Joanne Hammond Profile picture
Feb 8, 2018 15 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Let's talk BRIDGES. Precolonial Indigenous engineers devised some pretty neat ways to span the canyons, chasms, and gullies of BC. Come along for a mo... #archaeology (all pics @BCarchives) 1/
Without milled lumber, cement or steel, before giant drills and pile drivers, Indigenous people engineered spans as long as 150 feet across, hanging 50 feet above the swift and turbulent rivers below. (sketch probably H.K. Woods, 1898) 2/
This bridge over the Cranberry (Salmon) River was made by bending and tying poles with cedar withes (thin, flexible branches), looking a lot like in-stream fish traps built with the same materials. (1905 photo) 3/
Some bridge construction will look more familiar, with short cross-wise timbers. This one, on the Suskwa River near Hazelton, was reinforced with telegraph wire in late 1800s, at the request of white men wanting to take pack animals across. 4/
Most bridges were built using the same ideas behind massive modern suspension bridges, with cantilevered spans balanced by rock & log ballast, fastened with withes & wood pegs. This bridge over the Babine River at Kisgagax was still in place in 1962. 5/
Probably the most famous span is the Hagwilget Bridge, which crossed the Bulkley River near Hazelton. Here's how it looked in 1872. 6/
The Hagwilget bridge was continually changing through time, as timbers were replaced. By the 1890s (L), a deck had been added. By 1910 (R), it had been reinforced with telegraph wire. 7/
The Hagwilget bridge both impressed and terrified the white men who used it. In 1919 Charles Morison wrote: “it was really a wonderful piece of work! but shaky and calculated to try the nerves of anyone crossing it for the first time”. Prob kept unwanted traffic down, tho. 7/
By the 1920s settlers tried to replace the Hagwilget Bridge with the new one in the distance (but it swayed so much it wasn't that popular either!) 8/
This pic of Hagwilget bridge is undated, but probably sometime after the 1920s. Most of the wood superstructure is replaced by wire, making it look even more frail. 9/
This smaller one across Beady Creek in Tahltan territory is a fav. You can see the tension in the poles when they were new (in 1900), and get why they'd have to be replaced. Often. 10/
One more: the bridge at Moricetown, 1905, was sturdy enough for livestock to cross (one of the major motivations behind using plank decking) 11/
There were likely hundreds of these ingenuous bridges around BC, constructed and maintained in strategic locations over the millennia. Little more than a few splinters and rotted logs remain, so these photos and sketches are an invaluable record. #archaeology #BCheritage 12/12
*ingenius, faaaaahhk twitter get me an edit button
If you want to know more see Brenda Guernsey's detailed account via @RoyalBCMuseum (, or just search @bcarchives' super easy online catalogue of pictures & documents. #beneathBC #bridges

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More from @KamloopsArchaeo

Sep 11, 2018
This is the Bonaparte Plateau, BC. It’s been stripped bare by logging. The scale of these clearcuts makes size comparisons to football fields seem ridiculous. It’s effing heartbreaking to be here. 1/
Don’t know where Bonaparte Plateau is? Few do. It’s in southern Secwepemculewc. Valued hunting, fishing & medicine grounds for millennia.

You don’t see it from highways, & need a truck to get there. That seclusion has allowed forestry to destroy it, almost unchallenged. 2/
Logging here has been ceaseless since the 1990s. Bits left as reserves after the first, second, third, fourth round of harvests eventually get razed too. Nothing is spared. Gif from Google Earth Engine, 1986-2016. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Aug 19, 2018

The intensity of BC wildfires is directly related to industry-led mismanagement of forests that has been undermining the land’s resiliency for a century.

Don’t blame it all on climate change. Yet. 1/
For >100 years this land base has been operated by and for forest capitalists. A century of clearcuts, monoculture plantations and fire suppression brought us here.

Responsibility for forest management is a GIANT elephant in the BC wildfire room. 2/
Millions of continuous hectares of stunted, debris-choked and dead standing forests are burning, and we blame "Mother Nature", or climate change. Hold up.

Here's the Bonaparte Plateau, which burned last year, being "managed" from 1984-2016. Those are clearcuts. 3/
Read 9 tweets
Jul 20, 2018
“We didn’t get out of the Stone Age because we ran out of stones, we got smarter” - Enviro Minister @cathmckenna

<best ‘Well Actually, Minister’ voice>

The stone age was a wildly, ingeniously stable and successful human adaptation. 1/
The stone age (really the stone-wood-bone-antler-skin-bark-shell-etc age) persisted for 👉3+ million years👈

Since before we were really human.

Sustainable af, and not in buzzword sense. 13/10 on sustainability scale.

Should be of interest aspiring enviro leaders, Minister? 2/
Stone age technologies were steady for thousands, hundreds of thousands of years. Cos *they worked*. For most everyone. Without destroying the world.

The most persistent, successful ways we’ve ever had.

Claiming we smarted our way out is SOME hubris. (@RoyalBCMuseum diarama) 3/
Read 6 tweets
Jul 3, 2018
So the racist pieces of shit who did this are our Kamloops neighbours. Now what? #TRC #TruthBeforeReconciliation 1/
I heard @tult7 on CBC condemning this as “small minded hate crime”, saying he hopes this racism isn’t representative of Kamloops.

I don’t know if I can be as generous as Kukpi7 Ignace. The racism is real and everyday and ingrained. In Kamloops, and the rest of Canada too. 2/
I talk to community & business groups, educators & bureaucrats abt Indigenous history/rights/ all the time. It’s an *understatement* to say people are ignorant of Indigenous issues.

It’s better characterized as flat out denial. A preference for ignorance. And it fuels racism. 3/
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Jun 3, 2018
160 years of rampant land speculation and untethered state-led profiteering has finally paid off!

COME BACK WITH ME to 1858, when the BC real estate crisis began... #BCHist #vanre #bcpoli 1/
Meet Edward Bulwer-Lytton, colonial secretary, and James Douglas, the first governor of colonial BC.

BC as a colony was about 5 minutes old when these two kicked off the Great Land Grab of 1858 That Never Really Stopped. 2/
In 1858 BC was broke af. Douglas’ rash proclamation of sovereignty over all the gold turned out to be unlawful even by colonial standards (oops) and forced the creation of the colony before any cash flow existed. 3/
Read 13 tweets
May 26, 2018
I have an idea instead of renaming Emily Carr’s ‘Indian Church’.

👉Teach the role of these little churches in Canada’s civilization project. In clearing the land. In cultural genocide.👈 #TruthBeforeReconciliation (AGO pics) 1/
The decision to Remove-the-Indian-From-The-Painting is a decolonizing opportunity lost.

Better to learn WTF an Indian Church is & *why* they’re everywhere (📷VancouverArchives) 2/
Sure, Carr called the painting Indian Church, and that may grate since we’ve now matured into FirstNationsIndigenous vocab... but it actually WAS that.

It’s a thing: a ~Church~ built by missionaries for ~Indians~. 3/
Read 16 tweets

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