Landing Native Fisheries
280 pages, 6 x 9
15 b&w photos, 25 maps, 3 tables
Release Date:27 May 2008
Release Date:01 Jan 2009
Release Date:01 Jan 2009

Landing Native Fisheries

Indian Reserves and Fishing Rights in British Columbia, 1849-1925

SERIES: Law and Society
UBC Press
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.


  • 2009, Commended - Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing, British Columbia Historical Federation
  • 2011, Winner - John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History
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)
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, October 2009
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.


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






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

Table of Indian reserves allotted for fishing purposes in British Columbia, 1849-1925, organized geographically and by First Nations language group or regional affiliation.

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