National Geographic : 1972 Mar
of the successful meshing of the two cultures." British Columbia has 1,625 Indian reserves, nearly three-fourths of Canada's total, though some are only villages. I took a look at one in Alert Bay, off Vancouver Island. Its frame and-cinder-block houses climb a hillside and edge a waterfront street looking out on docks and fishing boats. In one of those homes I interrupted a Sunday-afternoon television movie that James Sewid, a hereditary Kwaki utl chief, was watching. "The Indian population here is about 800, and nearly all the men are salmon fishermen," 364 he said in answer to my questions. "I paddled a canoe as a boy and now look what I have five seine boats that my sons and I run. The opportunities are here for the Indian who wants to take advantage of them." Married before his 14th birthday-"my 15-year-old wife gave me measles as a wed ding present"-Mr. Sewid has been a key figure in community development and in sistence on the Indians' right to self-determi nation. I saw one result of his leadership in a new community house, a copy of one of the great tribal houses that impressed early-day explorers. Totem poles supported its roof and cedar planking formed its sides.