The Chilcotin Conflicts

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The Europeans and the First Nations first encountered each other a very long time ago. Relationships were established: trade, marriage, and so on. Although these relationships established connections between two different nations and cultures, it cannot be helped that the two sides would encounter conflict. The Chilcotin people, and the Europeans who wanted to build a trading route through their land, was one of those cases, in which conflict dominated between the two parties, and ended up with serious altercations and consequences. The series of killings by the Chilcotin people during the spring of 1864 was an act of war provoked by the Europeans threat of diseases, their ill treatment to their tribe, and the lethal threat of taking over…show more content…
Frustrated, some looted the the townsite storehouse. Days later,many of the First Nations walked up the trail to meet Brewster to ask for work but nonetheless he wanted justice on who stole the flour. The Chilcotins never said anything but “You are in our country . . . You owe us bread.” Waddington’s Party did enter traditional Chilcotin territory. The Chilcotins, being left starving and unpaid, was right to claim what Brewster owed them. Instead of acknowledging the Chilcotin’s territory, Brewster did the unknown to the Chilcotins, ordered all of their names written down, and threatened them, telling them “All Chilcotins are going to die [and] the whites [wi]ll introduce sickness … which will kill [them] all.” Brewster left many of them unpaid and starving, and threatened them of the disease that the white people would bring that would end them. In The British Columbian Article of June 8th, 1864, it stated that “the treatment of the Indians, employed in packing, received at the hands of Brewster and his party was at once calculated to arouse their cupidity and provoke their vengeance.” Even Waddington, who may not know of what happened between Brewster’s Party and the Chilcotins, knew that many of the Chilcotins were mistreated, and were driven to act the killings that had…show more content…
Many did not find the verdict as just, including Judge Begbie. In Judge Anthony Sarich’s recommendations of the Cariboo-Chilcotin justice Inquiry in 1993, he expresses ”that even Judge Begbie was concerned about the fairness of the trial of the Chilcotin chiefs… many natives still feel that the trial and hangings were more a showpiece to impress the natives than an honest search for the truth...”. Acknowledging the concerns of the many, Judge Sarich recommended that “it is appropriate that Victoria grant a posthumous pardon to those chiefs…” The attorney general of British Columbia did responded to Sarich’s report, with an apology for the hanging of the Tsilhqot’in men who participated in the Chilcotin War. and just last month, October this year, 150 years later since the war, B.C. Premier Christy Clark exonerated the five chiefs and apologized for the hanging of the Chilcotin leaders. The decision of exoneration of the five chilcotin leaders meant that the chiefs’ actions were not an act of murder, but an act of war against the white people who continuously took advantage of their welcome, and brought diseases, and their title to the

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