The University of the Fraser Valley Peace and Reconciliation Centre

The University of the Fraser Valley Peace and Reconciliation Centre

UFV virtual talk looks at 18th-century kidnapping of Coast Salish children

Professor discusses period when Spanish officials took Indigenous kids from their homes

A free virtual talk titled The Kidnapping of Sto:lo Children takes place Wednesday, June 9.

The event is hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley Student Union Society and runs Wednesday, June 9 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. via Zoom. It features speaker Keith Carlson, a University of the Fraser Valley professor and director of the UFV Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Abbotsford.

Keith Carlson

Carlson discusses the exploitation of Indigenous children and their labour in the era immediately prior to formal settler colonialism. He will also discuss some of the remarkable stories of family love and resilience.

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Carlson says although we have come to know about the tragic stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the ’60s scoop and residential schools, most people are unaware of the even earlier history of the kidnapping of Coast Salish Indigenous children.

Carlson will discuss the deeper history of child vulnerability by going back to the late 18th century – an era when Spanish officials and enemy coastal raiders alike took dozens of Coast Salish children away from their homes.

This was followed by the fur trade era, when the Hudson’s Bay Company exploited Coast Salish child slave labour, and then in 1858, when Hope became the centre of an international kidnapping crisis where American miners stole dozens of Sto:lo boys and took them to California.

The talk is being held in conjunction with National Indigenous History Month. Register for the event on

RELATED: ‘Convenient ignorance:’ Canadians’ knowledge of residential schools woefully lacking

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