The Clio Prizes
These annual awards are given for meritorious publications or for exceptional contributions by individuals or organizations to regional history.
Jeffers Lennox, Homelands and Empires: Indigenous Spaces, Imperial Fictions, and Competition for Territory in Northeastern North America, 1690-1763. University of Toronto Press, 2017.
Homelands and Empires offers a richly detailed and methodologically innovative account of the struggle to define and control the territory we now envision as “Atlantic Canada.” Exploring the power inherent to both space and the mapping of it, the book engages with the long-term environmental and political consequences of European imperial rivalries. Significantly, Lennox explores, with insight and balance, how those rivalries clashed with Indigenous understandings of space, movement, history and homeland.
Matthew Barlow. Griffintown. Identity and Memory in an Irish Diaspora Neighbourhood. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.
This very unique book focuses not only on the history of Montreal's Griffintown working-class neighborhood - from its birth in the mid-19th century to its reconfiguration at the dawn of the 21st century, to its virtual disappearance after the Second World War world, but especially to the memory that was built by the Irish people who inhabited it. While using a wide variety of sources, both written and oral, and using several levels of analysis, Matthew Barlow shows that the close association of the Irish with this neighborhood, in spite of the fact that they have always been a minority there, illustrates a memory work that has been undertaken since the beginning of the twentieth century and has continued to this day and even intensified over time, according to the events that have marked the sociopolitical history of Ireland, but also that of Quebec. This fascinating study allows us to see how this memory emerged, how it has survived and how and why this memory continues to feed Griffintown's almost mythical vision. In doing so, Barlow's work offers a truly unique portrait of the life of this neighborhood and of its long-term residents, and in many respects reintroduces the history of the working class and it will certainly make its mark.
Susan M. Hill, The Clay We are Made Of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River. University of Manitoba Press, 2017.
Susan Hill’s The Clay We Are Made Of is an innovative and complex history of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Confederacy and its relationship to the land it continues to call home on both sides of the Canadian-American border. Grounded in the key epics at the roots of Haudenosaunee history, Hill weaves a retelling of their story from its origins, through European contact, to present-day land claims disputes by deftly employing a wide array of Indigenous and settler sources and approaches. Hill’s clear and compelling narrative tells a story not just of dispossession but also of community resilience. As such, Hill’s study has resonance not only for the current climate of reconciliation, but it will be a model for community-based Indigenous histories for years to come.
Erika Dyck and Alex Deighton. Managing Madness: Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2017.
In this innovative history of psychiatric care, Erika Dyck and Alex Deighton trace the story of the Weyburn Mental Hospital, from its genesis as a showcase ‘total institution’ through to its decline and closure as treatment of the mentally ill shifted to community-based care. Their study provides a rich and nuanced analysis of the Saskatchewan context, while also connecting the province to broader national and international developments in psychiatric care. The authors demonstrate the influence of the hospital’s leaders well beyond the province’s borders in mental health research and in shaping government policy, while always paying close attention to the voices of the patients themselves. Documenting Saskatchewan’s early commitment to deinstitutionalization, Dyck and Deighton also document a legacy of struggle and unrealized promise in mental health reform. Deftly integrating a range of methods, sources and collaborative scholarship, Dyck and Deighton write with passion, commitment, and respect for people whose lives have been affected by mental illness.
Lynne Marks. Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2017.
Lynne Marks’ strikingly original study addresses a major gap in British Columbia’s historiography in her exploration of the contours of religious belief and participation—but more centrally, its relative absence—in the province. The term “irreligion” captures a range of beliefs and practices, from mere indifference to religion to avowed atheism. British Columbia is now, as it has been throughout its settler history, exceptional in its rates of irreligion. Marks offers a thorough analysis of the conditions for this cultural distinctiveness, rooted in its class, race and gender peculiarities. She thus helps us to understand a previously unexplored dimension of “the west beyond the west.”
