JULY 23, 1923


In the 19th century, missionaries and Canadian government officials created a puppet government for Squamish bands under the Indian Act in furtherance of eventual assimilation of Indigenous peoples. The government created reserve lands and then created bands for these reserves. By 1911, with the Oliver Act, the Crown could purchase urban Indian lands without the consent of the tribes. The Squamish communities, seeing these sales as unfair, moved to amalgamate. Led by Andy Paull, amalgamation was designed to unify the communities so that they could speak on land sales with one voice. On July 23, 1923, a political amalgamation agreement was signed by 16 chiefs. This became the nation known as the Squamish, and each chief had a seat at the council table. After decades, the hereditary system for the band council changed into an elected council. The Nation of the Squamish holds 16 seats for which elections occur every 4 years. 

  “A People United: How the Squamish People Founded the Squamish Nation,” The Coast Salish History Project, 7/23/2021.  Retrieved 1/6/2022, A People United: How the Squamish People Founded the Squamish Nation — the Coast Salish history project 
Photo: BC Archives, 1906. Photograph of Skwxwu7mesh (Chief George) from the village of Senakw with his daughter in traditional regalia. Public Domain. 

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