This series consists of 312 field photographs representing a portion of views created during colonial government tours known as “visits of inspection” of Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia in the early 1870s. The images were created by English photographer Richard Maynard during his accompaniment on and documentation of two colonial government tours of inspection of Indigenous communities conducted in 1873 and 1874. The photographs document elements of Indigenous life and lifeways relative to communities located around west and north coasts of Vancouver Island and the west coast of mainland British Columbia (during spring, summer and fall seasons), colonial government-to-Indigenous government relationships, as well as the perspectives of the colonial government administration regarding these communities in the early period after confederation. Amongst the earliest photographic works are those produced on the 1873 tour between May and June of 1873. The photographs were produced for the purposes of creating views of Indigenous lives and livihoods from different First Nations communities around Vancouver Island and parts of the interior of British Columbia to facilitate colonial government administration of Indigenous life and lifeways, and to expand the portfolio of commercial views available from Maynard photographers in the 1870s, and distribution of images of Indigenous life to public audiences. This series presents a portion of the ethnographic, landscape and tourist photography within the commercial portfolio of photographer Richard Maynard and Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery within the early segment of Richard Maynard’s career and the early commercial operations of the Maynard Studio.
In 1873 and 1874, Richard Maynard joined Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Israel Wood Powell (1836-1915) as the photographer on several colonial government tours that visited multiple First Nation communities within the regions of the Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wakw, Heiltsuk and Nuxalk Nations around west and north coastal areas of Vancouver Island and parts of the west coast of British Columbia mainland. The government party travelled on the gunboat vessel of the Royal Navy the H.M.S. Boxer. The purpose of the Richard Maynard was described by I.W. Powell as “a Photographer who accompanied the Expedition for the purpose of taking views of Indian Camps and photographs of different Tribes etc…” and the activities of a typical inspection was described by Powell in one visitation near Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island (1874) as “photographing points of interest about [the] historic camp and inquiring into the general character and wants of its inhabitants.”
Among the First Nation communities visited along the tour of 1873, some were reported as:
• Kwakwaka'waka Nation community near Knight Inlet, a community/camp up the Sawatti river, British Columbia mainland (May 31, 1873) (See J-04533, J-04534 and J-04535).
Reported by I.W. Powell as “T'sawattie Knights Inlet.”
• Indigenous community in the Nuxalk nation region near Bella Coola close to Bentinck Arm, British Columbia mainland (June 6 or June 6-8th, 1873) (See J-04192, J-04171, J-04170)
• Indigenous community in the [Nuxalk nation] region near Bella Coola up the river, British Columbia mainland (June 6 or June 6-8th, 1873) (See J-04192, J-04171, J-04170)
Reported by I.W. Powell as previously identified as the “Village of the Rascals”
• Indigenous community near Takush Harbour, near Cape Caution, British Columbia mainland (June 9, 1873) (See J-04202, J-04204, J-04205, J-04206, J-04207 and J-04208).
Reported by I.W. Powell as meeting the "Qwoi-sil-lahs" at the "[Qwoi]-sil-lahs Camp" after proceeding to Cape Caution and Takush Harbour.
Among the First Nation communities visited along the tour of 1874, some were reported as:
• Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the southern region at Green Cove, Vancouver Island (September 7) (See J-04218, J-04219, J-04220, J-04221)
Reported in the media as the “Ohiet” [Huu-ay-aht] and “Owchucklisaht.”
• Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the central region near “Hecate passage north of Vargas Island” in Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island (September 8th 1874) (See J-04218, J-04219, J-04220, J-04221)
Reported in the media as the “Ahousahts” [Ahousaht] and the “Klahookwahts” [Tla—o-qui-aht].
• Nations in the area of the Nuu-chah-nulth (of the central region) near “Hecate passage north of Vargas Island” in Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island (September 9, 1874).
Reported in the media as 100 Indigenous people (“interviewed”) in 25 canoes.
