A painting showing John Robert Giscome, Henry McDame, and their two Lheidli T’enneh guides traveling up the Peace River in B.C. (Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society via X.)

A town in central British Columbia. A canyon on the province’s Fraser River. A portage trail between the Fraser and Summit Lake. All of them are named after John Robert Giscome.

Who was he?

Mr. Giscome was a Black prospector and explorer in British Columbia. During the Fraser River gold rush, he shared a shortcut to the gold fields. That trail opened up northern B.C. to explorers, miners, and settlers.