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 Featured Title
Landing Native Fisheries
Indian Reserves and Fishing Rights in British Columbia, 1849-1925
Douglas C. Harris  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/27/2008
ISBN: 9780774814195    

$36.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2009
ISBN: 9780774814201    

256 Pages

Law and Society series


About the Book

Winner, 2011 John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History, The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History

Honourable Mention, 2009 Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing, BC Historical Federation

Landing Native Fisheries reveals the contradictions and consequences of an Indian land policy premised on access to fish, on one hand, and a program of fisheries management intended to open the resource to newcomers, on the other. Beginning with the first treaties signed on Vancouver Island between 1850 and 1854, Douglas Harris maps the connections between the colonial land policy and the law governing the fisheries. In so doing, Harris rewrites the history of colonial dispossession in British Columbia, offering a new and nuanced examination of the role of law in the consolidation of power within the colonial state.

About the Author(s)

Douglas C. Harris is a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia and the author of Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in British Columbia

Table of Contents




1. Treaties, Reserves, and Fisheries Law

2. Land Follows Fish

3. Exclusive Fisheries

4. Exclusive Fisheries and the Public Right to Fish

5. Indian Reserves and Fisheries

6. Constructing an Indian Food Fishery

7. Licensing the Commercial Salmon Fishery

8. Land and Fisheries Detached


Appendix: Indian Reserves Allotted for Fishing Purposes in British Columbia, 1849-1925





"In this important and original book, Douglas Harris demonstrates the vital connection between fisheries and reserve creation in British Columbia. In addition to providing fresh historical insights, this work has significant implications for contemporary Aboriginal land and fishing rights. Eloquently written in an accessible style, Landing Native Fisheries will appeal to historians and geographers, and will also serve as a valuable resource for First Nations, government officials, lawyers, and other readers who want to understand the policies that set the stage for present-day litigation and treaty negotiations."
-- Kent McNeil, author of Common Law Aboriginal Title

“In this brilliant and eloquent study of law and colonialism, University of British Columbia professor Douglas C. Harris shows us that, in British Columbia, the sea and the fisheries were central to European conquest as the colonial state asserted its sovereignty by eliminating the customary rights of Native fishers and consolidating its legal hold over maritime resources. Harris, the author of Fish, Law, and Colonialism, deftly shows us how law, more than military power, was used to transfer control of British Columbia’s fishery resources from Native communities to state authorities.”
-- David Arnold, The Northern Mariner 2009

Landing Native Fisheries is a deeply researched and engaging text that places British Columbia’s history into a larger imperial legal context…[it] brings fish and water to the forefront of a scholarship that has emphasized the dispossession of land and territory.
- Susan Roy, University of British Columbia, Oregon Historical Quarterly Vol 111, No 2, Summer 2010

Harris is a historian of the law. But Harris does not make a fetish out of the legalese, always connecting his evidence to larger points about the colonial dimensions of fisheries management. His work has added immeasurably not only to our knowledge of native dispossession from the west coast fisheries in Canada, but more broadly to the ways in which common property regimes provide no less a legal foundation for outsiders to assert control over native land and resources than did the Lockean private property regimes that have been highlighted in so many other narratives about colonialism.
- John Sandlos, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Environmental History, June 2010

In this thorough and well-documented account, Harris demonstrates the importance of historical factors to the social and political geography of British Columbia
- Stephen Bocking, Trent University, The Canadian Geographer, 55, no 2 (2011)

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Supplemental Table

Related Topics

BC Studies
History > Canada
Aboriginal Studies
Native Studies > Canada
Environmental Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Landing Native Fisheries from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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