“Surveying Central British Columbia”

surveying central bc

(Image credit: Royal BC Museum)


..and taking excellent photos and detailed notes.

Subtitled “A Photojournal of Frank Swannell, 1920-28” and edited by Jay Sherwood (Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2007), this book delivers one person’s observations from a time when Chinuk Wawa was perhaps more used in central BC than anywhere else.

Page 14-15: in 1917, in Europe as a soldier, Swannell visits Oxford, where he joins some faculty for supper and is invited to say grace. This is customarily in Latin or Greek, but he delivers it in Chinuk Wawa!

Page 123: “keekillie [sic] houses” (traditional pit houses) are mentioned

Page 128, quoting Swannell’s diary: “The old ‘Stick‘ Trail — so called because travelled by the ‘Stick’ or Forest Indians of the Interior — followed the north shore of Sigutlat Lake…It has been disused for a generation except by an occasional Siwash [‘Indian’] or white trapper…”

Page ?? (the photo I snapped at the library cut off the page #):, quoting Swannell again: “An old Indian told us that in his grandfather’s day three ‘Bostonmen[‘whites/Americans’] had had a trading post here.” [At the site of Alexander Mackenzie’s “Friendly Village”.]

Page 144: Swannell’s team climb Compass Mountain and reach what’s known as the Saghalie [High] Trail. At Tanya Lake, “Stellus & Betty, old Sundayman [an Oblate Catholic missionary title blending shanti-man ‘song man, hymn leader)’ and santi-man ‘Sunday-man’] & squaw & two little girls here — making salmon & soopalallie [soapberry] cake. Sundayman remembers Dawson & Hunter 1876 & Seymour — Hunter big man, sideboard whiskers. Dawson ‘yakha hyiu tikkegh iskem chikamin stone[‘] (he was very fond of collecting ore) [literally ‘he much liked getting metal rocks’].”

Page 150: “Tommy, Pretty Charlie, klootches [‘women’] & about a doz. pack-horses go past.”