Saturday, May 10, 2008
SPIRIT OF THE ELDERS con'td": CHIEF JOE CAPILANO
After Chief Ki-ap-a-la-no and his son died, the Squamish people chose Sahp-luh as their next leader. He married the great niece of Chief Ki-ap-a-la-no. In 1906 he became Chief Joe Capilano.
Chief Joe Capilano was a friendly man who gained a good reputation for helping the early settlers. Fifteen years earlier he was one of the two Indian guides who had led an expedition to discover the source of the Capilano River. He died in 1910, aged sixty. His wife Lay-hu-lette (Mary) lived for many years on the Capilano Reserve. She was a respected elder in the community. A wooden statue of her stands in the garden near the Suspension Bridge. On her back is a woven cedar basket in which she is carrying her baby son who later became Chief Mathias Joe Capilano. When Mary died in December 1940, she was over 100 years old.
Chief Mathias Joe became a renown carver and spirit dancer. In 1906 he visited England and was received at Buckingham Palace by their Majesties King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. At this time he was introduced to the poet Pauline Johnson. They became good friends and when she came to reside on the west coat he told her many of the legends which she later retold in her books and poetry.