Burrard Inlet Serpents

Burrard Inlet was a great home for serpents. When I was a little boy, the old people used to see them, little serpents, just like a snake floating. A big one had his pillow, a big stone on the beach just west of Brockton Point Light, and his other head, they have two heads, one at each end, used to rest by the racing canoes just in front of the Indian church at North Vancouver; the old people used to see him in the tide rip; there were little ones too.

 

The last one, not the serpent killed by Qoitchetahl (Chief Andrew Paull‘s ancestor) up the Squamish River, but another one, was killed by a powerful man up above Dollarton, North Arm [Indian Arm], Burrard Inlet, in front of the B.C. Electric power station, where the water comes down from Lake Beautiful (Buntzen Lake); the paint put by the Indians on the rocks [pictographs] on the opposite shore is there yet, I think. One hundred and fifty years ago there were lots of serpents in Burrard Inlet..

 

– Chief Mathias Joe Capilano (c.1885–
1966)

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