HISPANICS first came to BC in 1774 when the Spanish mariner Juan PÉREZ navigated his frigate up the west coast of N America as far north as the QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS (see SPANISH EXPLORATION). In 1789 Estéban José MARTÍNEZ established a Spanish colony at NOOTKA SOUND on the west coast of VANCOUVER ISLAND. The colony became the centre of a territorial dispute between Spain and Great Britain as both countries struggled for control of the Pacific Northwest. In the end the Spanish abandoned...

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