RE: Pemberton Pool namesake unknown (Sooke History, May 29)
I wonder if the T’Sou-ke Nation have their own name for Pemberton Pool?
A colonial, in this case, Joseph Pemberton, is surmised to be the namesake of this lovely spot on the Sooke River. Wouldn’t the original inhabitants have bestowed a name to such a fine area?
Again, people who came and took the land, and in Pemberton’s case, assisted in the sale of lands that had been inhabited by First Nations, are given silk glove treatment.
Pemberton went on to own the Gonzales estate, a large swath of farmland near Victoria and became a member of the Hudson Bay Company’s landowning elite, known as the “family-company compact.”
Pemberton also helped form the pre-emption law of 1860, which allowed any settler on Vancouver Island to occupy unsurveyed land, less than 160 acres. Once surveyed, the settler paid 10 shillings per acre.
Meanwhile, First Nations were being shunted to reserves. Today, the T’Sou-ke occupy 165 acres on their two reserves, a fraction of what Pemberton once owned.
Metis Nation of BC