Liberalism, Surveillance, and Resistance
256 pages, 6 x 9
2 maps
Release Date:01 May 2009

Liberalism, Surveillance, and Resistance

Indigenous communities in Western Canada, 1877-1927

Athabasca University Press

This study explores the application of liberalism between 1877 and1927 in the land which became southern Alberta and the British Columbiainterior. In these regions, liberalism acted as an exclusionary forcethat enabled the use of extraordinary measures to remove Indigenouspeoples from their ancestral territories. The expansion of liberalism,diverse and multifaceted in construction but undeniably debilitating inits impact on First Nations people, was facilitated, fashioned, andjustified by means of disciplinary surveillance. This network, whichincluded government officials, police officers, church representatives,and ordinary settlers, inculcated Anglo-Canadian liberal capitalistvalues, structures, and interests by presenting them as normal,natural, and beyond reproach. At the same time, it worked to exclude orrestructure the economic, political, social, and spiritual aspects ofIndigenous cultures. While none of this proceeded unchallenged,surveillance served as well to dampen, even if it could nevercompletely quench, opposition.

Keith D. Smith is chair of the Department of FirstNations Studies and teaches in the Department of History at VancouverIsland University in Nanaimo.

Chapter 1: The Liberal Surveillance Complex

Chapter 2: The Transformation of IndigenousTerritory

Chapter 3: Churches, Police Forces, and theDepartment of Indian Affairs

Chapter 4: Disciplinary Surveillance and theDepartment of Indian Affairs

Chapter 5: The British Columbia Interior and theTreaty 7 Region to 1877

Chapter 6: The British Columbia Interior, 1877 to1927

Chapter 7: The Treaty 7 Region After 1877

Chapter 8: Exclusionary Liberalism in World War Iand Beyond




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