Joe Capilano

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Joe Capilano
Joe Capilano.jpg
Tribe Squamish leader
Born c. 1854
Yekw’ts, near Squamish, British Columbia
Died 10 March 1910
North Vancouver[disambiguation needed]
Native name Sa7plek (Sahp-luk)
Known for Meeting with King of Canada Edward VII about land claims; traditional stories
Cause of death Tuberculosis

Joe Capilano (1850–1910), also known as Joe Mathias,[1] was a leader of the Squamish, who called him Sa7plek (Sahp-luk). He fought for the recognition of Native rights and lifestyle.

Capilano spent his youth fishing and hunting. He went to work in the sawmill at Moodyville, a pioneer settlement in what is now the Lower Lonsdale area of the City of North Vancouver.

In 1906 he, along with Cowichan Chief Charley Isipaymilt and Secwepemc Chief Basil David, traveled to Ottawa, then after that London, to meet with King of Canada Edward VII to speak of the need to settle land claims in British Columbia.[2] Joe Capilano died of tuberculosis in 1910.[1]


A number of landmarks on Vancouver's North Shore are named in his honour, among them Capilano Lake, one of the sources of Vancouver's water supply, Capilano River, as well as Capilano Road running parallel up the east side of the river to the Grouse Mountain ski resort from the Capilano Indian Reserve (Xwemelch'stn), adjacent to the Lions Gate Bridge.[citation needed]

"Legends of Vancouver", a collection of Coast Salish, particularly Sḵwxwú7mesh, stories by Pauline Johnson, a local poet of Mohawk origin, was based on Capilano's tales.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mathias Joe (Chief Joe Capilano)". Ruins in Process - Vancouver Art in the Sixties. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  2. ^ "Capilano, Joe (Su-a-pu-luck)". KnowBC - the leading source of BC information. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  3. ^ "SU-Á-PU-LUCK (Joseph Capilano)". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 


  • Barman, Jean. Stanley Park's Secrets. Habour Publishing, 2005. ISBN 978-1-55017-420-5.
  • Mathews, Major J.S. Conversations with Khahtsahlano, 1932-1954. Out-of-Print, 1955. ASIN: B0007K39O2.
  • E. Johnson, Pauline. Legends of Vancouver. (March 28, 2005). ISBN 978-1-4142-4792-2.

External links[edit]