Democracy in BCWatch

First BC Election

Archivist Frederike Verspoor describes the first provincial election in BC in 1871. This Week in History, Season 2 Episode 6.Credit: RBCM

This video reviews elections during colonial rule, but prior to colonial rule there were two distinct forms of governance in what is now known as BC. The most complex was the system in the coastal territories, which was based on rank, status and hierarchy. Less structured were the interior territories with a more egalitarian approach to leadership. Despite these distinctions, common ground was shared by both through the basic concept that we are all stewards of our respective resources. Whether you were a chief or a village headman, the inclusive values associated with servant leadership applied to all decisions made on behalf of your people. “Everything belongs to those not yet born.”