Activated 2 August 1968 by Hon. W.A.C. Bennett, L.E.D.. Premier.
British Columbia was formed from four British Colonies and territories:
The Crown Colony of Vancouver Island 1845
The Dependency of the Queen Charlotte Islands 1852
The Crown Colony of British Columbia 1856
The Stickeen Territory 1862
Plaques on the fountain tell the origin of their union to become the British Columbia of today. The animal symbols are those from which all Indian Societies obtained their main totems of the four areas. The first impetus to exploration and settlement of the Pacific Northwest was provided by fur traders. The rare sea otter drew hunters to the North West coasts. Thousands of skins were taken by fur hunters of many nationalities. The sea otter has been chosen as the theme for the fountain centerpiece.
Gold on the Frasier and Thompson Rivers brought thousands of miners to the mainland. In 1858, to ensure British sovereignty, the Crown Colony of British Columbia was created and formally proclaimed at Fort Langley on November 19th. Its boundaries were progressively enlarged until by 1866 all British territory west of the Rocky Mountains was united under the name of British Columbia. In 1871 this Colony joined the Canadian Federation as the sixth province.
The Queen Charlotte Islands had been visited by Spanish, French and British, but were not named until the sailing ship "Charlotte" charted them in 1785-1787. Queen Charlotte was the consort of George III.No settlement ensued until rumours of the discovery of gold and possible American occupation led to the appointment of a Lieutenant-Governor (Sir James Douglas) in 1852. This dependency became a part of the mainland Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858.
Following the rush to Fraser River in 1858 the miners pushed northward to the Nass, Stickeen and Peace Rivers. To provide for government of the region the Territory of Stickeen was created in 1862. It survived only one year when a redefinition of the boundaries of British Columbia made it a part of the lower mainland colony.
(Kwakiutl, Nootka, Salish)
Vancouver Island, first occupied for Britain by Captain James Cook in 1778, became a centre for the fur trade.Named after Captain George Vancouver, the Crown Colony of Vancouver's Island was established in 1849 to buttress British sovereignty on the West Coast.In 1856 representative government was instituted and a Legislative Assembly elected. It was united with the mainland colony of British Columbia in 1866.