The BC Clio Prize committee is pleased to honour Cole Harris (Professor Emeritus, Geography, UBC) with a lifetime achievement award. A member of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Harris authored a series of award-winning articles and books on colonialism and geographical change (most notably, The Resettlement of British Columbia  and Making Native Space ) that set the historiography of the Pacific Northwest on a new path. A central theme that runs through all of Harris’s work is the displacement of Indigenous peoples (and land) that occurred with the colonial “resettlement” project. His forthcoming book, Ranch in the Slocan (a history of homesteading in BC’s Slocan Valley), is due to appear in the spring of 2018.
Joan Sangster. The Iconic North: Cultural Constructs of Aboriginal Life in Postwar Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.
In The Iconic North, Joan Sangster directs the reader toward marginalised experiences of the Arctic, chiefly those of Indigenous and settler women. In doing so, she engages the “Idea of North” in fresh and necessary ways. Revisiting the well-known archives of Canadiana, Sangster concentrates on the postwar period to contrast colonial constructions of Northern peoples with an Arctic modernity that is actively shaped by women. Crisscrossed by racism and inequality, the affirmation of this modernity is by no means harmonious. But there are alliances and mutual empowerment between Indigenous and settler women, as well as between women and men. Placing gender at the forefront of historical scholarship, The Iconic North shows its tremendous potential for filling gaps in Arctic history. Given the key strategic importance of the region – for geopolitical reasons and for Indigenous resurgence – this book makes an impressive contribution.
Ronald Rudin, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
Ronald Rudin’s exceptional narrative skills draw the reader into the story of the largest forced removal of people – and one of the last – to create a national park. Most of the 1200 people removed to create Kouchibouguac National Park in northeastern New Brunswick were Acadian, and resistance to this ‘second deportation’ was strong and dynamic. In addition to his extensive archival work, Rudin conducted dozens of interviews to illuminate the community networks and sustainable livelihoods that were displaced by federal and provincial governments who mistook economic pluralism for abject poverty. Kouchibouguac is a significant study of the hubris of the interventionist state.
Sean Mills, A Place in the Sun. Haiti, Haitians, and the Remaking of Quebec. Montréal/Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016.
A Place in the Sun stands out as an original work with a true transnational perspective. This history of the relation between Haitians and Québécois is a historiographic milestone because it brings a new approach to the study of ethnic communities. The author does not stop at the causes of immigration, the number of migrants and the formation of institutions by the immigrant community. While demonstrating an exceptional mastery of historical and historiographical contexts, he succeeds in integrating representations, intellectual trends and popular movements, all while respecting individuals and groups, regardless of race, gender or class. Sean Mills easily presents a complex history and tells a captivating account through a well woven narrative. Through the finesse of his analysis and the power of storytelling, we can feel a Haitian community's life and its ties with Québec society.
Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank, The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour. UBC Press, 2016.
Through extensive research and convincing analysis, The People and the Bay is a finely nuanced study of Hamiltonians' complicated relationship with their harbour over the past two centuries. With firm roots in environmental and social history, Bouchier and Cruickshank explore the shifting ways that Hamiltonians came to understand their relationship with the waterfront and to negotiate and often to contest the manner in which it would be engaged, exploited, and managed. The authors have provided historians concerned with issues such as the shifting patterns of work and play, the impact of industrialization, and the management of environmental concerns, a valuable resource for years to come.
Sarah Carter, Imperial Plots: Women, Land, and the Spadework of British Colonialism on the Canadian Prairies. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.
Putting Indigenous and settler women farmers at the centre of the history of homesteading, Sarah Carter’s Imperial Plots compels us to reconsider the economic development of the prairie west. Beginning with Indigenous Plains women agriculturalists, Carter explains how gendered and racialized ideas excluded these first farmers from holding property. British women who campaigned for the right to own land in their own names were no less implicated than settler men in the dispossession of Indigenous territories. Entrenched ideas about male property ownership thwarted campaigns to change homestead laws and women who purchased land struggled for recognition, respect, and survival as farmers. Weaving together the histories of colonialism, imperialism, and gender relations, Carter puts homesteading history into its larger transnational context. This book helps us understand why women still struggle to be recognized as farmers. The survival of Indigenous farming techniques demonstrates the continuing importance of women’s agricultural work.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Clio Prairie Committee is pleased to honour Dr. Jennifer Brown with this Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Winnipeg, Member of the Royal Society of Canada, Canada Research Chair (Tier I) from 2004 – 2011, Professor Brown has made outstanding contributions to our knowledge of Rupert’s Land and offered scholars significant insights into our knowledge of the Prairie West. Her path-breaking work on fur trade families brought women to the centre of our understanding of the fur trade society. She is the author and editor of fourteen books that have advanced our knowledge of Métis society and Indigenous-settler relations. She served as the Director of The Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies for fifteen years, where she fostered relationships among researchers, archivists, and those interested in the history of the peoples of the Hudson’s Bay watershed. Her exceptional record of publication and her commitment to engaging the public in the continuing relevancy of the history of the Prairie West make her a worthy recipient of this award.
