Monthly Archives: January 2016

Expedition researchers took early Secwepemc photos

                           Old pit-house near Spences Bridge

The number of photos taken of the Secwepemc people increased at the end of the 19th century due to the efforts of the American Museum of Natural History. Morris Jesup was president of the museum and he financed an extensive expedition to study the cultural, racial and linguistic attributes of Indigenous peoples living in the North Pacific Region. His goal was to gather evidence to support the Bering Strait migration theory, which postulated that the North American continent was populated by the migration of Asian peoples across the strait.
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The quest for historical images










The earliest known photo Secwepemc Chiefs, circa 1866

Sourcing historical photos for my book Everything Shuswap has been every bit as challenging as capturing new images on the rare days when there is good light and air quality. To begin with, very few photos were ever taken of Secwepemc people in the 1800s and in fact it appears that there are only four or five in existence. Of course photography was just in its infancy then, as it was not until the late 1880s that roll film began to replace glass plate negatives.
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