UBC Press Picks: Canada 150Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017
To contribute to the dialogue around Canada’s Sesquicentennial, UBC Press is showcasing a curated list of our books that reflect the richness and diversity of our country. The list has been chosen by staff and friends of UBC Press.
From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation
Greg Poelzer and Ken S. Coates
From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation is accessible, balanced, and passionate. I would recommend that all Canadians, particularly university students, read this book. Greg Poelzer and Ken Coates take us on a journey through the ideas and recommendations of many of the most prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous thinkers on the issue of treaties and the treaty relationship in Canada, from Taiaiake Alfred and Patricia Monture-Angus to Michael Asch and Tom Flanagan. They also put forward concrete, practical recommendations to get us at to a place where all Canadians – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – can understand and embrace our obligations as treaty peoples. This book reminds us that rather than focusing exclusively on Indigenous problems or “issues,” we should also celebrate Indigenous achievements and uphold equality of opportunity as a guiding principle in policy discussions and debates.
- Lesley Erickson, Editor
David R. Boyd
Unnatural Law by David R. Boyd was published in 2003. Taking the unique structure of a diagnosis, this landmark volume examines the state of environmental law and policy in Canada, diagnoses the many problems we face, and provides prescriptions for a sustainable future. One of Boyd’s key recommendations centres on the importance of enshrining environmental rights into the constitution. Countries with constitutionally protected environmental laws have a healthier and more sustainable environment than Canada. Unnatural Law was read widely by both academic and general readers, won many awards and was endorsed by the likes of Elizabeth May, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and David Suzuki. As UBC Press’ best-selling book over the last fifteen years, Unnatural Law continues to help Canadians understand the health of Canada’s environment. It remains relevant today and is a must-read book for anyone who wants to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and leave a healthy, sustainable planet for future generations. Unnatural Law also set the stage for Boyd’s subsequent books: The Environmental Rights Revolution, The Right to a Healthy Environment, and Cleaner, Greener, Healthier.
- Randy Schmidt, Senior Editor
In Far Off Metal River, Emilie Cameron challenges her readers to reconsider their perceptions of the “Great White North” by pointing out how settlers’ stories about how North as a barren, hostile, largely desolate place have made it easy to justify two centuries of economic and environmental exploitation. Cameron urges her readers to consider the social, political, and economic motives behind these stories, and to seek out alternative stories about the North from the people who have lived there since time immemorial. This is a thought-provoking book about the power of stories, the legacy of colonialism, and our ability to challenge myths we harbour about our nation.
- Nadine Pedersen, Editorial Coordinator
Vanishing British Columbia is a unique combination of art, experience, and history. It begs to be taken on a road trip. Michael Kluckner’s watercolours provide an anchor for evocative vignettes; mixtures of story, fact, and recollection that provide connection to history and place. Kluckner does not shy away from the unpleasant aspects of the past, touching on Indigenous displacement and the wide effects of Japanese Internment even as he celebrates British Columbia’s regional histories. This book opens doors to exploration, intellectual as well as literal, inspiring further reading on topics from the history of coastal fisheries to oral and community research methods. A celebration of the complex, interconnected histories that make up the fabric of place, Vanishing British Columbia belongs on the bookshelf of anyone curious about that old house down the street.
- Alison Cobra, former Marketing Assistant
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