• Indigenous community near Refuge Cove, British Columbia mainland (September 9, 1874) (See J-04222, J-04536)
Reported in the media as “where the Mahnohhahsahts live.”
Reported by Richard Maynard as “refuge Cove Indian name [Manhousesett].”
• Nuu-chah-nulth region and a community near Friendly Cove in the Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island (September 10 and 11, 1874) (See J-04223, J-04224, J-04214 and J-04209)
Reported in the media as the “Movitchahts, known as the Nootkahs.
Reported by I.W. Powell as the Moo-cha-ahts.
Reported by I.W. Powell as meeting the “successor” of Chief “Maquinna.”
• Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the northern region at Queen’s Cove, Vancouver Island (September 11, 1874) (See J-04218, J-04219, J-04220, J-04221)
Reported in the media as the “Ehahtisaht” [Ehattesaht] and the “Noochatlaht” [Nuchatlaht].
• “Shushartie Bay,” Vancouver Island (September 13, 1874) (See J-04218, J-04219, J-04220, J-04221)
Reported in the media as the “Nawitee.”
• Kwakwaka'wakw nation region and community at Fort Rupert, Vancouver Island (September 14, 1874)
• Kwakwaka'wakw nation region and community at Alert Bay (Nimpkish River), Vancouver Island (September 14 and 15, 1874) (See J-04215, J-04200, J-04194, J-04195 and J-04217).
• Coast Salish community near Departure Bay on the Vancouver Island (September 16-17, 1874) (See J-04225)
Other photographers were also known to have accompanied colonial government officials on inspection tours before and after Richard Maynard’s tours between the period of the 1860s to the 1880s, often documenting the same Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia over a twenty year period. This included Oregon Columbus Hastings with I.W. Powell on the H.M.S. Rocket in 1879, Edward Dossetter with I.W. Powell in 1881. Photographer Frederick Dally accompanied a tour on the H.M.S. Scout on an earlier voyage in1866, which appear to have created a record of many of the same communities visited by Richard Maynard in 1874. Earlier in 1860-1861, the Royal British Engineers photo documented pre-confederation Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia as a part of surveying the Canada/U.S. boundry line.
The primary or adjunct purposes of these visits included law and order/policing, colonial government-to-Indigenous government relationships for a variety of purposes including observing communities for later negotiations on land ownership (e.g. reserves, fishing stations) and resource rights (e.g. fisheries and fishing rights) between colonial and Indigenous parties, as well as bestowing “staffs of authority.” In 1881, it also included artefact acquisition for collecting institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Published public accounts (along the route) were made of various tours in numerous colonial newspapers articles in publications such as The British Colonist and The Daily Standard, including for the tours of 1873 and 1874. On June 18, 1873, Richard Maynard is mentioned in The British Colonist in a description of an event leading to a commemorative group portrait between Indigenous and colonial government parties at a community near Knight Inlet (a "camp up the Sawatti river") as: “that able artist, R. Maynard.”
A selection of views taken by Richard Maynard were used in colonial government reports and communications after the inspections. Field photographs, consisting of ethnographic, landscape views and commemorative group photographs, were reported to have been included a list of 19 images (no.1 to no. 19) in a report submitted by Superintendent I.W. Powell entitled “British Columbia. Photographic Views taken during the Visitation of the Indian Commissioner [?] Indian tribes of East Coast of Vancouver Isld [sic] & on N W Coast of Mainland in Her Majesty’s Gun Vessel “Boxer” May & June 1873” in 1873. Richard Maynard and his general photographic purpose is mentioned as “a photographer who accompanied the Expedition for the purpose of taking views of Indian Camps, and photographs of different Tribes..”
