This thesis describes the relationship between Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-speaking people of present-day North Vancouver and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the period between 1864 and 1923. It presents the argument that the mission that the Oblates and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh mutually founded in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh settlement of Eslhá7an (in present-day North Vancouver) was the most significant point of cultural contact between Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and non-native people during this period. Reading Sḵwx̱wú7mesh history during this period as primarily a story of responses to colonization, it argues that some of the most important Sḵwx̱wú7mesh political and diplomatic strategies, including external strategies of resistance and accommodation as well as internal strategies of political economy, were linked to trans-cultural experiences centred at Eslhá7an. It concludes by suggesting that the emergence of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nationalism, culminating in the establishment of the modern Squamish Nation, may have been driven by these Eslhá7an-based political strategies.
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Thesis advisor: Kelm, Mary-Ellen
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