chapter  13
14 Pages

Drawing Conclusions: Fort Rupert, British Columbia in 1863

ByJohn Bass

Colonial settlement in British Columbia was built on its share of broken promises and the province of today bears a legacy of contested space. On BC’s Vancouver Island, where the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) settled on land long used by the region’s First Nations’ peoples for their own settlements, property rights treaties between the HBC and fourteen Vancouver Island First Nations were signed to defuse turf tensions. However, the colonial, and later, provincial obligations to their First Nations co-signatories were ignored or deferred. Settlers continued to settle and, in the eyes of those judging land claims through the lens of British property law, their settlements made scores of subsequent Native land claims moot.