Many of the works produced during these tours became part of the Maynard commercial portfolio and were promoted, reproduced, repurposed, distributed and otherwise used in a number of ways. Between the 1880 and 1890s, some of these field photographs were used in multi-image montage works that showcased a selection of the Maynard photographic portfolio of “Stereoscopic and Large Views of British Columbia and Vancouver Island for Sale” marketed by both Hannah and Richard Maynard. One montage work features a group photograph (J-04191) of Indigenous youth and adults taken at his land-based studio at a community near Takush Harbour and near Cape Caution on the British Columbia mainland during the tour of 1873, alongside photographs of churches, colonial buildings, railway engines on route, steamers and rivers and other views showcasing the Maynard representation of British Columbia and the Maynard photographic portfolio. Some photographs from these tours were later used as sources for visual accompaniments in local interest (Victoria, British Columbia) publications such as Victoria Illustrated. In one example, the Victoria Illustrated published in 1892 featured the illustration of a young Indigenous girl, a sketch created from one of Richard Maynard’s land-based studio portraits to complement the advertising of products of “Indian curios” at the business of John J. Hart of 43 Johnston Street. This version was published by Victoria Publishing Company.
As in the 1860s and 1870s, the Maynard’s continued production of popular imagery of Indigenous communities, people and lifeways for public consumption and collecting. Images, cropped or otherwise altered and manipulated from Richard’s photographic portfolio of the H.M.S. Boxer 1873 tour were produced and sold as cartes-de-visite, Negatives of land-based studio portraits of Indigenous sitters at a community near Takush Harbour and near Cape Caution on the British Columbia mainland again were edited and removed from their original context to market these cartes de visite, sometimes as composite images. In later years of the careers of the Maynard photographers, and as the Maynard Studio’s Indigenous photographic repertoire grew, Indigenous sitters from the land-based studio setting in 1873 were used to create fabricated images of Indigenous people and lifeways by removing the original field background and combining it with a different field background from another community or geolocation documented on other Maynard photographic tours around British Columbia and Alaska. These were marketed and sold as commercial cartes-de-visite. Near the end of the Maynard’s career and life, Hannah Maynard in early 1900s supplied and distributed some images produced on these H.M.S. Boxer tours along with other images from their portfolio of “Indigenous peoples of B.C.'s Northwest Coast” to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard in the United States. These images included the popular portraits taken a community near Takush Harbour and near Cape Caution on the British Columbia mainland described as “3-Cape Caution Indians,” along with community village scenes described as “33-Bella Coola” and commemorative group photographs described as “17 -500 Indians at Knights Inlet.”
This series consists of 34 collodion and gelatin dry glass plate negatives in 3.25x 4.5, 4.5 x 7.25, 5x5, 5x7, 5x7.5, 5x8 and 8x10 inch sized glass plates. Many photographs are stereographs, as well as small and large negatives.
Photographic images consist of:
• Documentary group portraits of Indigenous and colonial government representatives on board the H.M.S. Boxer or at specific destinations visited;
• Ethnographic individual and group portraits at First Nation communities;
• Views of scenes or sites at Indigenous settlements, villages or other natural resource gathering destinations;
• Landscape views of destinations around Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland;
• Documentation of the H.M.S Boxer anchored at locations on the tours.
Photographs consist of both unmanipulated negatives and manipulated negatives. Of the several manipulated negatives, the editing or reducing the view of items of material cultural (e.g. sections of carved and painted poles at settlement/village sites, see J-04534), landscape (e.g. manipulation or removal of sky, mountain or forest landscape at settlement/village sites, J-04534) or editing of other information (e.g. scratched emulsion in the regions depicting the faces of people in the image, see J-04216) is visible.
In some instances, negatives contain photograph numbers scratched on the surface of the plates. Some have multiple numbers inscribed. In some instances, one and two-digit numbers are presumed to be the photographer's original negative numbers, while other numbers (e.g. one, two or three digit numbers) are suspected to be those assigned to images during the course of facilitating their distribution, use, reproduction or publication. For an example see J-04222, which has the number “7” etched into the plate, J-04213 containing "189," or J-04170 that has “14” etched into the surface of the plate. For photographs that contain typed captions located within the photographic image, see J-04180, which contains a caption with the following information: "Photo of Maynard's Boat Crew At Barclay Sound, V.I." Finally, there are labels (on paper or simply on adhesive tape) containing numbers or descriptive information frequently found adhered to plates. There appears to be multiple authors of these labels, some attributed to the [Provincial Library] and some attributed to an unknown creator.
