ABED The Kidnapping of Stó:lō Boys: The Historic and Ongoing Vulnerability of Indigenous Youth

In this keynote presentation Prof. Keith Thor Carlson shares the results of recent research to situate the contemporary vulnerability of Indigenous youth within a new and deeper historical context.  Before the tragic ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, before the 60s Scoop, before the lynching of Louie Sam by an American mob, and even before residential schools, Indigenous youth were already vulnerable victims of colonialism.  Many people know that the 1858 Fraser River miners displaced and marginalized Coast and Interior Salish people from their lands and resources. A few people know that miners shot and killed Salish men and women and that many women were raped and violated. But its only now coming to light that in fact “a great number” young Stó:lō boys were kidnapped and taken to California by returning miners. There they became slave labourers on California ranches and farms. And even before the gold rush Salish boys and girls were being held as slaves and exploited by the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Langley and other posts.  This presentation sheds new light on British Columbia’s history and provides teachers with access to new instructional resources that can be immediately incorporated into the classroom. 

Target Audience

All Grades K-12


12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Secure your spot now.

 Add To My Workshops


  • Keith Carlson

    Keith Thor Carlson is a professor of History at theUniversity of the Fraser Valley, as well as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous and Community-Engaged History. Prior to taking up his position there, Keith worked as a professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan and, before that, as historical research coordinator for the Sto:lo Tribal Council in the Fraser Valley for a decade.  His research remains anchored in the Coast Salish world where he continues to work closely with Indigenous knowledge keepers.  In 2001 he was made an honorary member of the Sto:lo Nation. His research seeks to try and understand history from the perspective of Indigenous people, and aspires to help build cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation. He has authored, co-authored, or edited nine books and numerous articles. Among his publications are the award winning Sto:lo-Coast Salish Historical Atlas (2001), The Power of Place the Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism (2010), and Towards a Nee Ethnohistory: Community-Engaged Scholarship Among the People of the River (2018).