Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/872

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BRITISH


792


BRITISH


climate, and roses are grown in the open throughout the winter in Vancouver and Victoria. Beyond the Cascades is the dry belt, where irrigation becomes a necessity, while north of the .52d parallel the winters become more and more severe in proportion to the latitude and the altitude.

PopuL.\TioN. — The latest official census (1901) gave the population of the province as 178,657, of whom 33,081 were Catholic. The entire population cannot now be less than 260.000 with perhaps 48,000 Catholics. The capital is Victoria, in the southern extremity of Vancouver Island; population in 1901, 20,816, estimated now at 30,000 including 6,000 Orientals. The commercial metropolis is Vancouver, at the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway on Burrard Inlet. Founded, practically, in 1886, it had already 26.103 inhabitants in 1901. At the present time it claims a population of 71,150, some 4,500 of whom are Chinese and 1.800 Japanese. Next in importance are, on the mainland, New Westminster (about 10,000 inhabitants). Nelson (8,000), Ross- land (7,150), and, on Vancouver Island, Nanairao, a famous coal centre (6,230).

The figures for the total population of the province include 25,593 Indians divided into six very distinct stocks: (1) the Kootenays in the south-eastern corner; (2) the Salish, who are the aborigines of the southern portion of the mainland and the south-eastern coast of Vancouver Island; (3) the Kwakwiutl or Waka- shans immediately north of the latter on the coast of the mainland and the northern and western parts of Vancouver Island; (4) the Haidas on Queen Char- lotte Lslands; (5) the Tsimpsians along the lower course of the Skeena and on the littoral of the main- land as far north as Alaska, and (6) the D^n^s who range o^■er the entire extent of the northern half of the province east of the Kwakwiutl and the Tsimpsi- ans. The Kootenays number but 587, all Catholics, as well as the 2,500 D^nes of the north, but the Salish are fully 12,000, of whom about one-tenth are Prot- estants, the remainder Catholics. The Tsimpsians are partly heathen and partly Protestants, while the Wakashans and the Haidas, the former especially, have mostly retained their aboriginal faith in shaman- istic practices, to the exclusion of any of the sects.

Secul.^r History. — Navigators of various nation- alities were the first representatives of our civilization to come in contact with these aborigines. In 1774 it was the Spanish Juan Perez; in 1778 the Engli.sh Captain Cook; the French Laperouse came in 1785; Captain Meares in 1787; Marchand, a Frenchman, in 1791; the American Gray in 1789, and the famous George Vancouver in 1792. But no settlement re- sulted from the \'isits of these mariners, who con- fined their operations to geographical work and fur trading with the natives. In 1793 Alexander Macken- zie crossed the Rocky Mountains from the east and reached the Pacific overland. The first white settle- ments were established in the northern interior by members of the Northwest Fur Trading Company: Fort McLeod in 1805; Forts St. James and Fraser in 1806, and Fort George, at the confluence of the Nechaco with the Great River the following year. The latter stream was explored to its mouth in 1808 by Simon Fraser, and is now known under his name, shortly afterwards, other posts were founded and a brisk trade carried on in the northern interior, which was long called New Caledonia, and com- prised at one time the basin of the Thompson, dis- covered in 1808 by the astronomer-geographer David Thompson.

The headqviarters for the Pacific of the corporation (the Hudson's Bay Company since its absorption of the Northwest Company in 1821) which operated throughout the land were at Fort Vancouver, on the lower Columbia. When it became evident that this would be found to be in American territory, the


authorities established (1843) another general d^pot at the southern end of Vancouver Island, which was at first called Fort Camosun, and then Victoria. Later on, the rich deposits of gold on the Fraser, and throughout the district of Cariboo, brought in large numbers of miners to the new post, round which a city of tents and shacks grew (1858) as if by magic. James Douglas (afterwards Sir), a prominent fur trader, was named governor of Vancouver Island as early as 1851. The gold mines and consequent influx of immigrants made it a necessity to erect the main- land into another colony, with him at its head (1858). A year later a capital for the new territory was chosen at a point on the mainland facing the apex of the Fraser delta, resulting in the founding of what is now New Westminster. Finally, after various vicissitudes, chief among which was the Chilcotin massacre of 1864, the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, already united in 1866 under one government at Victoria, were admitted into the Canadian Confederation on the 20th of July, 1871. Under the new regime, the province is governed by a lieutenant governor appointed and paid ($9,000 per annum) by Ottawa, with the help of responsible ministers and a Legislative Assembly composed of thirty-four members elected by the people.

Religious History. — From a religious stand- point, the visits of the early navigators made little impression on the native mind. Some missionaries have ^^Tongly supposed that the mantles worn on ceremonial occasions by the coast Indians originated in the copes of the priests that accompanied the Spanish and other ships. These are aboriginal with the natives. However, it is on record that, imme- diately prior to the advent of the white settlers, the old people among the Kwakwiutl tribe had a clear recol- lection of strangers "clad in black and having a crown of hair round the head, who had come to see the Indians" (Rapp, Sur les Missions de Quebec, March, 1855, p. 113). The very first resident of what is now British Columbia (Lamalice, at Fort McLeod) was a Catholic, and so were the great explorer Simon Fraser, J. M. Quesnel, one of his two lieutenants, and all his French Canadian companions. These and the numerous servants of the trading posts, who were also Canadians, gave the aborigines their first ideas of Christianity. Later on. Father de Smet, S.J., visited the Kootenays, and in 1843 Father J. B. Z. Bolduc accompanied Douglas to Vancouver Island, where he ministered to crowds of wondering Indians. In 1842 Father M. Demers had made an extended trip through the inland tribes, visiting in turn the Okanagans, the Shushwaps (both of the Salish stock) and the Carriers, a Den6 tribe in the north. Four years later, a Jesuit priest. Father Nobili, walked in his footsteps and even went as far as Fort Babine, on the lake of the same name, instead of retracing his steps at Fort St. James, as his predecessors had done. The year thereafter (1847), Father Demers became the first bishop of the newly founded see of Van-, couver Island, now the Archbishopric of Victoria. One of his first cares was to call for the help of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate already working in Oregon, one of whom. Father L. J. D'Herbomez, was consecrated Bishop of Miletopolis (9 October, 1864) and appointed to the Vicariate Apostolic of British Columbia, which on 2 September, 1890, be- came the Diocese of New Westminster, on the main- land.

C.A.THOLIC Status. — ^The chief Catholic institutions of Victoria are a hospital at the capital, together with an academy for girls, a college for boys, and a kinder- garten, all, except the college, in charge of the Sisters of St. Ann. A protectory which was started at the same place is now at Quamichan; Nanaimo possesses, in addition to the Catholic school, an orphanage which originated in Victoria. There are schools for