BC First Nations Studies 12

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Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada: Essays on Law, Equality, and Respect for Difference
Author: Michael Asch
Format: Paperback
  • In the last two decades there has been positive change in how the Canadian legal system defines Aboriginal and treaty rights. Yet even after the recognition of those rights in the Constitution Act of 1982, the legacy of British values and institutions as well as colonial doctrine still shape how the legal system identifies and interprets Aboriginal and treaty rights. What results is a systematic bias in the legal system that places Indigenous peoples at a distinct disadvantage.

    The eight essays in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada focus on redressing this bias. All of them apply contemporary knowledge of historical events as well as current legal and cultural theory in an attempt to level the playing field. The book highlights rich historical information that previous scholars may have overlooked. Of particular note are data relevant to better understanding the political and legal relations established by treaty and the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Other essays include discussion of such legal matters as the definition of Aboriginal rights and the privileging of written over oral testimony in litigation. The collection also includes an essay that, by means of ethnographic and historical data, raises concerns respecting how the law might be distorted even further if we are not careful in assuring that what is defined as Indigenous today is detached from its own traditions and divorced from contemporary issues.

    In sum, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada shows that changes in the way in which these rights are conceptualized and interpreted are urgently needed. This book then offers concrete proposals regarding substantive, processual, and conceptual matters that together provide the means to put change into practice.


Aboriginal Education: Fulfilling the Promise
Format: Paperback
  • Education is at the heart of the struggle of Aboriginal peoples to regain control over their lives as communities and nations. The promise of education is that it will instruct the people in ways to live long and well, respecting the wisdom of their ancestors and fulfilling their responsibilities in the circle of life. Aboriginal Education documents the significant gains in recent years in fulfilling this promise. It also analyzes the institutional inertia and government policies that continue to get in the way.

    The contributors to this book emphasize Aboriginal philosophies and priorities in teaching methods, program design, and institutional development. An introductory chapter on policy discourse since 1966 provides a context for considering important achievements and constraints in transforming Aboriginal education into an instrument of self-determination. A number of the chapters are drawn from reports and papers prepared for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as background to its 1996 report. They cover a broad range of subjects: educational practice from elementary to post-secondary levels; initiatives in language conservation and communications media; the development of Aboriginal institutions; and policy discourse among Aboriginal, federal, provincial, and territorial bodies. As the authors make clear, Aboriginal education continues to be practised on an intensely political terrain. While governments fund particular Aboriginal initiatives, the homogenizing pressures of a globalizing society are relentless. Political gains in negotiating self-government thus establish the context in which the distinctiveness of Aboriginal education and cultures is sustained.

    This book is a valuable resource for administrators, educators and students with an interest in Aboriginal issues and educational reform.

    Edited by: Marlene Brant Castellano | Lynne Davis | Louise Lahache


Author: Sage Birchwater
Traditional Territory: Tsilhqot'in
Format: Paperback
  • Chiwid was a Tsilhqot'in woman, said to have shamanistic powers, who spent most of her adult life "living out" in the hills and forests around Williams Lake, BC. Chiwid is the story of this remarkable woman told in the vibrant voices of Chilcotin oldtimers, both native and non-native.

    Chiwid is Number 2 in the Transmontanus series of books edited by Terry Glavin.


Cis Dideen Kat (When the Plumes Rise): The Way of the Lake Babine Nation.
Format: Paperback
  • The heart of the traditional legal order of the Lake Babine Nation of north-central British Columbia is the grand ceremonial feast known as the balhats, or potlatch. Misunderstood and widely condemned as a wasteful display of pride, the balhats ceremonies were outlawed by the Canadian government in the late nineteenth century. Throughout the years that followed, the Lake Babine Nation struggled to adapt their laws to a changing society while maintaining their cultural identity.

    Although the widespread feasting and exchange practices of the balhats have attracted continuous academic and political interest since the nineteenth century, little consideration has been given to understanding the legal practices embedded within the ceremonies. Cis dideen kat, the only book ever written about the Lake Babine Nation, describes the customary legal practices that constitute "the way."

    Authors Jo-Anne Fiske and Betty Patrick use historical and contemporary data to create a background against which the changing relations between the Lake Babine Nation and the Canadian state are displayed and defined, leading to the current era of treaty negotiations and Aboriginal self-government.

    Through interviews with community chiefs and elders, oral histories, focus groups, and archival research, Fiske and Patrick have documented and defined a traditional legal system still very much misunderstood. Their findings include material not previously published, making this book essential reading for those involved in treaty negotiations as well as for those with an interest in Aboriginal and state relations generally.

