alberta.

GA, M4390, vol.1, note on Chief Bearspaw. Whyte Museum and Arch. of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Alta), M396 (Hermann Hagedorn papers), folder 3 (transcript of interview with George McLean [Tatânga Mânî).

Getty, Ian A. L. Biography. Research director, Nakoda Institute, Stoney Tribal Administration, Morley, Alberta, (spelled as Money not Morley).

Getty, W. E. A. 1974. “Perception as an agent of sociocultural change for the Stoney Indians of Alberta.” MA thesis, Univ. of Calgary. Copy at the Nakoda Institute.

Getty, Ian A. L.; & Gooding, Erik D. (2001). Stoney. In Handbook of North American Indians: Plains (Vol. 13, Part 1, pp. 596-603). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.

Harbeck, Warren A. and Mary Anna Harbeck. 1970. “A literacy method for Stoney: The two-hour introduction.”

Hildebrandt, Walter; Carter, Sarah; First Rider, Dorothy. 2008. The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7: Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council With Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider, and Sarah Carter. Mcgill-Queens Native and Northern Series. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. ISBN: 0-7735-1522-4 408pp. http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1419

Jonker, P. M. 1988. The Song and the Silence: The Life of Sitting Wind.

Jonker, P. M. 1983. “Compilation of Stoney History Notes.” 20-page pamphlet issued by the Chiniki Band of the Stoney Indians, Morley.

MacEwan, J.G. 1969. Tatanga Mani-Walking Buffalo of the Stonies.

Morris. Treaties of Canada with the Indians.

Niddrie, J. W. 1992. “Memories of Morley.” Ed. J. W. Chalmers, Alberta History. Calgary.40: 3: 10–13.

Snow, Chief John. 1977. These Mountains are Our Sacred Places: the Story of the Stoney Indians. Toronto and Sarasota, Florida.

Vernacular Publications: Ozîja cha hûyagechîhâ. 1970; Wodejabi. 1971.

Oral traditions among the Stoney concerning Ozîja Thiha have been preserved at the Nakoda Institute, Stoney Tribal Administration (Morley, Alta), in transcripts of taped interviews with Elizabeth [McLean] Bearspaw, 8 Feb., 5 Nov. 1984, 18 Jan. 1985; Paul Dixon Sr, 23 Aug. 1984; Mary Kootenay, 25 April 1985; and Bill McLean, 26 July 1985.