The Salish Sea in 1792

Please join us Saturday, June 25th at 7:30 pm at Woodmen Hall for a special guest lecture by historian Dr. John Lutz of the University of Victoria. Suggested donation $10.

The Salish Sea was a busy place in 1792, according to Dr. Lutz. Two Spanish galleons, under the command of Dionisio Galiano, as well as British ships under Captains George Vancouver and William Broughton, sailed through and around what are now known as the Gulf and San Juan Islands. They had extensive interactions with the indigenous Coast Salish people.

Dr. Lutz said that many of the crew members on the Spanish and English expeditions kept written journals of their voyages. “Although colored by a European bias,” Dr. Lutz said, “the journals give us many descriptions and clues” about the native settlements and ways of life. Combined with ethnographic research and oral histories, the accounts reveal “a complex, dynamic world, reeling from the effects of smallpox, but eager to engage the men the Coast Salish called ‘the hungry people.’

Professor Lutz’s research focuses on Indigenous-settler relations and the history of racism in the Pacific Northwest. He co-founded a community-based ethnohistory field school with the Sto:lo Nation in British Columbia which has been running for 25 years. He is the author of Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations and co-editor of the recently published, To Share Not Surrender: Indigenous and Settler Visions of Treaty Making in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

Dr. Lutz currently works with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations on their litigation to enforce their treaty rights. An avid kayaker, he hopes to do some exploring of his own while visiting Lopez.

The LIHS 2022 Speakers’ Series is made possible by a grant from the Lopez Thrift Shop, San Juan County Lodging Tax funds, and the museum’s many sponsors. Thank you!