The British Columbia Historical Federation has provided a collective voice for its member societies since 1922.


This issue of the Buzz is archived at

Fall issue of British Columbia History all about land and water

The Fall 2023 issue of British Columbia History, now en route to your mailbox, is guest-edited by Angie Bains, a researcher for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs among other roles. The theme is “This Land.” Contributors include Karen Aird, Keith Akenhead, Chris Bose, Jennifer Iredale, Skye Cunningham, Hugh Watt, Jim Cooperman, and Phil Henderson.

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Front Words with Mark Forsythe

y̓ilmixʷm ki law na Chief Clarence Louie addresses a gathering beside the Okanagan River. (Courtesy of Aaron Hemens, IndigiNews)

In an excerpt from British Columbia History, we mark the 90th anniversary of the City of Vancouver Archives and 200th anniversary of the James McMillan Expedition and look at the return of a sacred salmon site on the Okanagan River, plans for a South Asian Museum, and the future of Navvy Jack House.

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VIDEO: The Chinese Laundry

Since the first arrival of the Chinese in North America’s Gold Mountain, the institution of the Chinese laundry has been closely tied to the Chinese community. Elwin Xie’s presentation to the BCHF conference in Princeton last month draws on material within the public domain as well as from his personal fonds.


VIDEO: A Scene from Princeton’s Mining History


In this presentation to the BCHF conference, Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat tell the story of a coal miners’ strike in Princeton during the Depression. The winter of 1932-33 saw the small town divided.


VIDEO: Stories Left Untold: Syilx and Settler Women’s Writing

The writing and relations between Syilx women and settler women who lived in the Okanagan and Similkameen is the focus of this presentation to the BCHF conference by Janet MacArthur called “Okanagan Women’s Voices: Syilx and Settler Writing and Relations, 1870s-1960s.”


VIDEO: Shawn Lamb’s certificate of recognition

Anna Irwin, recognition committee chair of the BC Historical Federation, speaks with Deane Harold, brother of the late Shawn Lamb. Shawn was recently recognized for preserving history and heritage though her work at the Nelson Museum and Archives.


Nlaka’pamux basket makers and All Hallows School

Well Made Baskets: Nlaka’pamux Basket Makers and All Hallows School, by Jennifer Iredale, which appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of British Columbia History, won the Anne and Phillip Yandle Best Article Award. We have now published the story on our website.

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LECTURE: The Campaign to Expel Japanese Canadians

As part of its Marion Cumming lecture Series, the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation is presenting Jordan Stanger-Ross, a University of Victoria history professor to present “The Campaign to Expel Japanese Canadians.” The lecture is Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Windsor Park Pavilion at 2451 Windsor Road in Oak Bay.

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Divers reach Kootenay Lake’s deepest shipwreck

For just the second time since it sank on Kootenay Lake in 1898, taking nine lives, dive teams have visited the wreck of the SS City of Ainsworth (pictured). The ill-fated ship lies at such a depth that divers can only explore it for 10 minutes at a time. It then takes them over two hours to surface.

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Construction begins on Royal BC Museum collections building

Construction on the Royal BC Museum’s collections and research building in Colwood (picutred above in a rendering) has begun. The 15,200 square-metre (164,000 square foot) mass timber building will house the provinces collections and the BC Archives.

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Coal company records transferred to Fernie archives

Historical documents from Fernie city hall (pictured) relating to the Crowsnest Pass Coal Company will be taken for archival and preservation in the local museum. City hall used to be company’s office and it still has a lot of records in its basement.

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Larry Wong, ‘champion for all things Chinese Canadian’

Larry Wong helped establish the Chinese Canadian Military Museum, and then became its first curator. He was also a past president of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society, a past board member of the Vancouver Historical Society, and wrote the memoir Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood.

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Serge Plotnikoff, BC balladeer

Serge Plotnikoff gained fame as a writer and singer of BC-inspired ballads. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Castlegar resident was commissioned to write songs about specific places including Nelson, Silverton, Grand Forks, Kaslo, Salmo, and Ashcroft. He also wrote an unofficial anthem for BC.

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The BCHF offers a number of advertising opportunities in our e-newsletter, which is distributed to our entire membership monthly. Advertisements are jpeg images sized to 600 px wide for electronic distribution. To submit an ad, contact Greg Nesteroff:

Members enjoy discounted advertising rates. Choose 12 months for the best deal:

1-3 months = $100 each ($100-$300 annually)
4 months = $90 each ($360 annually)
6 months = $80 each ($480 annually)
8 months = $70 each ($560 annually)
12 months = $50 each ($600 annually)

Rates for non-members are as follows:

1-3 months = $150 each ($150-$450 annually)
4 months = $140 each ($560 annually)
6 months = $130 each ($780 annually)
8 months = $120 each ($960 annually)
12 months = $100 each ($1,200 annually)

British Columbia Historical Federation

Box 448, Fort Langley, BC, V1M 247 •

The BCHF Secretariat is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish speaking Peoples. The BCHF is on Facebook. Join the conversation.