Who writes this stuff?

My name is Lana Rodlie and I spent 16 years as a reporter at a small daily newspaper in the interior of B.C.  I’ve also freelanced for The (Vancouver) Province, the Canadian Press, BC Business, Route 3 and a number of travel magazines.  Many of my stories were picked up by the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, National Post and other smaller newspapers across Canada. (You can google my name if you want to check this out.)

I’ve always been interested in anything historical. Love visiting museums and heritage sites. About 2006, I delved into research on the Columbia River (as I was born, raised and lived most of my life within a frisbee throw of it). What startled me, when I began reading original journals and documents, was how the text books, oral history, and what people generally know about it – are, well, wrong! Certainly not ALL of them. But in the last two centuries of condensing and rewriting, a lot of really important stuff seems to have been left out – notably, the native peoples.

Oh the history books mention them occasionally. But what I learned from my research (and what is barely mentioned in Canadian or American historical records) is that our European ancestors would still be flailing around in the wilderness if it wasn’t for the First Nations.

And the other thing the records fail to focus on, is the fact that the natives played just as important a role in their demise as the Europeans did. After all, the Europeans had stuff the natives wanted: trinkets, metal cooking pots, cloth, beads, and particularly, powerful weapons that could be used to fight their enemies. They welcomed these foreigners and wanted to trade just as much as the Europeans did.

Looking at original records, one gets a very different opinion of people who “discovered” America. For instance, Captain Grey, who is attributed with “discovering” the Columbia River, wasn’t the first to see it at all. Nor were Lewis and Clark the first people to venture across the continent. And we can stretch this all the way to Columbus being the first to “discover” America. He certainly wasn’t.

Reading original records has made me skeptical of any re-interpretation of history. I prefer to look behind the scenes – to any original documents, texts, logs, old maps and diagrams and whatever else I can find to learn the REAL story.

Hence, my object here is to share my findings – revealing little known facts behind the stories of our past.

Besides the Pacific Northwest, where I live, areas I also write about Norway (my husband is Norwegian; we have a second home there and we travel there often); Japan (as coordinator of a Japanese Twinning program in our city, I’ve traveled there five times); Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Beijing, Taiwan, Europe – these are all places where I’ve journeyed and journalled. Not only will I relate some of my own experiences, I will include stories, museum visits, book reviews, and any other interesting tidbits I come across.

My husband and I are also avid Corvette enthusiasts so some of my stories may relate to that iconic vehicle – after all, everything that happened yesterday is part of history. And I feel a great need to record it all.