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


Squinteye (or Squint Eye, or Inuqa-Jem) was a Clahoose (or Homathco) Indian working as a packer for the road crew. On the morning of April 29, 1864, he was packing with Telloot when they met Klatsassin. Klatssasin proudly reported that he had killed the ferryman, Tim Smith, a report that Squinteye passed on to Frederick Whymper, an artist visiting Bute Inlet. Although Whymper quickly relayed the details of Smith's death to Victoria, the capital city was little concerned until it learned about the attack on the road crew.

Squinteye was one of the aboriginals that helped the three survivors of the attack (Petersen, Mosely, and Buckley) reach the town site at Bute Inlet.

During the Trial of Six Indians, presided over by Matthew Begbie, Squinteye testified against Klatsassin in the murder of Tim Smith. He acknowledged that he was well acquainted with all the men on trial for murder.

Secondary Sources

Hewlett, Edward S. "The Chilcotin Uprising: A Study of Indian-European Relations in Nineteenth Century British Columbia." MA Thesis, UBC, 1972.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History