Family: Bonds and BelongingLook

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Some of these images can also be viewed on the BC Archives website. Here you may find more context for the image and any original captions and descriptions. Click on the archives website link then search for the photograph’s catalogue number. Remember to put image numbers within quotation marks (for example, “B-08868”).

Meet My Family

Families are not just born; they are made, sometimes through special connections, feelings and associations.

A black and white photograph of a 1905 wedding with the bride and groom in the middle of large group of friends and family.
A black and white studio portrait of a South Asian family. An older woman in a long white garment with a dark coat sits at the left. Next to her stands a young woman in a skirt and jacket. Two men in suits and turbans sit at the right.
Two men exchanging wedding rings and vows. A United Church minister stands between them holding a book.
A black and white photograph of a family sitting outside. In the centre sits an older woman in a dark dress. Behind her stands an older man with a bushy beard. Around them are five young people, including teenage boy with a dog at his side, two young girls and two young women.
Carved wooden mask of human face with small bird head attachment on top. Mask is painted red and black.
A black and white photograph of artist Emily Carr in her garden with three dogs, two cats and two bird cages, one of which has a parrot inside.
Ten black and white photographs of men and women are presented in an oval frame and decorated with needlepoint flowers.
A black and white photograph of 12 young male lacrosse players dressed in striped shirts and white short pants with socks pulled up to their knees. They are standing and sitting by a fence under a large tree.
A black and white studio portrait of woman standing and her husband seated. They are wearing formal clothing.
A carved, painted cedar screen depicting centrally a Thunderbird that comes from Mowachaht territory, Killer Whale (Orca) fin and tail, the moon of the winter solstice, mountains, a canoe and a one of the legendary people that brought knowledge to the Nuu-chah-nulth.
A rectangular blue cardboard Girl Guide cookie box with yellow writing.

Family Gatherings

They’re the best of times—and the worst of times. Gatherings are meant to share memories and create new ones.

A photograph of a long-bladed canoe paddle with colourful Heiltsuk designs on its blade.
A Chinese parade canopy made of colourful fabric embroidered with flowers.
Carved wooden whale headdress painted black, red, green and white. The mouth, fins and tail of the whale are movable.
Carved wooden model Mowachaht-Muchalaht house posts.

Growth and Change 

Garland made from woven human hair around wire, wrapped with green thread and decorated with faux pearls and metal beads.
Close-up of a garland fashioned from human hair woven around wire. The wire is also wrapped with green thread and is decorated with faux pearls and metal beads.
One page from a black and white photo album with twelve photos of two small children, a boy and a girl, in different poses. There are dates from the mid-1920s written on some of the pictures.
A maternity jacket with a pattern of colourful butterflies flying through grey-and-white bamboo.
The ornate green, white and red cover of a book, filled with text which says: Wehman brothers’ easy method for learning Italian quickly. A new system on the most simple principles for universal self-tuition with complete English pronunciation of each word.


For millennia, families have passed their knowledge down from generation to generation, teaching children to make, build, cook and dress. What family legacies will you carry forward?

A black and white photograph of four First Nations women and girls sitting outside knitting traditional Cowichan sweaters. One of the knitters holds a toddler in her lap. A completed sweater with an eagle on it is on display.
A photograph of the back of a white knitted sweater with dark brown designs depicting a thunderbird and whale.
A black and white photograph of a seated woman knitting. A woven basket and knitted blanket are also visible in the picture.
A studio portrait of a family in traditional Chinese-style clothing. In the middle sits an older woman, with three young children around her. Behind them stand a young woman and a young man.
A studio portrait of a Chinese Canadian family in formal clothing. The parents wear traditional Chinese-style silk garments. The children wear European-style clothes.
A studio portrait of a Chinese Canadian family. Eight men and women stand in the back, and in front seven boys and girls surround an elderly woman, seated, in a traditional silk dress. The men wear suits and ties. One of the women wears a European-style dress while the others wear Chinese-style silk jackets. All of the children wear European clothes.

Province and Nation

Over the centuries, families have built the rich cultural tapestry of this province.  That diversity hasn’t always been welcomed, but it has thrived. 

A black and white photograph showing many fishing boats tied up at docks in the water.
A woman’s kimono in pale pink silk with a dark pink sash.
A large piece of plaster cut from a wall. On the plaster there are Chinese characters.
Traditional Cambodian costume.

Please feel free to use these images to educate and inspire in your classrooms. Should you wish to use them for any other purposes, please contact the Permissions and Licensing Office at 250-356-0138 or Toll Free: 1-866-356-0138 or