Individuals documented in the photographs in this series include the officers and crew of the H.M.S. Boxer, Department of Indians Affairs Superintendent Israel Wood Powell (in 1873, 1874), along with other officials such as George Blenkinsop (in 1873), Magistrate A.F. Pemberton (1873), and Hamilton Moffatt (1873) . Indigenous government representatives including “Chief Wawkash” of Dzawadi/Tsawatti/Tsawadi/Knight Inlet (1873) and “Chief [Mantzie]” or “[Ilothkin]” near Cape Caution (1873) and described by Powell as the successor to “Chief Maquinna” near Friendly Cove in the Nootka Sound (1874) described by Richard Maynard. These individuals are depicted primarily in group portraits.
There are photographs taken of representatives from First Nations communities (individuals and groups) on board the H.M.S. Boxer during both the 1873 and 1874 tours. This may include: a) the peoples at the Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the southern region at Green Cove (September 7, 1874) reported in the media as the “Ohiet” [Huu-ay-aht] and “Owchucklisaht”; b) the peoples at the Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the central region near “Hecate passage north of Vargas Island” in Clayoquot Sound (September 8th 1874) reported in the media as the “Ahousahts” [Ahousaht] and the “Klahookwahts” [Tla—o-qui-aht] ; the peoples at the Nuu-chah-nulth nations of the northern region at Queen’s Cove (September 11, 1874) reported in the media as the “Ehahtisaht” [Ehattesaht] and the “Noochatlaht” [Nuchatlaht]; and/or d)the peoples in the region of “Shushartie Bay”(September 13, 1874) reported in the media as the “Nawitee” (see J-04218, J-04219, J-04220, J-04221). It also may include Indigenous government representatives including “Chief Wawkash” of Dzawadi/Tsawatti/Tsawadi/Knight Inlet (1873) (see J-04201 and J-04213, a stereograph) and “prisoner”(J-04203) near Dzawadi/Knight Inlet.
Of the photographs taken on board the H.M.S. Boxer or when visiting a First Nations community site, there are several that represent commemorative individual and group photographs depicting government-to-government relationships (Indigenous-colonial). Several images illustrate the presence and use of staffs/presentation staffs or a “staff of authority,” a symbol of the colonial government given to Indigenous leaders and representatives beginning with Governor Seymour in the 1860s. In the 1860s, Governor Seymour is reported by The British Columbian to have spoken on the significance and purpose of staffs: “The Queen has sent out handsome staffs for the best chiefs. I will distribute them during the course of the year to those who may render good service to the Government.” For examples, see J-04213, J-04170 and the related group portrait HP015892/G-05015.
Indigenous settlements or village sites are documented the spring, summer and fall seasons and depict Indigenous land and resource use in the period of 1873 and 1874. These may reflect Indigenous land and resource “reserves” created during the period prior to the early 1870s. Demographics, including presence of women, children and elder adults are depicted here. Visual information within these field photographs reflects the cultural heritage, including the traditional, cultural and ecological knowledge and information, of a number of First Nations in British Columbia. Information regarding traditional activities and lifeways include fishing and food harvesting practices, settlement or village site location and building architecture, social demographics, governance, amoung other cultural practices. There is also information relating to the designs, images, crafts and artistic styles present in objects representing transportation (canoes), technology (fishing weirs, fish traps), settlement or site features (community buildings, carved poles), dress (clothing, headwear, regalia, adornments), and objects for food harvesting and collection (baskets and basketry), and other material culture (woven mats).
There are also landscape views containing ecological information depicted at certain locations within the above mentioned sites around Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia documented during the early 1870s.