First Nations of British Columbia, Second Edition, The
168 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
31 b&w illustrations, 3 maps
Release Date:01 Nov 2007

First Nations of British Columbia, Second Edition, The

An Anthropological Survey

UBC Press

The First Nations of British Columbia, 2nd edition, is a concise and accessible overview of First Nations peoples, cultures, and issues in the province. Robert Muckle familiarizes readers with the history, diversity, and complexity of First Nations to provide a context for contemporary concerns and initiatives.

This fully revised edition

  • Updates names, suggested readings, maps, and photographs
  • Explains the current treaty negotiation process
  • Provides highlights of agreements between First Nations and governments up to the present
  • Details past and present government policies
  • Identifies the territories of major groups in the province
  • Gives information on populations, reserves, bands, and language groups
  • Summarizes archaeological, ethnographic, historical, legal, and political issues.

The First Nations of British Columbia is an indispensable resource for teachers and students, and an excellent introduction for anyone interested in BC’s First Nations.

Robert J. Muckle has been involved in numerous anthropological research projects, served as a consultant to several First Nations, and taught at postsecondary institutions throughout British Columbia. He currently teaches anthropology at Capilano College in North Vancouver.

Maps and Illustrations

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Part 1: First Nations Defined

What Is a First Nation?

Two Kinds of First Nations People

Population, Reserves, Settlements, and Lands

Bands, Ethnic Groups, Tribal Councils, and Other Affiliations

Suggested Reading

Part 2: Archaeology and First Peoples

First Nations and Archaeological Perceptions of the Past

The Nature of Archaeological Research in British Columbia

Early Migrations through British Columbia

Here to Stay

Settling Down

Prominent Sites

Tracing Ancestry

Suggested Reading

Part 3: Ethnology and Traditional Lifeways

Anthropology and Oral Tradition

Traditional Culture Areas of British Columbia



Settlement Patterns



Social Organization

Myths, Spirits, and Shamans

Health and Healing


The Potlatch and Other Important Ceremonies

Trade, Slavery, and Warfare

Suggested Reading

Part 4: First Nations in Recent and Contemporary Times

Population Loss

The Impact of the Fur Trade

The Impact of the Gold Rushes

The Impact of Non-Native Settlement

Missionaries and Residential Schools

First Nations and Wage Labour

Government Relations with First Nations

Assertions of Aboriginal Rights

Negotiations in the 1990s and Early-Twenty-First Century

Economic and Cultural Initiatives

Asserting Identity through Art

Outstanding Issues

Suggested Reading


1 The First Nations of British Columbia

2 Major Ethnic Groups

3 Excerpts from the Royal Proclamation, 1763

4 Excerpts from the Laurier Memorial, 1910

5 Highlights from the Nisga’a Final Agreement

6 First Nations Involved in Treaty Negotiations, 2006


Selected Bibliography

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