Klattasine

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Klattasine (also known as Klatsassin or Klatsassan) was the young chief of the Chilcotin (Tsilhqot'in) tribe who became famous during the British Columbia gold rush.

He understood that more and more white people searching for gold meant less animals to feed on for the native tribes. He also understood that building the Bute Inlet route could worsen the whole thing. In the spring of 1864, Klattasine along with another chief Tellot led a small group of Chilcotin warriors against the builders of the road. The fighting spread over several months and was later named the Chilcotin War. 20 white workers were killed.

On August 11, 1864, Klattasine, Tellot and their warriors were captured. Five of them received the death penalty and another six life in prison.

Klattasine died with his son Pierre on the scaffold at Quesnellemouth (Quesnel, B.C.) on October 26, 1864. But who was he, where did he come from, and how did he manage to lead the largest resistance to colonialism in British Columbia history? In the Chilcotin language, Klattasine means “We do not know his name”.

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