Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Similkameen chief, Blackeye

This will be a posting asking for information rather than a posting giving information.
I would like to know a lot more about Blackeye and his son (or son-in-law), and I hope that someone out there has information to give me.
Anderson met the Similkameen chief the fur traders knew as Blackeye when he followed the Tulameen River canyon in a long, curving loop from the top of the Coquihalla plateau to the present town-site of Tulameen, B. C.
Somewhere close to where Tulameen now stands, the exploring party met two Native men well-known to them -- "Blackeye, the Similkameen, and his son-in-law, on their way to visit their deer snares."
Blackeye told Anderson that a good Native trail led across the height of land they had just passed over, ending at the meadow where the rhododendrons grew (Rhododendron Flat, see earlier posting).
Blackeye agreed to show the company men the trail to the top of the mountains later in the summer, when the snow had melted.

The meeting above took place in late summer 1846, but by the time Anderson had set off on his 1847 expeditions, he had made arrangements to meet Blackeye at the west end of Lac de Nicholas (Nicola Lake).
But the Native man had not arrived when Anderson made his journal entry for the day.
However, before Anderson and his party reached the Native village of Squa-zowm, where Boston Bar now stands, both Blackeye's son (or son-in-law) and Tsilaxita, the nephew of Chief Nicolas after whom Nicola Lake was named, joined his party.
Now these two Native men showed Anderson the beginnings of their newly opened road to Lac de Nicholas (Nicola Lake).
This is the trail that eventually became the new brigade trail in 1848, and is now known as the Anderson River trail.

I want to know a little more about Blackeye and his son or son-in-law.
In Anderson's journal, he referred to Blackeye and his son-in-law, but other fur traders only spoke of Blackeye's son.
I suspect that they were one and the same, but I would like to confirm that.
I would also like to know Blackeye's Native name, and that of his son, or son-in-law.
I suspect that Blackeye is the name the fur traders gave him, but it might be a translation of his Native name.
A Sto:lo website suggests that Blackeye might be the Native chief they knew as Yo:a'la, but even they don't know for sure.
Does anyone out there have this information?
Can anyone tell me the names of Blackeye, and his son or son-in-law?

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