West Vancouver Archives

Tomb of Chief Joe Capilano ca. 1917

Visitors to the Tomb of Chief Joe Capilano ca. 1917

Stumbling on the Vancouver Public Library’s photo site the other day got me poking around smaller museums and archives for archaeology and First Nations related stuff.  It turns out there’s a lot out there.  First up is this picture I found at the West Vancouver Museum and Archives.  They have a searchable collection, within which a fair number of digitized historic photos.  A fair amount of stuff is under “First Nations” and “Indian”.  To the left is a remarkable picture of Chief Joe Capilano’s tomb (map).  It’s quite a slab, house-shaped (though not a shed roof house!), but surely it is as close to a mortuary house as it is to traditional Christian mausoleum.     Joe Capilano was a leader of the Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) nation, to whom he was known as Sa7plek.

Sa7plek: Chief Joe Capilano

Sa7plek: Chief Joe Capilano

Apparently, he recieved the title of ‘Chief”  (via recieving the name Kiyapalanexw (Capilano), in order to facilitate his trip to Ottawa and to London, to meet King Edward VII.   The name bestowal was in the belief that he would need a title in order to speak “Chief-to-Chief” with the Prime Minister and the King, or so says wikipedia.  These smaller archives have fairly idisoyncratic interfaces and often the context given is poor.  Nonetheless, I will occasionally, or even frequently, post pictures or other material from them.

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