Tsilhqot'in Nation Remembers Chief Ahan

On October 26th at 10:00 am, Tsilhqot'in Chiefs, School District, City and Government officials will gather at New Westminster Secondary School (NWSS) to pay tribute to leaders of the Tsilhqot'in War of 1864.  To put the Tsilhqot'in visit to NWSS in context a bit of history is warranted.  In 1864 the Chilcotin War broke out between First Nations and European settlers after the settlers tried to construct a road from the Coast to the Interior of BC during the Fraser River gold rush.  When attempts by the settlers to capture the warriors failed, the five Tsilhqot'in Chiefs were invited to meet with the military/police.  The invitation was a ploy and five of the chiefs were taken to Quesnel, tried and hanged on October 26, 1864, following the deaths of 19 settlers.  The sixth Chief, Ahan, was later arrested and brought to New Westminster and hanged on July 18, 1865.

It has been determined that there is a cemetery underneath the existing High School and while the final resting place of Chief Ahan is not known, his death occurred in New Westminster.  In his memory the New Westminster School District, working with the City, Provincial Government and Tsilhqot'in Nation, will commemorate Chief Ahan and the events of the 1864 war.  When the NWSS site is redeveloped a memorial to the Chief will be incorporated into the new park adjacent to the new school.