Settlers

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Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado
Authors:
Daniel Marshall
Format: Paperback

This trailblazing history of early British Columbia focuses on a single year, 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush - the third great mass-migration of gold seekers after the Californian and Australian rushes in search of a new El Dorado. Marshall's history becomes an adventure, prospecting the rich pay streaks of British Columbia's "founding" event and the gold fever that gripped populations all along the Pacific Slope. Marshall unsettles many of our most taken-for-granted assumptions: he shows how foreign miner-militias crossed the 49th parallel, taking the law into their own hands, and conducting extermination campaigns against Indigenous peoples while forcibly claiming the land. Drawing on new evidence, Marshall explores the three principal cultures of the goldfields - those of the fur trade (both Native and the Hudson's Bay Company), Californian, and British world views. The year 1858 was a year of chaos unlike any other in British Columbia and American Pacific Northwest history. It produced not only violence but the formal inauguration of colonialism, Native reserves and, ultimately, the expansion of Canada to the Pacific Slope. Among the haunting legacies of this rush are the cryptic place names that remain - such as American Creek, Texas Bar, Boston Bar, and New York Bar - while the unresolved question of Indigenous sovereignty continues to claim the land.

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6.00" x 9.00" | Bibliography | 30 black & white photos

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$24.95

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Harry Robinson: Living by Stories: A Journey of Landscape and Memory
Authors:
Harry Robinson
Editors:
Wendy Wickwire
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Okanagan;
Following on two previous collections— Write It on Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller (1989) and Nature Power: In the Spirit of an Okanagan Storyteller (2004)—Living by Stories is the third volume of oral narratives by Okanagan storyteller Harry Robinson. This third collection documents how the arrival of whites forever altered the Salish cultural landscape.

Living by Stories includes a number of classic stories set in the “mythological age” about the trickster/transformer, Coyote, and his efforts to rid the world of bad people— spatla or “monsters,” but this new volume is more important for its presentation of historical narratives set in the more recent past. As with the mythological accounts, there is much chaos and conflict in these stories, mainly due to the arrival of new quasi-monsters—“SHAmas” (Whites)—who dispossess “Indians” of their lands and rights, impose new political and legal systems, and erect roads, rail lines, mines, farms, ranches and towns on the landscape.

With permission from Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire began recording Robinson's oral stories in 1977. Robinson took his role as a storyteller very seriously and worried about the survival of the oral tradition and his stories. “I’m going to disappear”, he told one reporter, “and there’ll be no more telling stories.”

Review
Whenever I need to be reminded that language is magic and that stories can change the world, I go to Robinson.
- Thomas King

Additional Information
288 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Stories from Harry Robinson
Edited and compiled by Wendy Wickwire
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Literary Land Claims: The 'Indian Land Question' from Pontiac’s War to Attawapiskat
Authors:
Margery Fee
Format: Paperback
Literature not only represents Canada as “our home and native land” but has been used as evidence of the civilization needed to claim and rule that land. Indigenous people have long been represented as roaming “savages” without land title and without literature. Literary Land Claims: From Pontiac’s War to Attawapiskat analyzes works produced between 1832 and the late 1970s by writers who resisted these dominant notions.

Margery Fee examines John Richardson’s novels about Pontiac’s War and the War of 1812 that document the breaking of British promises to Indigenous nations. She provides a close reading of Louis Riel’s addresses to the court at the end of his trial in 1885, showing that his vision for sharing the land derives from the Indigenous value of respect. Fee argues that both Grey Owl and E. Pauline Johnson’s visions are obscured by challenges to their authenticity. Finally, she shows how storyteller Harry Robinson uses a contemporary Okanagan framework to explain how white refusal to share the land meant that Coyote himself had to make a deal with the King of England.

Fee concludes that despite support in social media for Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, Idle No More, and the Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the story about “savage Indians” and “civilized Canadians” and the latter group’s superior claim to “develop” the lands and resources of Canada still circulates widely. If the land is to be respected and shared as it should be, literary studies needs a new critical narrative, one that engages with the ideas of Indigenous writers and intellectuals.

Awards
Finalist for the 2015 ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism.

Reviews
Fee contributes to the decolonization of literary studies in Canada and readers will benefit from Fee's contextualization of Indigenous notions of land rights and language. ... scholars interested in issues related to decolonization and Indigenous sovereignty will find this work especially useful.
Lianne Leddy, H-Envirnoment, November -0001

Literary Land Claims is an extremely important contribution to conversations about literature in Canada. ... At a time when universities across Canada are endeavouring to heed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Calls to Action,” Fee points readers toward a goal of consensus building, one that is predicated on muddying the binary and hierarchical logics through which we have tended to understand identity and, indeed, colonialism itself. She opens up an engaging and necessary conversation, offering a model for rich, ethical scholarly engagement with a literary landscape that is extends far beyond this book, and beyond the confines of “Canlit.”
Sarah Krotz, English Studies in Canada

... Literary Land Claims is timely reading. ... a rich and thoughtful book which will appeal to anyone writing or teaching in fields relating to settler-colonial, Canadian, and Indigenous studies. Historians in particular will find Fee’s chapters a valuable complement to the original texts she discusses.
Megan Harvey, BC Studies, November -0001

Educator Information
This book would be useful for the following subject areas or courses: Literary Criticism, Social Science, Canadian Literature, Canadian History, Indigenous Studies.

