APPLEBY, Geraldine McGeer




Author Tags: First Nations

The Tsawwassen Indian Band of the Sto:lo First Nation has been recorded in literature since the arrival of Lieutenant Charles Richard Mayne of the HMS Plumper in 1858 and visits by Oblate missionaries Father Modeste Demers and Father Louis Lootens, as well as the publication of Franz Boas’ ‘The Indian Tribes of the Lower Fraser River’ in 1894, but an attempt to create a popular book about their culture was not made until approximately one century after Mayne’s visit, partially as an attempt to capitalize on the influx of traffic to the South Delta area resulting from construction of the Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway in 1959-1960. Having conducted field research in the Tsawwassen area in 1946 and 1947, local newspaper editor Geraldine McGeer Appleby published Tsawwassen Legends (Ladner, B.C.: Dunning Press, 1961) with the help of publisher Edgar Dunning. Collected and printed by the Optimist newspaper, this slim volume offers a prefatory history of the Tsawwassen band written by Optimist staffer Suzanne Westphal and twelve short stories and legends mainly obtained from Joe Splockton, who later moved from the South Delta reservation to a senior citizens’ home in Haney. Charles F. Borden and Wayne Suttles of UBC are credited as consultants and some rudimentary illustrations were provided by Boyd Ivens, a Ladner solicitor. The middens and clamshell heaps of Boundary Bay, Beach Grove and Point Roberts attracted anthropologists for much of the 20th century during which time Wilson Duff concluded the term Tsawwassen could be interpreted as “looking towards the sea.”

BOOKS:

Appleby, Geraldine McGeer. Tsawwassen Legends (Ladner, B.C.: Dunning Press, 1961).

[BCBW 2004] "First Nations"