Long-Lost Bigfoot Mask Finally Returned To British Columbia
For 16 years, a British Columbia First Nation has been hunting for the lost Sasquatch mask all over the world. James Leon’s search, which included jetting from New York to Canada, London to Boston, came to an end when an unassuming lady sitting right next to him at a Vancouver event led him to the nation’s most revered artifact that vanished 75 years ago, the Sasquatch mask.
Leon was attending an event for another First Nations Artifacts help at the Vancouver Museum when he asked a lady beside him if she knew of the ape-like mask partially covered in bear fur.
With eyes lighting up, the woman said, “We were just looking at that mask the other day.” The lady was kind enough to get the mask in question and showed it to Leon.
According to the community elders, a man named, J.W. Burns, a teacher at the Chehalis Indian Day School, stole the Sasquatch mask. Burns was reported to be obsessed about the sasquatch legend and was considered as the person who brought the word “sasquatch” into common use. The mask was donated to the Vancouver Museum after it disappeared from the Sts’ailes First Nation, near Harrison Hot Springs in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
When the Sasquatch mask was stolen, Leon pored through the Museum’s archives to check out all artifacts from British Columbia. After meeting with community elders, Leon said the return of the Sasquatch mask will definitely please the owners of the Vancouver Museum.
“We do burning for the Sasquatch, it’s our belief that his primary role is to ensure that the land is being taken care of. Because every one of us, as Sts’ailes people, we carry an ancestral name, a rich name from the land,” he adds.
According to the Vancouver Museum’s CEO, Nancy Noble, museums have a social and cultural responsibility to consider repatriating certain artifacts from their collection to the First Nations.
“For aboriginal peoples, the return of an object with significant cultural or spiritual value can help to rebuild awareness, educate youth and strengthen ties to a culture that was often suppressed or taken away,” Ms. Noble said in a news release.
A firm believer of the Sasquatch, Leon believes he came across a real one many years ago while walking with then-wife. “She kind of pushed me aside so I didn’t see it because I wasn’t ready for the gift that comes with it.”