We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

Recommendations of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry, 1993

1. Government Agencies

E. The Chilcotin Chiefs of 1864

It appears that even Judge Begbie was concerned about the fairness of the trial of the Chilcotin chiefs at Quesnel Mouth in 1864. There was genuine concern that the chiefs were induced to surrender and give inculpatory statements on a promise of immunity by Magistrate Cox. Many natives still feel that the trial and hangings were more a showpiece to impress the natives than an honest search for the truth. Whatever the correct version, that episode of history has left a wound in the body of Chilcotin society. It is time to heal that wound.

Since that trial and the hangings occurred before British Columbia joined Confederation, it is appropriate that Victoria grant a posthumous pardon to those chiefs, and I so recommend. I also recommend that a senior official of the Ministry of Attorney General consult with the Ts'ilquot'in Tribal Council so as to research and identify those chiefs and locate their burial ground. I further recommend that, pursuant to the express requests of the present, chiefs, the remains of the former chiefs be reburied at a site chosen by the tribal council and a suitable memorial be erected to their memory. The ministry should finance this project....

[Signed, Judge Anthony Sarich]

Source: Anthony Sarich, "Recommendations of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry, 1993" in Report on the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry, Alex Rose (Victoria: Prov. of B.C., 1993), 30-31.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History