For many Canadians, wilderness is a fairly straightforward idea – an untouched natural place to visit and to protect. Yet, in Temagami’s Tangled Wild, Jocelyn Thorpe shows in vivid historical detail that “wilderness” is not what it seems.
Tracing the processes and power relationships through which the Temagami area of northeastern Ontario became famous as a site of Canadian wilderness, Thorpe uncovers how struggles over meaning, racialized and gendered identities, and land have made Temagami a place of wild Canadian nature. While the Teme-Augama Anishnabai have for many generations understood the region as their homeland rather than as a wilderness, their relationships with this traditional territory have been disrupted by the mechanisms of forestry, tourism, and Canadian law. In the end, the concept of wilderness has been employed to aid in Aboriginal dispossession and to create a home for non-Aboriginal Canadians on Native land.
An eloquent and sophisticated analysis, Temagami’s Tangled Wild challenges readers to acknowledge how colonial relations are embedded in our notions of wilderness, and to reconsider our understanding of the wilderness ideal.
A sophisticated and eloquent analysis that will appeal to students, scholars, and others interested in Native, postcolonial, and environmental studies, as well as in Canadian history, cultural geography, and gender studies.
The book’s short length and clear writing, which make it ideal for teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels, belie not only this ambitious objective but also Thorpe’s carefully theorizing and rich historical detail.
An incredibly important and original contribution to the related fields of environmental history, cultural geography, and race and ethnicity studies.
Foreword: Nature and Nation in a “Little Known District amid the Wilds of Canada” / Graeme Wynn
Introduction: Welcome to n’Daki Menan (“Our Land”)
1 Tangled Wild
2 Timber Nature
3 Virgin Territory for the Sportsman
4 A Rocky Reserve
5 Legal Landscapes
6 Conclusion: A Return to n’Daki MenanNotes; Bibliography; Index
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