Additional Information
326 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 10 black and white illustrations
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$38.99

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Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Metis Community, 1901–1961
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;

Melonville. Smokey Hollow. Bannock Town. Fort Tuyau. Little Chicago. Mud Flats. Pumpville. Tintown. La Coulee. These were some of the names given to Métis communities at the edges of urban areas in Manitoba. Rooster Town, which was on the outskirts of southwest Winnipeg, endured from 1901 to 1961.

Those years in Winnipeg were characterized by the twin pressures of depression and inflation, chronic housing shortages, and a spotty social support network. At the city’s edge, Rooster Town grew without city services as rural Métis arrived to participate in the urban economy and build their own houses while keeping Métis culture and community as a central part of their lives.

In other growing settler cities, the Indigenous experience was largely characterized by removal and confinement. But the continuing presence of Métis living and working in the city, and the establishment of Rooster Town itself, made the Winnipeg experience unique.

Rooster Town documents the story of a community rooted in kinship, culture, and historical circumstance, whose residents existed unofficially in the cracks of municipal bureaucracy, while navigating the legacy of settler colonialism and the demands of modernity and urbanization.

 
Reviews
"Rooster Town challenges the lingering mainstream belief that Indigenous people and their culture are incompatible with urban life and opens the door to a broader conversation about the insidious nature of racial stereotypes ubiquitous among the broader Canadian polity.— Brenda Macdougall

"Places like Rooster Town are known and talked about within the contemporary Métis world-everybody knows somebody whose parents or grandparents came from these types of invisible and often marginalized communities-but there has been no acknowledgment of their existence within Canadian historical, geographic, sociological, or political scholarship."— Brenda Macdougall

"Very little is written about Indigenous urban histories. They are typically hidden, or erased, from the histories of Prairie cities, and Canadian cities generally. Rooster Town is an authoritative correction to that colonial erasure in the written record."— Ryan Walker
 
Additional Information
248 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 33 b&w tables, 14 maps
 
Contents
Ch.1—Settler Colonialism and the Dispossession of the Manitoba Métis
Ch.2—The Establishment and Consolidation of Rooster Town, 1901-1911
Ch.3—Devising New Economic and Housing Strategies: Rooster Town during the First World War and After, 1916-1926
Ch.4—Persistence and Community: Rooster Town During and After the Great Depression, 1931-1946
Ch.5—Stereotyping, Dissolution, and Dispersal: Rooster Town, 1951-1961
Conclusion
 
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$27.95

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Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Canada has never had an “Indian problem”— but it does have a Settler problem. But what does it mean to be Settler? And why does it matter?

Through an engaging, and sometimes enraging, look at the relationships between Canada and Indigenous nations, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada explains what it means to be Settler and argues that accepting this identity is an important first step towards changing those relationships. Being Settler means understanding that Canada is deeply entangled in the violence of colonialism, and that this colonialism and pervasive violence continue to define contemporary political, economic and cultural life in Canada. It also means accepting our responsibility to struggle for change. Settler offers important ways forward — ways to decolonize relationships between Settler Canadians and Indigenous peoples — so that we can find new ways of being on the land, together.

This book presents a serious challenge. It offers no easy road, and lets no one off the hook. It will unsettle, but only to help Settler people find a pathway for transformative change, one that prepares us to imagine and move towards just and beneficial relationships with Indigenous nations. And this way forward may mean leaving much of what we know as Canada behind.

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$18.95

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Shared Histories: Witsuwit'en - Settler Relationships in Smithers, British Columbia, 1913-1973
Authors:
Tyler McCreary
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Wet’suwet’en;

Using extensive first-hand interviews with both Witsuwit'en and settler elders, Shared Histories describes what happened in the 50 years after the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway established Smithers in the middle of Witsuwit'en territory in northwest British Columbia. By examining these relationships in the context of the history of colonization throughout the province, the author has written an open and honest portrayal of the ways in which the Witsuwit'en were marginalized, but still managed to create and maintain a place for themselves in a community that didn't want them.

Written with extensive consultation with members of the Witsuwit'en community and some of the town's earliest settler families, Shared Histories brings to life the often unwritten history of the ways in which these communities both clashed and joined forces. Its careful use of academic sources and the lived experience of participants make it the kind of history we all need to read.

This book will appeal to history buffs, educators, and academics and to those interested in First Nations and British Columbia history, truth, and reconciliation projects.

Additional Information
200 pages | 9.50" x 9.00"

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$22.95

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The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

The Land We Are is a stunning collection of writing and art that interrogates the current era of reconciliation in Canada. Using visual, poetic, and theoretical language, the contributors approach reconciliation as a problematic narrative about Indigenous-settler relations, but also as a site where conversations about a just future must occur. The result of a four-year collaboration between artists and scholars engaged in resurgence and decolonization, The Land We Are is a moving dialogue that blurs the boundaries between activism, research, and the arts.

The contributors to this book include leading artists and scholars engaged in questions of resurgence, restitution, and decolonization.

Contributors: Jordan Abel, Leah Decter, Jonathan Dewar, David Garneau, Ayumi Goto, Allison Hargreaves, Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill, Jaimie Isaac, David Jefferess, Layli Long Soldier, The New BC Indian Art and Welfare Society Collective, Sophie McCall, Peter Morin, Skeena Reece, Dylan Robinson, Sandra Semchuk, Adrian Stimson, Clement Yeh, and Keren Zaiontz.

Reviews
"This beautifully produced, richly illustrated volume not only offers readers a visual journey into the featured artistic installations and performance pieces, but through its creative use of text and graphic design is itself an artistic statement on reconciliation." --Winnipeg Free Press

Educator Information
Recommended for students in grades 11 and 12, as well as at a college/university level.  

Additional Information
240 pages | 6.50" x 9.50"

 

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