Brenda Guild Gillespie - Historian of Cultural and Natural History, Saltspring Island Discussing the Contributions of the 18th Century Expeditions
What drew me into these studies, and what remains to me the most important part, what I take with it about the Northwest Coast and its exploration,is that when Captain George Vancouver came here, he was approaching an unknown land and outline of coast and he completed the world map at the time.
In completing the world map, he did for the people of his time what happened with us when we saw the earth from the moon for the first time. Which was that the planet is finite. We had known before the details of this coast were filled in; we had known the Kamchatka and the Japanese coast and the Chinese empire,and the whole of the north Pacific Ocean was terra incognita. But it was on this side of the coast that it was "there be dragons". It was considered "up for grabs", it was considered unoccupied, even though, of course we know, it was occupied. As another presenter said, not only was it occupied, but the native people occupied and used every bit and piece of it. Every stream was owned, every resource. So Captain Vancouver did complete the world map for us, which gave us the blueprint for today's world, and ever after it has been a rush for the spoils.