First First Nations - Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia

First Nations – Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia

First Nations is a contemporary name for the native tribes of British Columbia in Canada. Earlier he was also known by many other names. Such as Indian, Native, American Native, American Indian or American, etc. Whatever name you address them, eventually they are the original inhabitants of the land that we now know as Canada. A few centuries ago, they lost their land and their identity when the Europeans set foot on their land. Today First Nation residents of British Columbia are showcasing their art using public spaces to reclaim their identity.

They are preparing articles in all their languages ​​which were always used for colloquial but never written. They are compiling their oral historical facts. Wherever I went to Canada, I saw his mark everywhere. Mostly these imprints are visible in the form of frescoes and as wood-engraved and colorful totem poles ie Ganache Pillar or Column of the totem.

The souvenir sales shops here are also filled with similar tribal artifacts.

The oldest existence, symbol or history of any place has always fascinated me. So naturally, this tribal tribe of British Columbia also fascinated me. I was very keen to know about their history, their culture, their religion, their faith, their practices, and their art. She wanted to understand the hidden stories in the pillars of engraved and colorful totem poles, that is, totems.

First Nations – Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia

We all know that they are the original tribal residents there and they were formerly called Indians. But who are these people? Are they tribals of the same caste or are there different castes among them?  Did they stay here forever or did they migrate here from some other place? Are they related to other parts of the world or not? What changes came at the time when the 16th. European invaders arrived here in the century? What kind of reactions did they have?

Ontario, Canada has the largest population of these tribal tribes.

This is followed by British Columbia. The first tribal groups in British Columbia are defined by their particular colloquial language. Various tribal tribes and their colloquial language are shown in the next part of the edition by a map.

The northwest coast of Canada was full of food due to the abundant food available.

First First Nations - Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia
First First Nations – Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia

Fish was also available in plenty along with different groups.

Every year for the winter season of 7 months, they used to roam for 7 months and collect food items. He had to stay in a safe place during these 4 months of winter.

They use this time to create beautiful artifacts by beautifully carving wood. They used it for practical and spiritual purposes.

European colonies

When Europeans entered the northwest coast of Canada, the two parties welcomed each other. But as Europeans began to settle there, they began to drive out the first nations of British Columbia. He had a vision of where British Columbia’s First Nations residents resided. Hence these residents had to be displaced from there.

Unfortunately, these Europeans brought such diseases with them. They had immunity to them, but the local residents did not have the desired immune elements. As a result, large numbers of local residents died due to communicable diseases like smallpox and measles.

An infected patient destroyed the entire village.

Therefore, they have washed their hands from their fields, Barnes and livelihoods, as well as lost their lives after suffering from new diseases.

The Europeans concluded that the local inhabitants were unable to assimilate modernity. They started collecting their artworks from local residents and transporting them to their native place of Europe. In fact, he was collecting them for his future generations.

Pine tree

Red cedar trees settle in the heart of the tribal inhabitants of the northwest Pacific coast. This single tree has the ability to fulfill all their needs, from daily necessities to ritual needs. Red cedar trees available in abundance were used in clothing, housing, transportation, etc.

First First Nations - Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia
First First Nations – Get to know the native inhabitants of British Columbia

For example, they used to weave baskets from the bark of the cedar tree.

The red cedar tree is called the tribal life tree of the northwest Pacific coast.

It is light and soft, due to which minimal crafts can also be done.  It was used extensively before mechanization. A type of oil was extracted from this tree which is resistant to both water and insects. Hence it is the best material for outdoor use. Yes, it is a natural insecticide.

Map of First Nations regions of British Columbia

The map of the whole of British Columbia shows various tribes, their names and their areas of residence. In Whistler, I learned that it falls under the jurisdiction of the Lilavati castes who live in the irrigated northern area of ​​Whistler. Squamish tribes inhabit the southern part of Whistler. The city of Vancouver is a city of Muskueyam people, while Victoria is inhabited by Songhai, Saanich, and Esquimalt.

Story of Heida Gwai

From Haida Gwaii Island I came to know about a unique truth.  The island was called Queen Charlotte Island. When British Captain George Dixon landed on the island in the 1790s, one of its ships was named Queen Charlotte. She was also the Empress of the King of England, George III, in whose name the captain had established suzerainty over the island.

However, in 2010, the Haida tribe changed its name once again to the name of the island as Haida Gwaii or Heidi Earth.

Religious allegiance to First Nations

Like many other ancient tribes of the world, this tribe also worships nature.

I saw a video at the Whistler Cultural Center, In which it was told how the people of this tribe worship the mountains, rivers, earth, and their ancestors. They believe that a gentleman turns into a mountain after death. Therefore, the mountain is their ancestor. They discuss their lively relationship with rivers, forests, and mountains.

Whistler’s Audain Tribal Artwork Museum

This museum introduces you to the ancient and modern form of the first tribal artifacts.

Here I saw a wooden plaque with a wonderful charm that is used at the time of demonstrations. It reminded me of ‘Arjuna’s repentance’ in Mahabalipuram. This visual performance is a part of the storytelling stories located on the back of the stage.

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