Tag Archives: Quadra History

When fishing was an industry in Whaletown

A great many fisherfolk once worked out of Whaletown. The Cortes Island Museum’s list goes back to the 1930s, at which point there were 7 men and a woman. Three of them used rowboats. 

“There used to be a huge fleet rafted out, both six and seven abreast all along  both sides of the dock, in Whaletown.  In the last 10 years or so, there’s only been three or four boats in there, fishing. The main one  that I know of in the last little while is the ‘C-Fin,’ but he goes outside of the Vancouver Island area and fishes tuna. When he comes back he doesn’t sell it to a fisheries, he sells it from the dock, and the same with his prawns.  So he’s not using a middle man to sell his products, which I suppose is one of the few ways you could make a little bit of money now,“ said Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum, in the latest instalment of her history of Whaletown.

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The Quadra Project: An Island of Refugees

Islands are not convenient places to live, so why do people choose to settle on them? No single answer will suffice, but some insight can be gleaned from the fact that they are surrounded by water. This separation from elsewhere gives the impression that they are places of refuge for people who are at odds with the world, or when the world is at odds with people.

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Precolonial Forest Gardens and Orchards

Dr Chelsey Geralda Armstrong is an associate professor from SFU and the lead author of a paper, about the ancient forest gardens in Nuu-chah-nulth territory, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. While individual species do grow in the wild, forest gardens and orchards exhibit a sophisticated understanding of cultivation and are found adjacent to ancient village sites. In a related study, Armstrong and her colleagues wrote that forest gardens largely disappeared around the time of the smallpox epidemic that swept through B.C’s Indigenous communities more than 150 years ago.

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The Ice Age settlement of Vancouver Island and the Discovery Islands

New evidence suggests that First Nations people may have arrived in northern Vancouver Island as early as 18,500 years ago. 

Chris Hebda, from the Hakai Institute, is the lead author of a study that found Topknot Lake, near Cape Scott, has been ice free since then.  In today’s interview he also gives a tentative outline of our area’s history from post ice age settlement down to the First Nations of our era.

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Quadra Island’s clam gardens

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

British Columbia’s West Coast is a hotbed of activity when it comes to ancient aquaculture. First Nations cultivated clam gardens for millennia along the Pacific coast, modifying coastal beaches to create optimal habitat for the mollusks, boost production and feed their people, research indicates. But Indigenous clam production on Quadra Island ­— located between the B.C. coast and Vancouver Island in the territories of the Laich-Kwil-Tach First Nations and northern Coast Salish — was especially intensive, said researchers Dana Lepofsky and Christine Roberts.

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