A sense of injustice lasting 130 years

By Les Leyne - Times Colonist

George Abbott made his legislature debut as minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation this week, and one of the first orders of business is a request for an apology.

There's lots to be sorry about in his new job, given how the last two centuries of history have left the original inhabitants of B.C.

And there's one specific incident that has slowly become an issue.

Some native people on the west coast of Vancouver Island want the present-day government to atone in some fashion for what now appears to have been an atrocity 130 years ago.

The story, very briefly, is that after a shipwreck, word made its way to Victoria that survivors had been massacred by the Indians.

A gunboat was sent up the coast to investigate.

It shelled a native village and nabbed two suspects, Katkinna and John Anietsachist.

They were tried and found guilty in Victoria, then taken back home, baptized en route, and hanged.

Victoria George Abbott Vancouver Island Indians Katkinna John Anietsachist