Rename Howse Pass to Reflect It's Importance to Indigenous Peoples

Rename Howse Pass to Reflect It's Importance to Indigenous Peoples

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Bert Ter Hart started this petition

Howse Pass links the Columbia River valley in the interior of British Columbia to the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This pass is one of only a handful to cross the continental divide and as such served as a primary route for trade and travel for generation upon generation of Indigenous Peoples for millennia. 

The first European over the pass was the Northwest Company's fur-trading explorer and surveyor David Thompson in 1807. The pass is named after the Hudson's Bay Company fur-trader Joseph Howse who transited the pass in 1809 as part of a reconaissance of the Columbia River Valley. Howse Peak, visible from the pass, and Howse River, which flows westward from the pass into the North Saskatchewan headwaters, are also named after Joseph Howse.

Both Thompson's and Howse's forays over this route are short-lived compared to the thousand year of the pass by Indigenous People. As one of the only routes available to First Nations living on the western slopes of the Rockies that enabled access to traditional buffalo hunting grounds, this pass played a major social, cultural, and spiritual role for generations. 

We are asking for your help to petition the BC Geographical Names Office to propose a name change for Howse Pass that properly reflects it's First Nation's Heritage. 

 

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