Tom Swanky's Quesnel-raised son Shawn Swanky is spreading the word-based on his father's self-published 2012 ebook, The Great Darkening: "The True Story of Canada's 'War' of Extermination on the Pacific";-that the administration of Governor James Douglas spread smallpox to generate epidemics that killed 100,000 indigenous people in 1862-63. They further claim that historians have failed to recognize this genocide, that indigenous people of that era "universally believed"; smallpox was being used to exterminate them and that Douglas (who was married to a First Nations woman) was complicit. According to publicity materials, these accusations have been drawn from ten years of collecting first-hand accounts from the descendants of the smallpox survivors and collated accounts of the epidemics published in newspapers of the time. Shawn Swanky hopes to raise funds for a documentary film, The Great Darkening.

In 2016, Tom Swanky published The Smallpox War in Nuxalk Territory (Dragon Heart Enterprises) $19.95 / 978-1-365-41053-6. See review below.

[BCBW 2017]

Review of the author's work by BC studies:
The True Story of Canada's "War" of Extermination on the Pacific plus The Tsilhqot'in and Other First Nations Resistance
A Missing Genocide and The Demonization of its Heroes