I am in the UBC-Okanagan Library again working on the Microfilm machine checking out the Boas Collection of American Indian Linguistics, which contains many notes and journals of the Anthropologist James Teit. My last trip was a learning experience, in that I made myself familiar with the operation of this beast of a machine, which I used a few times many years again while in Elementary school. Also familiarizing myself with the scanning and zoom features.
Last week I spent my time visiting many of the Museums that hold collections of Nlaka’pamux material culture specifically baskets. As I began last week I was thinking that looking at these would be just, inspiration for contemporary tattoo designs. As I walked through the many collections of baskets my heart was awakened to the great importance these baskets have for us as Nlaka’pamux. The hours that went into collecting the materials, the knowledge to know when the roots had to be harvested. The knowledge to prepare the materials and the patients to weave them completely floors me every time I think about it.
While engaged in my research at the Nicola Valley Museum and Archive I searched through many drawers filed with photographs of Indigenous peoples, many of them taken by the anthropologist James Teit. I seen many faces and looked at many examples of our material culture in the form of clothing and baskets. As I looked at the faces of the people who have lived in my territory, and material objects which made their lives possible, a sense of pride began to grow.
I’m currently in the UBC-Okanagan library checking out the unpublished notes of James Teit on Microfilm, what a cool experience!
Found some amazing things in Teits unpublished notes once I have a better look I will post what I have found! Super excited.
I have been working through many secondary sources to help me fill in the missing background knowledge I have concerning the history of colonization among my people. As I do this I am amazed at the tales that come from the early explorers such as Simon Fraser, and his journey among the Nlaka’pamux or as he called us the Hacamaugh. The exploration and colonization of what is now British Columbia was solely for the purpose of finding a supply route for the fur trade as controlled by the North West company, which Fraser had become a partner.
I have now begun to look through some of the early accounts of the early missionaries, like the Anglican and Oblates.
I have returned from the NVMA in Merritt BC. I was there hunting for primary source documents which show the traditional tattooing of my ancestors the Nlaka’pamux (Thomspon Indians), I did not succeed in fidning any but became acquainted with hands on research, as an undergraduate student I have been blessed with this amazing opportunity at the university of British Columbia-Okanagan in Kelowna BC. It run a summer undergraduate research award which allows undergrads to get research experience, an amazing thing.
My first visit to the NVMA in Merritt British Columbia is tomorrow I am so excited to finally be able to look through the archive collection of photos and James Teit materials.
I have been constantly updating the website with new pictures for many nations photographs.