    Cis dideen kat was shortlisted for the 2001-2002 Harold Adams Innis Prize.


Citizens Plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian State
Author: Alan Cairns
Format: Paperback
  • Citizens Plus: Aboriginal People and
    the Canadian State by Alan Cairns is
    a response to the Report of the Royal
    Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
    (RCAP) released in 1996 which
    advocates Aboriginal self determination
    and government.
    Cairns examines relations between
    the state and Aboriginal peoples, the
    impact of the government's
    assimilationist policies, and finally
    the emergence of a nation-to-nation
    paradigm as embodied in the findings
    of the RCAP. Ultimately, he is
    concerned with the potential impact
    of the Reports' recommendations on
    the unity of Canada. Criticizing the
    RW for ignoring viable alternatives
    to self-government, Cairns proposes
    a shared-rule federalism that
    recognizes and respects cultural
    diversity. Under the rubric of
    citizenship, Cairns believes that
    multiple Aboriginal identities and a
    Canadian identity can CO-exist.


Colour of Resistance
Author: Connie Fife
Format: Paperback
  • A powerful collection of works in response to 500 years of colonization, and the worldwide celebrations marking the anniversary of European invasion. Contributors include Chrystos, Beth Brant, Joy Harjo and Lee Maracle.


Contact and Conflict: Indian-European Relation in British Columbia, 1774-1890
Author: Robin Fisher
Format: Paperback
  • Originally published in 1977, and reprinted several times since, Contact and Conflict remains an invaluable account of the profound impact that white settlement had on Native-European relations in British Columbia after the fur trade ended. Robin Fisher argues that the fur trade had a limited effect on the cultures of Native people. Both Natives and Europeans were involved in a mutually beneficial economic system, and there was no incentive for non-Native fur traders to alter radically the Native social system. With the passing of the fur trade in 1858, however, and the beginning of white settlement, what has been a reciprocal system between the two civilizations became a pattern of white dominance.

    The second edition includes a preface in which the author re-examines his original arguments, surveys the literature since 1977, and comments on directions for new research. The original edition of the book was published at a time when there was relatively little written by historians on the subject. Today, Contact and Conflict is still widely used by scholars and students, and its arguments have endured, yielding new insights into the role of Native people in the history of British Columbia.


DraMetis: Three Metis Plays
Format: Paperback
  • DraMetis is the first anthology to focus on the emerging discipline of Metis drama. The pieces have all been previously produced and highlight the diversity of Metis drama being written and performed in Canada.


First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds
Format: Paperback
  • Written mainly by First Nations and Metis people, this book examines current issues in First Nations education.

    Table of Contents


    Eastern Door: Reconceptualizing First Nations Education

    1. Towards a Redefinition of Indian Education
    2. Peacekeeping Actions at Home: A Medicine Wheel Model for a Peacekeeping Pedagogy
    3. Redefining Science Education for Aboriginal Students

    Southern Door: Connecting with and Maintaining Our Relations

    4. Aboriginal Epistemology
    5. Quaslametko and Yetko: Two Grandmother Models for Contemporary Native Education Pedagogy
    6. Language and Cultural Content in Native Education
    7. Learning Processes and Teaching Roles in Native Education: Cultural Base and Cultural Brokerage

    Western Door: Meeting the Challenge of Incoherence

    8. A Major Challenge for the Education System: Aboriginal Retention and Dropout
    9. Teacher Education and Aboriginal Opposition
    10. The Challenge for Universities
    11. Non-Native Teachers Teaching in Native Communities

    Northern Door: Transforming First Nations Education

    12. Treaties and Indian Education
    13. Taking Control: Contradiction and First Nations Adult Education
    14. Locally Developed Native Studies Curriculum: An Historical and Philosophical Rationale
    15. The Sacred Circle: An Aboriginal Approach to Healing Education at an Urban High School

    Bibliography of First Nations Pedagogy

    Marie Battiste (editor), a member of the Mi'kmaq Nation, teaches in the Indian and Northern Education Department at the University of Saskatchewan.

    Jean Barman (editor) is a Professor in the Department of Social and Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia.


Gabriel Dumont Speaks: Revised 2nd Edition
Format: Paperback
  • Gabriel Dumont's memoirs present a rare view of Metis history as told by one of their key heros.


