June 20, 2020, North Vancouver, BC — The Squamish Nation has been asked to comment on the future of the Gassy Jack statue in the historic Gastown district of the City of Vancouver.
John Deighton, also known as Gassy Jack, immigrated to Squamish Nation territory from England. Around the late 1860s, Gassy Jack married a Squamish woman. She then died around 1870. After her death, he remarried her niece, a 12 year-old Squamish young woman who was known as Madeline, or X̱áliya. In 1871, they had a son together named Richard Mason Deighton. Gassy Jack and Richard reportedly later died in 1875. After Gassy Jack’s death, Madeline (X̱áliya) remarried a Squamish man known as Big William. They have descendants in the Squamish Nation today. Madeline died August 10, 1948, aged 90 in North Vancouver.
The Squamish Nation recognizes there is an ongoing conversation about our Squamish history, our ancestors, and the City of Vancouver. The Squamish Nation recommends that the descendants of our ancestors and the Squamish Nation be involved in any decisions about the telling of our people’s history or actions taken in our people’s name.
The Nation will not be making any further public comment about this issue at this time.
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