Effectively illustrated by Annora Brown and printed in Vancouver by Evergreen Press, Pamela Stephen's Winged Canoes at Nootka (1955) contains 24 fictionalized stories for teenage readers about the early exploration and settlement of British Columbia up to the First World War. In the opening story that lends its title to the volume, we meet 'Jim' Cook as he arrives at Nootka Sound. Stephen's interpretations of history, complete with stilted dialogue, are fanciful but well-chosen. She proceeds from Captain Cook to Frances Barkley meeting John McKay [sic], the Nootka Crisis, the captivity of John Jewett, Lady 'Nellie' Douglas ("The Snow Bird"), Ned McGowan's War, the legend of Forbidden Plateau, the "Chilcotin Massacres", early days of New Westminster and so forth. The Anglophilic prejudices border on xenophobia as the Komagata Maru incident is described in a story entitled "The Invasion That Failed" and the famous incident at Nootka Sound between Esteban Martínez and James Colnett is recalled in a story entitled "Treachery at Friendly Cove."


Stephen, Pamela. Winged Canoes at Nootka and Other Stories of the Evergreen Coast (Toronto: Dent, 1955; 1957).

[BCBW 2005] "First Nations" "History of B.C."