The Resettlement of British Columbia
336 pages, 6 x 9
58 colour illustrations, 23 b&w photos
Release Date:01 Jan 1997
Release Date:01 Jan 1997
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

The Resettlement of British Columbia

Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change

UBC Press

In this beautifully crafted collection of essays, Cole Harris reflects on the strategies of colonialism in British Columbia during the first 150 years after the arrival of European settlers. The pervasive displacement of indigenous people by the newcomers, the mechanisms by which it was accomplished, and the resulting effects on the landscape, social life, and history of Canada’s western-most province are examined through the dual lenses of post-colonial theory and empirical data. By providing a compelling look at the colonial construction of the province, the book revises existing perceptions of the history and geography of British Columbia.

In their entirety, this eloquent collection of nine essays constitute a provocative and unique investigation into the meaning of colonialism and geographical change in the province.


  • 1998, Winner - Clio Award (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Association
The Resettlement of British Columbia, analyzing the historical geography of distance, disease, and multiculturalism, demonstrates how elegantly and gracefully the social sciences can be written. W.H. New, Canadian Literature
An engaging provocative, introduction to the early history of the province that only someone of {Harris's] experience and ability could produce ... The Resettlement of British Columbia is a fine book. Full of wonderful insights and candid observations, it offers a nuanced look at the history of Canada's Pacific province ... What distinguishes the collection, however, is Harris's challenge to the reader to re-think some common assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes. Bill Waiser, Western Historical Quarterly
This is an important book, characterized by its broad, sometimes breath-taking, intellectual and empirical sweep ... a provocative and important book by someone who has given a great deal of thought to the relationship between land and power in Canada. Tina Loo, BC Studies
Cole Harris was born and raised in British Columbia and has been a distinguished member of the Department of Geography at UBC for many years. Currently the co-editor of BC Studies, he is especially well known as the editor of the first volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada: From the Beginning to 1800.


1 Voices of Smallpox around the Strait of Georgia

2 Strategies of Power in the Cordilleran Fur Trade

3 The Making of the Lower Mainland

4 The Fraser Canyon Encountered

5 A Population Geography of British Columbia in 1881 / with Robert Galois

6 The Struggle with Distance

7 Industry and the Good Life around Idaho Peak

8 Farming and Rural Life / with David Demeritt

9 Making an Immigrant Society

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