The Kidnapping of Stó:lō Boys During the Fraser River Gold Rush
Inaugural date for public artwork! Mark your calendars!
Saturday August 19, 2017
Chawathil First Nation’s Telte-Yet Campgrounds: near Hope, British Columbia
Canadians are increasingly aware of the tragic story of Indian residential schools; and the contemporary tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women makes clear the ongoing vulnerability of Indigenous youth. But the story of the Indigenous “boys who were stolen away by… vicious white men” during the 1858 Fraser River gold rush has been lost. For reasons that are not at all clear, as one contemporary observer recorded, “a great many [Stó:lō] boys were stolen away” by American miners and taken to California. The vast majority of these kidnapped boys “were never heard from” again, although at least two miraculously found their way home forty years later. We know that one ten-year-old boy lies buried in an unmarked grave in his kidnapper’s family plot in Sacramento’s pioneer cemetery. Families were devastated. One Stó:lō father “searched the woods for days… [and then] died of grief.”
Through the generosity of the Chawathil First Nation, memorial artwork will be installed on the bank of the Fraser River near Hope BC. This Lost Stories episode emerged as a result of original research and analysis by Prof. Keith Thor Carlson (University of Saskatchewan), and is guided by a steering committee of Stó:lō educators, mothers, and cultural experts.
Terry Horne is a Coast Salish artist with over 20 years experience. In addition to being an artist, Terry is also the chief of Yakweakwioose band, located in Chilliwack, BC. He carries the ancestral name of Siyemches, a name passed down to him by his grandfather Frank Malloway. Terry’s art-work has been exhibited in countries around the world by way of various galleries. His preferred artistic medium is wood, mainly red cedar, from which he carves house-posts, totem poles and masks.
Sandra Bonner-Pederson, a member of the Tzeachten First Nation, is Owner/Operator of Bear Image Productions, a video production company established in 2002 and located on the Tzeachten First Nation, near Chilliwack, BC. Starting in the television industry as a volunteer host for the First Nation program “Rebirth of a Nation”, she went on to study at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, subsequently working at ITV and the Super-Channel/Family Channel. Upon returning to Chilliwack, she collected considerable videography and editing experience, before creating Bear Image Productions, whose work is featured on the company’s website. Sandra’s company produces a weekly program that airs on cable locally entitled “Bear Tracks.” These 3-4 minute films form part of a larger project being produced for First Nation People.
Work in progress
February-March 2017 – Filming has begun!
The filmmaker Sandra Bonner-Pederson documenting the artist Terry Horne at work on the bank of the Fraser River and at Chilliwack Secondary School, February – March 2017
May 2017 – Carving in progress
The filmmaker Sandra Bonner-Pederson documenting the artist Terry Horne at work at Hope Secondary School where some students had the chance to work on the carving, 2017.
Inauguration of artwork by Terry Horne in Hope BC on August 19th 2017
Terry Horne’s artwork at the Telte-Yet Camp Site in Hope, British Columbia, on Saturday August 19th 2017. Images from the inaugural event with artist Terry Horne, guests, performers and collaborators. Photos by Daina Bonner
REVIEWS AND PRESS
The Globe and Mail, April 23rd 2017
New light shed on stories of stolen Sto:lo children by Andrew Seal, Chilliwack, B.C.
CTVNews.ca, June 5th, 2017
Concordia University, July 24th, 2017
Concordia-led Lost Stories project set to unveil 4 public art projects across Canada
An article by Christian Durand
CBC News – British Columbia, August 19, 2017
‘A great many’ Stó:lō boys kidnapped during B.C.’s Gold Rush, Canada 150 project unites historian and carver to tell nearly forgotten story of lost boys
Audiofile from Saturday August 19th 2017. Les samedis du monde with Arnaud Delacroix. Radio-Canada.
L’art au service de l’histoire, interview with Ronald Rudin
Hope Standard, Thursday August 17th 2017
Tale of stolen Sto:lo boys a lost story no more- Memorial pole unveiled Saturday in Hope as part of Lost Stories project, article by Jennifer Feinberg,