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.
- 2003, Winner - Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association
- 2003, Winner - Clio Award (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Association
- 2002, Shortlisted - Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Book Prize, British Columbia Book Awards
- 2003, Winner - Massey Medal, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
As the first comprehensive account of the reserve system in British Columbia, the book is an important contribution to regional history, the history of aboriginal-white relations, and colonialism. Perhaps most unexpectedly, because it puts aboriginal-white relations in the context of the federal-provincial wrangling that has shaped the Canadian political landscape since 1867, it also manages to breathe new life into an old historical chestnut.
This is a wonderful, timely, thoughtful, and gracefully written book. It makes a highly significant contribution, both to scholarship and to public policy.
Cole Harris has written the definitive history of the Aboriginal struggle for recognition and justice in British Columbia. Future generations of British Columbians, Aboriginal and otherwise, will thank him for this remarkable story.
Along with its encyclopaedic account of the white geographies and mentalities that dominated British Columbia through the 1800s and 1900s, Making Native Space is also a compelling saga of Aboriginal management and resistance.
Cole Harris’s latest book is a well crafted, handsomely produced historical geography ... It is rich in terms of its colonial discourse analysis, its comparative insight and its engagement with the politics of postcolonialism.
This is an important book for historians, geographers, lawyers, government officials, and scholars of Aboriginal studies. But it deserves to reach a wider audience because it speaks to fundamental issues of Canada’s founding, namely, the dispossession of the original peoples living here ... Harris has given us a remarkable book, a genealogy, in the Foucauldian sense, of reserve policy and the land question in BC today.
Outstanding ... invites us to rethink, and remap, literally and figuratively, the boundaries and paths that can guide us to a brighter future.
Figures and Illustrations
Part 1: The Colonial Period
1 The Imperial Background
2 The Douglas Years, 1850-64
3 Ideology and Land Policy, 1864-71
Part 2: Province and Dominion
4 The Confederation Years, 1871-76
5 The Joint Indian Reserve Commission, 1876-78
6 Sproat and the Native Voice, 1878-80
Part 3: Filling in the Map
7 O’Reilly, Bureaucracy, and Reserves, 1880-98
8 Imposing a Solution, 1898-1938
Part 4: Land and Livelihood
9 Native Space
10 Towards a Postcolonial Land Policy
Appendix: Indian Reserves in British Columbia during the Colonial Period
Source Notes for Maps
Aboriginal Title and the Claim of British Columbia
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