Investing with Katzie First Nation



Region:  Lower Mainland/Southwest

Nation:  Sto:lo

To express a traditional view of territory and relations with neighboring peoples, the Katzie First Nation is fortunate among First Nations for its possession of a written record of its history and its laws from the time of creation. This record is in the form of a verbatim account, related by the great Peter Pierre to anthropologist Diamond Jenness in 1936, when Peter Pierre was 75 years old, which was later published as The faith of a Coast Salish Indian in 1955.

During his childhood, Peter Pierre had been chosen among those of his generation to carry a variety of traditional responsibilities. His training began at the age of three; by the time he was eight years old, he was deemed ready to begin his training in the skills of a medicine-person and in the skills necessary to maintain the oral history of the Katzie people. His education began under the guidance of three elders that his mother had hired for this purpose. By the time he was fourteen years old, Peter Pierre was already a practicing medicine person. Throughout his life, he continued in his vocation, administering to the sick among the Coast Salish tribes, as far away as Cowichan.

Peter’s son Simon acted as an interpreter for his father in his work. In later life, Simon Pierre was a central figure in attempts by BC First Nations to resolve the “Indian Land Question,” traveling to London as an interpreter for a delegation of BC Chiefs. He was also instrumental in assisting tribal leaders throughout the BC Coast in protests against the Federal “potlatch law.” Simon Pierre later took up the work that his father had begun, furthering the work of establishing a written record of Katzie culture, traditions, and customary law; most particularly in his work with anthropologist Wayne Suttles, beginning in 1952, culminating in the memoir, Katzie Ethnographic Notes, which was combined and published with Jenness's The faith of a Coast Salish Indian.

The contributors of Peter Pierre and Simon Pierre have been confirmed and elaborated upon by several elders interviewed during the course of research.


Latitude: 49° 12' 13".212 N
Longitude: 122° 40' 23".098 S

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