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Squamish, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1964, population 19,512 (2016 census) 17,158 (2011 census). The district of Squamish is located 70 km north of Vancouver at the head of Howe Sound. The municipality is governed by a mayor and six councillors. It is the service centre for a richly endowed recreational area, with road, rail and water access to Vancouver.
Chilliwack, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1999, population 83,788 (2016 census), 77,936 (2011 census). The city of Chilliwack is located 100 km east of Vancouver on the south shore of the Fraser River. It is governed by a mayor and six councillors elected for four-year terms. The name is derived from the word Ts’elxwéyeqw. According to elder Albert Louie, in Halq’eméylem, the traditional language of the Stó:lo, the word means “going as far as you can go upriver” by canoe on the Chilliwack River.
Prince Rupert, BC, incorporated as a city in 1910, population 12,220 (2016 census), 12,508 (2011 census). The City of Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island, at the mouth of the Skeena River in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. It is Canada's wettest city, with an average of 2,619 mm of precipitation falling each year. Prince Rupert marks western end of the Yellowhead Trans-Canada Highway and, as Canada's deepest ice-free seaport, a link between the lower United States, Vancouver and Alaska. For these reasons it is the industrial, commercial and institutional centre for BC's Northwest Coast.
British Columbia is Canada's most westerly province, and is a mountainous area whose population is mainly clustered in its southwestern corner. BC is Canada’s third-largest province after Québec and Ontario, making up 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface. British Columbia is a land of diversity and contrast within small areas. Coastal landscapes, characterized by high, snow-covered mountains rising above narrow fjords and inlets, contrast with the broad forested upland of the central interior and the plains of the northeast. The intense "Britishness" of earlier times is referred to in the province's name, which originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858.
Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1886, population 631,486 (2016c), 603,502 (2011c). Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and the third largest census metropolitan area in Canada. The City of Vancouver lies on a peninsula in the southwest corner of the province's mainland. Two surrounding waterways — Burrard Inlet and the Strait of Georgia — provide a sheltered deep-sea port and convenient access to the Pacific Ocean, while the Fraser River offers an easy route to the rich agricultural lands of the Fraser River Lowland and the interior. Railways and highways give easy access to the interior.
British Columbia and Confederation
British Columbia joined Confederation on 20 July 1871, becoming Canada’s sixth province in the wake of a the Fraser River Gold Rush and on the promise of a transcontinental railway link.
Kennedy Stewart, politician, academic, mayor of Vancouver (2018–present) (born 8 November 1966 in Halifax, Nova Scotia). Stewart served as a Member of Parliament for Burnaby–Douglas and Burnaby South and was a member of the NDP caucus. He is an associate professor on leave at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy. Stewart is currently the 40th mayor of Vancouver.
Cowboys and Cowgirls in Canada
Cowboys and cowgirls are people employed to tend cattle or horses. The first cowboys to work on the Canadian prairies arrived in the 1870s. The traditional cowboy lifestyle has since given way to a more contained, corporate model of ranching. But the romanticized image of the cowboy on the “open range” lives on as a symbol of the prairies. Today, the terms cowboy and cowgirl can refer to ranch workers or rodeo competitors.
Kitimat, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1953, population 8,131 (2016 census), 8,335 (2011 census). The district of Kitimat is located at the head of the Douglas Channel, 206 km east of Prince Rupert by road. Its name comes from the Tsimshian term for the Haisla inhabitants of the area, Kitamaat (“people of the snow”). The modern community was founded in the early 1950s.
Haida are Indigenous people who have traditionally occupied the coastal bays and inlets of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. In the 2016 census, 501 people claimed Haida ancestry, while 445 people identified as speakers of the Haida language.
Fort Nelson, BC, population centre, population 3,366 (2016 census), 3,561 (2011 census). Fort Nelson is the service centre for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM). The NRRM is made up of a number of communities, of which Fort Nelson is the largest. Fort Nelson is located in the northeast corner of British Columbia, near the confluence of three rivers: Muskwa, Prophet and Sikanni Chief. Together these rivers combine to become the Fort Nelson River. The community is 387 km north of Fort St. John. It was named after British Admiral Horatio Nelson, famous for the Battle of Trafalgar. Incorporated as a town in 1987, Fort Nelson became a part of the NRRM in 2009.
Politics in British Columbia
The province of British Columbia has a minority New Democratic Party government, formed on 29 June 2017. The premier of the province is John Horgan and the lieutenant-governor is Janet Austin. Its first premier, John Foster McCreight, was elected in 1871, after the province joined Confederation. Prior to Confederation, BC was a British colony, administered by a governor and a legislative assembly.
100 Mile House
100 Mile House, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1991, population 1,980 (2016 census), 1,886 (2011 census). The district of 100 Mile House is located in the South Cariboo region of south-central British Columbia on Highway 97. It is 456 km northeast of Vancouver.
The Tsetsaut (also known as the Wetaɬ) were a Dene people who lived inland from the Tlingit (Łingít) along the western coast of British Columbia and Southeastern Alaska. Apart from Nisga’a oral tradition and the linguistic research of anthropologist Franz Boas, who lived among the Tsetsaut in the 1890s, little is known about them. The Tsetsaut were decimated by war and disease in the 1800s, their numbers reduced to just 12 by the end of the century. It was once believed that the last of the Tsetsaut people died in 1927 and that their ancient language was no longer spoken. However, as of 2019, there are approximately 30 people from the Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha Nation identifying as Tsetsaut in British Columbia.
Fraser River Gold Rush
In 1858, around 30,000 gold seekers flooded the banks of the Fraser River from Hope to just north of Lillooet in British Columbia’s first significant gold rush. Although it dissipated by the mid-1860s, the Fraser River Gold Rush had a significant impact on the area’s Indigenous peoples and resulted in the Fraser Canyon War. Fears that the massive influx of American miners would lead the United States to annex the non-sovereign British territory known as New Caledonia also resulted in the founding of British Columbia as a colony on 2 August 1858 (see The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia). By the mid-1860s, the Fraser Rush collapsed, and British Columbia sank into a recession.
Gold rushes occurred in the mid- to late-19th century, primarily along North America’s West Coast from California to Alaska. In Canada, key events included the Fraser River, Cariboo and Klondike gold rushes, as well as the Fraser Canyon War and the founding of British Columbia as a colony in 1858. The worldwide production of gold tripled between 1848 and 1898, though this had relatively little impact on the Canadian economy. The gold rushes opened large territories to permanent resource exploitation and settlement by White people. They also resulted in the displacement and marginalization of many of the Indigenous communities in the region (see also Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples; Central Coast Salish).
The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia
The year 1858 is the single most important year in British Columbia’s history. It was on 2 August of that year that an imperial act established the mainland colony of BC under the authority of Governor James Douglas. Beginning that spring, the Fraser River Gold Rush unleashed a chain of events that culminated a dozen years later in British Columbia joining the new Canadian Confederation (see British Columbia and Confederation). Without 1858, it is very possible there would have been no British Columbia, but rather an American state. Without 1858, Canada today might not extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Statute of Westminster
The Statute of Westminster, of 11 December 1931, was a British law clarifying the powers of Canada's Parliament and those of the other Commonwealth Dominions. It granted these former colonies full legal freedom except in those areas where they chose to remain subordinate to Britain.
The Commonwealth is a loose, voluntary association of Britain and most of its former colonies.