Grizzlies & White Guys: The Stories of Clayton Mack
Author: Clayton Mack
Format: Paperback
  • The extraordinary life story of Clayton Mack (1910-1993), a legendary hunting guide from the Nuxalk Nation (Bella Coola), is told in his own words. To Clayton Mack, who loved the wilderness and whose most precious memories were of the days when people got around without roads, told time without watches, and took planks from giant cedars without axes, the two most mysterious creatures on earth were grizzly bears and "Q''umsciwas" (white men) - from Crooked Jaw the Indian Agent to the rich and famous men who hired him to guide them on their trophy hunts.
    "The tales are told by a natural storyteller, who as a child was carried as a prop in Native ceremonial dances, and who later found himself dining in Hollywood restaurants with California''s most powerful people. His stories are wild and bawdy and funny and tragic, and they reach back through history. They are like native ritual dances, in that it''s impossible to separate the magic from the realism: at the end, you will wonder what was real and what was dream. The arnazing thing is, it''s all true. It''s all true."
    -Mark Hume, journalist for the "Vancouver Sun," "National Post" and author of "The Run of the River"


Growth of the First Metis Nation and the Role of Aboriginal Women in the Fur Trade Native Peoples Canada
Format: Paperback
  • Growth of the First Metis Nation and the Role of the Aboriginal Women in the Fur Trade contains 16 lessons at the grade 10 level. First Nations Education Division of the Greater Victoria School Division, British Columbia, developed this resource guide for teachers. The guide explores the development of the Metis people by beginning with the pre-contact trade system. The next focus is the development of the fur trade and the way marriage customs emerged. Descriptions of Metis cultural identity and lifestyle are presented. The problems associated with treaties and land surrenders as well as the impact of the railroad are examined. The two final lessons deal with the Riel Rebellion and the impact of resistance on the lives of Metis women and children. The role of women in Metis society receives attention throughout the guide. Minor factual inaccuracies relate to the author's reliance on the work of Diamond Jenness for the first lesson. This guide is appropriate as a teacher resource for grade 10.


Justice in Aboriginal Communities: Sentencing Alternatives: Sentencing Alternatives
Author: Ross Green
Format: Paperback
  • Green looks at the evolution of the Canadian criminal justice system, and contrasts the values on which it is based with Aboriginal concepts of justice. He introduces alternatives being developed in Aboriginal communities including sentencing circles, elder and community sentencing panels, sentence advisory committees, and community mediation projects. At the heart of the book are case studies of several communities, which Green uses to analyze the successes of and challenges to the innovative sentencing approaches evolving in Aboriginal communities across the country. Those concerned with criminal justice will find this book an invaluable resource.


Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia
Author: Cole Harris
Format: Paperback
  • This elegantly written and insightful book provides a geographical history of the Indian reserve in British Columbia. Cole Harris analyzes the impact of reserves on Native lives and livelihoods and considers how, in light of this, the Native land question might begin to be resolved. The account begins in the early nineteenth-century British Empire and then follows Native land policy - and Native resistance to it - in British Columbia from the Douglas treaties in the early 1850s to the formal transfer of reserves to the Dominion in 1938. Making Native Space clarifies and informs the current debate on the Native land question. It presents the most comprehensive account available of perhaps the most critical mapping of space ever undertaken in BC - the drawing of the lines that separated the tiny plots of land reserved for Native people from the rest. Geographers, historians, anthropologists, and anybody interested in and involved in the politics of treaty negotiation in British Columbia should read this book.


Nine Visits to the Mythworld
Author: Robert Ghandl
Format: Paperback
  • In the Fall of 1900, a young American anthropologist named John Swanton arrived in the Haida country, on the Northwest Coast of North America, intending to learn everything he could about Haida mythology. He spent the next ten months phonetically transcribing several thousand pages of myths, stories, histories and songs in the Haida language. Swanton met a number of fine mythtellers during his year in the Haida country. Each had his own style and his own repertoire. Two of them -- a blind man in his fifties by the name of Ghandl, and a crippled septuagenarian named Skaay -- were artists of extraordinary stature, revered in their own communities and admired ever since by the few specialists aware of their great legacy.

    Nine Visits to the Mythworld includes all the finest works of one of these master mythtellers. In November 1900, when Ghandl dictated these nine stories, the Haida world lay in ruins. Wave upon wave of smallpox and other diseases, rapacious commercial exploitation by fur traders, whalers and miners, and relentless missionization by the church had taken a huge toll on Haida culture. Yet in the blind poet's mind, the great tradition lived, and in his voice it comes alive. Robert Bringhurst's eloquent and vivid translations of these works are supplemented by explanatory notes that supply the needed background information, and by photographs of masterworks of Haida visual art, in which the stories Ghandl tells are given potent visual form.


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