Series MS-3320 - Translations of Vancouver Island treaties

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Translations of Vancouver Island treaties

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  • textual record

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  • 2017 (Creation)

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1 cm of textual records

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The First Nations, Land, and James Douglas: Indigenous & Treaty Rights in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1849-1864 conference was held at the Songhees Wellness Centre in Victoria, BC from February 24 – 26th 2017. The conference was co-hosted by the Songhees Nation and the History Department/Faculty of Law of the University of Victoria. Its aim was to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous islanders in discussion of the history and significance of the Vancouver Island Treaties, also known as the Douglas or Fort Victoria treaties.

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The series consists of three documents relating to MS-0772 Register of land purchases from Indians. The agreements recorded in the register are referred to as the Vancouver Island treaties (formerly known as the Douglas or Fort Victoria treaties). In February 2017 a conference was held at the Songhees Wellness Centre, inviting Indigenous and non-Indigenous islanders to discuss the treaties, their history, and their present-day impact.

The conference commissioned the first translations of two of the treaties into Lekwungen by Songhees Elder Dr. Elmer George, and a cultural interpretation of the treaties in SENĆOŦEN by STOLȻEŁ, Tsartlip Elder John Elliot Sr. The Lekwungen translations are of the če’q’nein nəč’elŋxʷ- kʷ’ats’ayč iʔ xpeʔ kʷəliq̌a (Chekonein treaty) and the Teechamitsa treaty.

Dr. Elmer George and John Elliot Sr. were awarded the Meritorious Service Award by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of this work.

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The translations and interpretation were presented to the Royal BC Museum and Archives as a gift from the conference committee during the conference proceedings.


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The records are in Lekwungen (the language of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations) and SENĆOŦEN (the language of the WSÁNEĆ peoples). Each employ diacritics developed to record these languages in writing.

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