Songhees Pictorial

Grant Keddie


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“Songhees Pictorial is fascinating, and a valuable contribution to the study of local history.” – Dave Obee, Victoria Times-Colonist.

“I highly recommend this superb book to both academic audiences and the general public, particularly to those seeking to learn about the capital city beyond the tea-time imperialism of Victoria’s present-day trade with tourists.” – Daniel Marshall, The Canadian Historical Review.

“Keddie’s handsome book adds a new dimension to aboriginal history in Canada by focusing on a previously ignored ‘urban’ aboriginal community and by meticulously using photographs as its central ‘primary’ source.” – John Lutz, BC Studies.

The Royal Museum Shop is operated by the Royal BC Museum Foundation. All proceeds from the sale of merchandise go directly towards supporting the many fine programs and special events at the Royal BC Museum.

2003, paperback, 176 pages

b/w photographs

ISBN 978-0-7726-4964-5

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In the mid 1840s, fifty years after first contact with Europeans, the Songhees people agreed to amalgamate on a reserve across the harbour from the newly built Fort Victoria. Grant Keddie tells the story of the old Songhees Reserve through the eyes of outsiders, expressed in newspaper reports and private journals, and depicted in sketches, paintings and photographs. Songhees Pictorial offers a rich visual history of the old Songhees Reserve, the people who lived there and the city that grew up around them.

This book features almost 200 archival images, many published for the first time, documenting Songhees history since first contact with Europeans. From watercolour paintings to sweeping panoramic photographs, these images show the changing architecture of the reserve and the city that engulfed it, they highlight potlatches and other events on the reserve, and they capture aspects of the everyday lives of residents and visitors. The author compliments the visuals with a variety of quotations from newspapers, government documents and personal letters, and gives context to the whole story with his own lively narrative.


About the Author

With more than 40 years’ experience as archaeology curator at the Royal BC Museum, Grant Keddie combines his extensive knowledge of the archaeology collection with an interest in human history and natural history. A popular speaker to all age groups, he promotes understanding of the value and importance of the history of indigenous cultures. He has carried out archaeological surveys and excavations in many parts of the province, and has lectured and published on a wide range of topics.


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