Sasquatch in BC Law
Last revised July 04, 2019

To date, Librarians at the Courthouse Library have not been able to find any references to a Sasquatch or Sasquatches (or the creature by any other name) in any BC Statute.

However, we have discovered that the myth may have originated in Nanaimo at the turn of the 20th century.

The Best of Sasquatch Bigfoot by John Green (p. 90) contains an article originally printed in the Colonist.  The article quotes a letter where the writer is asking the Government Agent at the time (Marshall Bray) for permission to shoot the "wild man of Horne Lake".  The article then states, "Bray has informed Kincaid that it is unlawful to shoot Mowglies within the province of British Columbia at any time."

Despite what the article says, it is unclear what Bray's actual written response to this letter was, and to which law he might have been referring. 

If anyone wants to research this further, they may want to look to see if a written copy of Bray's response exists. 

Marshall Bray was appointed as the government agent and sheriff in Nanaimo in 1880.  He also served as gold commissioner, Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works for the district, police magistrate, and registrar of births, deaths and marriages for the Courts. He was also a director of the Nanaimo Telephone Company. 

The Nanaimo Community Archives and the BC Archives have collected materials on Marshall Bray.

In the United States

However, there is a law against killing a sasquatch (also known as a yeti, bigfoot, or giant hairy ape) in Washington State.

On April 1, 1969 the Board of Commissioners of Skamania County, Washington State, adopted an ordinance for the protection of sasquatch/bigfoot creatures (Ordinance No.69-01).

Although it sounds like an April Fool's Day joke, it was an official ordinance.  It was published in the local weekly newspaper, Skamania County Pioneer on April 4 and April 11, 1969.  Because people did not take it seriously, the newspaper publisher had the article notarized on April 12, 1969, and printed both the ordinance and an Affidavit of Publication in a subsequent paper edition.

The ordinance has been partially repealed and amended since, and the revised ordinance (Ordinance No. 1984-02) went into effect on April 2, 1984.  The amended law also declared the animal "an endangered species" and created a "Sasquatch Refuge".  An ordinance list and disposition table can be found online.
 
Nearby, in Whatcom County, a resolution was adopted that also declares the county a sasquatch protection and refuge area.  The resolution (Resolution No. 92-043) went into effect in June 1992.  A resolution list and disposition table can be found online.

The purpose behind these laws was actually to protect the safety and well-being of persons living or travelling in these areas when a sasquatch is "sighted", as many well-armed scientific investigators and casual hunters show up to take specimens.

 

References

 

Contacts

BC Archives
675 Belleville Street
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9W2
tel.: 250 387 1952
fax: 250 387 2072
toll free: call Service BC for assistance (604-660-2421 or 1-800-663-7867
email: access@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca
 
Nanaimo Community Archives
150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo BC
V9R 5G6
Phone / Fax:  250-753-4462
Email: nanaimoarchives@gmail.com
Appointments Recommended

 

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