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Days of Augusta
Robert KeziereJanuary 17 - March 14, 2015
Robert Keziere is one of Vancouver’s lesser known photographers. While his may not be a household name you may have seen his work documenting the social and cultural growth of Vancouver since the 1970’s in his role as chief photographer at the Vancouver Art Gallery and work undertaken as a freelance photographer.
The photographs in this exhibition are from the book The Days of Augusta published in 1971 and containing stories as told to and edited by Jean E. Speare.
Born in 1888 at Soda Creek in the Cariboo, Mary Augusta Tappage was the daughter of a Shuswap chief and a Métis woman who had fled the prairies after the defeat of Louis Riel. At age four she was placed in a Roman Catholic mission where she was punished for speaking her Shuswap language. After nine years, she was permitted to live with her grandmother until she was married, at age 15, to George Evans whose father was Welsh and whose mother was Shuswap. As her husband was Welsh she was declared non-status, though she retained her self-sufficient Aboriginal ways, serving other women as a midwife while raising her own children. Augusta was still a young woman when her husband died and she never remarried stating that once was enough. Augusta died on August 16, 1978 at the age of 90.
She was buried in the native graveyard on the Soda Creek Reserve.