KEDDIE, Grant




Author Tags: Anthropology, First Nations

With almost 200 archival images, Grant Keddie, a curator of archaeology at the Royal B.C. Museum, documented the history of the Songhees Reserve established across the harbour from Fort Victoria in the 1840s as the main gathering place for Aboriginals who sought trade with Europeans. Attitudes of 19th century Victorians to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, according to Keddie, mostly "ranged from hateful bigotry to patronizing support." His final chapter describes the formal arrangements and ceremony in 1911 that transferred the Songhees' reserve lands to the provincial government, compensating 43 heads of Aboriginal families in the procees. Despite the presence of squatters in 1912, the lands were transferred to the authority of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway and the Island Division of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Museum's website offers supplements to Songhees Pictorial: A History of the Songhees People as seen by Outsiders, 1790-1912 (Royal B.C. Museum, 2003). "Most written accounts of First Peoples in early Victoria ignore the Songhees and Esquimalt nations," Keddie writes, "because northern visitors attracted more attention, their actions dominating the local news reports." Condominiums now occupy the site of the old Songhees reserve, with Songhees Point at the centre.

[BCBW 2004] "Anthropology" "First Nations"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Songhees Pictorial: A History of the Songhees People as Seen by Outsiders, 1790-1912