Category Archives: BC History

These Are My Words

By Manda Aufochs Gillespie

As an immigrant to Canada, I was shocked to learn about the Canadian legacy of residential schools. I had no idea growing up in the U.S. that such things were happened and had happened just north of the border. The indigenous residential schools operated in Canada starting in the 1870s with the last one not closing until1996. Children as young as four were taken—often against the will of their families or with coercive techniques such as threatening jail time—and it is estimated that over 150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential school. I was reminded that it is a  legacy that continues to shade aspects of Canadian culture and identity for all Canadians this year when I became a citizen. At the ceremony, the judge encouraged all of us new Canadians to make the act of reconciliation personal and spoke about how she was doing that in her life. 

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Riding Vancouver’s Old Interurban

By Roy L Hales

In 1910, Vancouver had one of North America’s most advanced electric train networks. The old interurban line ran for 114 miles,  to Chilliwack in the heart of the Fraser Valley. It also serviced the sleepy village of Steveston to the south. This technological wonder was abandoned when British Columbians turned to the automobile, in the 1950s. A 4.6 mile segment of the route through Surrey was recently brought back to life as part of living museum project. So I went riding Vancouver’s old interurban.

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How Chemainus Transformed Itself

By Roy L Hales

Everyone was talking about the murals, when they were first unveiled. Thirty-seven years later, the image of three proud First Nations faces comes to many people’s minds when they hear the name Chemainus. Municipalities throughout British Columbia embraced this former logging town as a model for how communities can be reinvented after their principal industry collapses. There are still hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to see this Vancouver Island town every year.  I recently dropped in to see how how Chemainus Transformed itself.

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