NPTGS’ goal is to get a meeting with Transportation Minister Todd Stone to make this project a top priority and play a leadership role in assembling the financial and professional resources necessary to preserve this priceless heritage structure is online now. Will we succeed? Watch the NPTGS website and Facebook page to find out!
In August, NPTGS staged a great event at Klahowya Village to raise awareness of the Alexandra Bridge Project’s “Save the Bridge” petition drive. We gathered more signatures, engaged with people from all over Canada (and the world) and unveiled the QR code developed for the project by Riley Forman of travelthecanyon.com. Our thanks to Klahowya Village/Aboriginal Tourism BC for hosting the event!
It’s getting a little long in the season for a “What I did on my summer vacation” post, but that’s just because NPTGS was so busy this summer! Here’s a snapshot of some of the things that lit up the New Pathway to Gold in the past few months. Events like the Spuzzum First Nation First Salmon Feast. The SFN invited the public to their traditional feast for the first time ever to help launch a campaign to restore the Alexandra Bridge. Held in the provincial park’s picnic area in July, it was a smashing success, with over 350 people in attendance.
As Columbo used to say, “Just one more t’ing…”this just in from filmmaker extraordinaire Alejandro Yoshizawa, who documented the Cedar-Bamboo Fraser River Rafting Expedition:
“I figured everyone (including myself) would be eager to see some of the footage, so I put together a VERY QUICK clip just to get a sense of the trip. Feel free to show the other participants as well. It can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/73050762
I also include a short film clip of rafters enjoying the rapids on the first day. Mylo, age 8, still looks stunned by the experience, but by the third day he was at the front of the raft eager to be soaked by the waves! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b0E-zjjCLY
Sincerely; Prof. Henry Yu, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, UBC
For Chinese Canadian elders Larry Chow, author of Dim Sum Stories, and Lily Chow, author of Sojourners in the North and other important books about Chinese Canadian history in B.C., the river raft trip might have seemed too much a challenge for those in their senior years, especially for 82-year old Lily Chow. But it was “worth it to see these important historical sites.” In fact, they worried about the need to create some kind of preservation policy to make sure that future generations will be able to see and study these invaluable sites. Without protection, this important history will be lost and younger generations like those who went along on this trip will not be able to have the same learning experience.”
The expedition also involved students and researchers from UBC who made a film focusing on the experiences of the Chinese Canadians on the trip as they explored the rich history of the Fraser River, including the importance of relationships between Chinese and the First Nations who lived there. UBC graduate student Sarah Ling, CCHSBC’s student representative, whose research on Chinese Canadian farms on Musqueam reserve at the mouth of the Fraser River, brought a unique perspective on the trip, noting how Chinese migrants 150 years ago were respectful of the customs and land of First Nations where they mined and worked. They would dig for gold while being careful to leave “sacred sites untouched” and built good relations, in contrast to the way that many of the other miners treated indigenous peoples. Sarah was the recent recipient at UBC of the Chinese Railroad Workers Commemorative Scholarship, and so being able to see firsthand on the banks of the Fraser the railroad that the Chinese built was a fitting way to honour the workers for which the scholarship was endowed (they captured many images of First Nations use of the river, including these drying racks and shelters along the banks).