Our guest speaker (via ZOOM) at Nanaimo Historical Society’s April 2021 meeting was Dave Bodaly, Cultural Tour Guide for Saysutshun (Newcastle) Island.

Broadly talented as an artist, geneaologist, photographer, historian and curator, Dave Bodaly, member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, discussed the unique characteristics of Sayshutsun Island, including the White Raccoons “Champagne” considered to exist only on Saysutsun Island. 

Bodaly also shared some of his family history research and their long connection to Nanaimo. For a period of years his great-grandfather, Harry James, had his ceremonial masks and other cedar carvings displayed in the Spencer’s Department Store (later Eaton’s, in 1948) on Victoria Crescent. Eventually, he considered that too many people were photographing the artwork so he had them removed from the window display in 1959.

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.