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Harper Government Designates Two Celebrated B.C. Aboriginal Leaders as Persons of National Historic Significance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/22/12 -- On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, today recognized Jean-Baptiste Lolo and Andrew Paull for their significant contributions to Canadian history.

"The national significance of Jean-Baptiste Lolo is being recognized for future generations because of his important contribution to the development of the fur trade in the Canadian West in the early 19th century," said Ms. McLeod. "Andrew Paull was instrumental in advancing Aboriginal rights in Canada. Both these individuals are worthy additions to British Columbia's list of nationally significant people."

Jean-Baptiste Lolo (1798-1868) was a Hudson's Bay Company trader and guide from B.C's interior. This region of British Columbia was not a preferred area of work among Hudson's Bay Company's employees and desertions were common. Jean-Baptiste Lolo's contributions were doubly valued as he alsogranted his extensive property to the Kamloops Reserve after his death, which helped support Aboriginal people adapt to farming and other business ventures.

A century later, Andrew Paull (1892-1959) was a Squamish leader who dedicated most of his life to protecting and advancing his people's interest. Through his ground-breaking efforts, he laid the foundation for the successes of subsequent Aboriginal rights organizations by convincing governments to consult with such organizations on matters directly affecting the lives of Aboriginal people.

"The national historic designation of Andrew Paull and Jean-Baptiste Lolo will give future generations of Canadians a better understanding of the varied and complex stories of Canada's first peoples," said Minister Kent.

The new designations will be included in Canada's system of national historic sites, persons and events, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was established in 1919 and is supported by Parks Canada. It advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. On behalf of the people of Canada, Parks Canada manages a nationwide network that makes up a rich tapestry of Canada's historical heritage and offers the public opportunities for real and inspiring discoveries.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

BACKGROUNDER

NATIONAL HISTORIC PERSONS DESIGNATIONS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Jean-Baptiste Lolo (1798-1868)

The journals of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) repeatedly show that the success of the fur trade in British Columbia's interior region hinged upon individuals who knew the backcountry, who spoke the many local languages, and held kinship ties with local First Nations. Widely known in his lifetime and remembered long after, Jean-Baptiste Lolo, whose several nicknames included St. Paul and Chief St. Paul, is a particularly well-documented example of such an intermediary. Lolo described himself as un Canadien, but from an early age was associated with the Secwepemc(1). Some accounts suggest that he also had an Iroquois bloodline. David Thompson of the North West Company (NWC) recorded a young hunter named Lolo in 1810-11, and he is in the earliest HBC records when it took over the NWC in 1821.

Lolo worked mainly at Thompson River post (later Fort Kamloops). In 1832, Samuel Black, Chief Factor of Columbia District, admitted that the HBC would be "lame without him." The interior region was not a preferred area of work among HBC employees and desertions were common. Lolo's dedication was therefore doubly valued. As a trade post intermediary he was responsible for trading activities and post matters. He guided the large packhorse brigades through the mountains, and arranged with local band groups to supply district posts with food. He also mediated on behalf of post business, resolving several potentially dangerous conflicts.

Two of Lolo's actions spoke directly to the long-term needs of the people of the Thompson River region and contributed to new beginnings. In 1862, a few years before his death, Lolo used his influence and contacts to ensure that his extensive property would not revert to the HBC upon his death but would be granted to the Secwepemc as part of the Kamloops Reserve. Lolo also attempted several business ventures and farming at a time of transition for local people, when traditional lifeways were challenged by land and resource depletion, and when few Aboriginal people could be self-sufficient outside the shadow of the HBC. Through his efforts, Lolo offered employment and provided an example of new ways of making a living.

Respected by Europeans and First Nations alike, Lolo achieved a remarkable measure of fame and recognition as illustrated by geographical features in the Kamloops area named after him, including Mount St. Paul, Mount Lolo, Lolo Lake, Lolo Creek, Paul Lake, and Paul Creek.

Andrew Paull (1892-1959)

A pioneer in the movement for the recognition of Aboriginal rights in Canada, this Squamish leader from British Columbia devoted most of his life to protecting and advancing his people's interests. Beginning as a community worker on his local Squamish reserve, Paull became a highly influential political activist and organizer at the provincial and national levels. His work for a Vancouver law firm between 1907 and 1911 provided him with valuable knowledge about the legal precedents for First Nations land claims, and later enabled him to discuss complex legal documents in government forums comfortably. Foremost among his interests was the resolution of issues relating to unextinguished Aboriginal title and reserve size allotments in British Columbia, problems that stemmed from the near absence of treaties in this province.

Overcoming great geographic and cultural differences, Paull brought together diverse Aboriginal groups from across Canada to collectively assert their interests and defend their rights at the national level. He was a critical force in articulating Aboriginal rights issues at the federal parliamentary special committee hearing on the land question in 1926, 1946 and 1947, sending the federal government a clear message regarding Aboriginal concerns about their rights.

In 1944, Paull founded the North American Indian Brotherhood, Canada's first successful nationally-based Aboriginal rights organization, in which he played a central role. In 1951, after decades of advocacy, he took part in the discussions that led to the first major changes to the Indian Act. Among these was revocation of certain arbitrary powers from the Minister of Indian Affairs, giving band councils more autonomy. Similarly, the legal ban on the collection of funds by Aboriginal peoples to defend their interests was repealed.

Andrew Paull's ground-breaking efforts laid the foundation for the successes of subsequent Aboriginal rights organizations by convincing governments to consult with such organizations on matters directly affecting the lives of Aboriginal people.

(1) Lillooet, Shuswap (Secwepemc), Thompson (Nlaka'pamux) and Okanagan are the four First Nations groups in the interior of B.C. (although the Okanagan traditional territory extends into Washington State). They speak languages belonging to the Interior Salish division of the Salishian language family. See also http://www.firstnations.de/development.htm?06-3-secwepemc.htm, viewed August 2008.

Contacts:
Adam Sweet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment
819-997-1441

Media Relations
Parks Canada
819-953-8371
www.twitter.com/parkscanada

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