Burnaby Newsleader: We are the Qayqayt – interview with Rhonda Larrabee

This is a wonderful story about my mother's cousin, Rhonda Larrabee.  Rhonda is both Chinese and First Nations. Her father was my grandmother's elder brother.  Rhonda has been the subject of the NFB documentary “Tribe of One” and the recent CTV documentary


We are the Qayqayt

By Michael McQuillan –
January 25, 2008


Rhonda Larabee is the
chief of the New Westminster band, which now has about 50 members. They
hope to get back some of their ancestoral lands which were taken almost

Larrabee was researching at the New Westminster Public Library when she
came across a book describing the history of New Westminster.

Published early in the 19th Century, it showed its age—not just the dusty old cover but the words inside.

“Dirty heathen cur dogs” read a passage describing New Westminster’s native population.

Larrabee was furious as she read the words.

slammed the book down then flung it across the room. A librarian,
hearing the outburst, threatened to throw her out of the library.

“I’m not leaving,” Larrabee replied.

Larrabee had been exploring her roots, trying to understand where she came from.

For the first 24 years of her life, she didn’t even know she was First Nations.

once she found out, it became her quest to put together the past and
assemble the pieces for a better future for herself—and for her people.

was in the library researching the history of New Westminster’s native
band, the Qayqayt (KEE-Kite). She discovered few details, because
little information is available—it’s almost as if they never existed.

read more of the article, click here:  We are the Qayqayt

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