Monday, 26 July 2021

Swimming in Drinks

The motive of the killing of Bee in 1890 had probably to do with liquor -- not with gold. Both Bee and his partner Seymour had before done hard labour for selling liquor to First Nations people and they were in all likelyhood still doing that. 

How serious the problem with liquor was among the Katzie at that time becomes clear from a report by Father Peytavin of the OMI (Order Maria Immaculate) about his visits in 1887 to First Nations villages along the Fraser River. Following quote is from a UBC 1988 B.A. Thesis titled St Mary’s Mission by Melanie Ann Jones Clark. 

“… he travelled five miles [from New Westminster] to visit the Quiquittums (Coquitlams), and then a further six miles to visit the Ketsies (Katzies) (238). The Ketsies had one hundred and eight band members and Peytavin considered them the worst Native camp on the river. Peytavin says that, with only a few exceptions, the adults "nagent dans la boisson" [swim in drinks] , and that even the children, whom Chirouse Jr. had tried to help on previous missions, had become just like their parents.”  

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