Aaron Chapman, The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.
Aaron Chapman’s Last Gang in Town explores a dramatic chapter in the history of Vancouver. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the notorious Clark Park Gang created havoc across the city. By means of scrupulous archival research and extensive interviews with gang alumni and former VPD members, Chapman pulls back the blinds on life in East Van at a time when it was heavily blue-collar and poor. As histories of the 1960s and ‘70s multiply, Chapman offers original and even-handed insights into aspects of youth, crime, and policing that might otherwise escape scrutiny.
Lifetime Achievement Award
For thirty-seven years until his retirement in 2011, Dan Savard curated the Royal British Columbia Museum’s photographic collection – an assemblage of tintypes, stereographs, glass negatives, lantern slides, picture postcards, modern transparencies, amateur snapshots, and professional photographs and film. He infused historical and ethnographic depth into the collection and shared his knowledge generously with scholars, students, and others over the years. He gained a public profile through lively public lectures on hidden facets of the collection. For Savard, photographic materials are rich and exciting sources of insight on the physical and cultural landscape, insight that is often missing in textual sources. He spent his life studying the region’s historiography as a way to better understand the photographs, photographers, and the early photographic technology, along with its transport (in backpacks, saddlebags, and in stagecoach holds). Savard’s book, Images from the Likeness House (2010), explored the relationships between photographers and the Indigenous peoples of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska between 1860 and 1930 was awarded the Roderick Haig-Brown Book Prize in 2011.
The prize was not attributed this year
Raymond B. Blake, Lions or Jellyfish: Newfoundland-Ottawa Relations since 1957. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.
Lions or Jellyfish is a polished investigation of the often-strained relationship between Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador. While many elements of this story are well known, Raymond Blake brings a sophisticated analysis and a well-constructed narrative.
As Blake shows, Confederation has never been a comfortable fit for the province. Public and impassioned intergovernmental disputes – over federal transfers, management of the fishery, oil and gas revenues, and constitutional renewal – have fanned the fires of Newfoundland nationalism over the last six decades. Blake’s accounts of these confrontations are detailed and compelling, and reflect considerable research in governmental and private papers.
Any analysis of intergovernmental relations must discuss the personalities of political leaders but Blake goes beyond mere personalities, as colourful as they often were. He delves into the economics, the contemporary political ideas and culture and the bureaucracy that constrained provincial and federal politicians’ choices. Despite this, Blake allows us to still savour the nasty squabbles between John Diefenbaker and Joey Smallwood, between Brian Peckford and Pierre Trudeau and, most recently, between Danny Williams and Stephen Harper.
Lions or Jellyfish makes an important contribution to the history of Canadian federalism, and makes us wonder, why more has not been written about Newfoundland’s sometimes acrimonious, colourful, and contested relationships with Ottawa.
Amélie Bourbeau, Techniciens de l'organisation sociale. La réorganisation de l’assistance catholique privée à Montréal (1930-1974). Montréal/Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015.
This book is of significant importance to the historiography of charity and assistance in Quebec in the twentieth century. Not only does it shed light on the origin, formation and inner workings of two Catholic financial federations (French and English) established in the 1930s in Montreal but, going beyond a strict institutional history, it seeks to understand the various processes (bureaucratization, professionalization, secularization and nationalization) that explain the evolution of charity practice between the 1930s and the early 1970s. Much more than a simple review of the organizational structure of both federations, the book highlights the issues that were at the heart of their creation, their development and their transformation. In doing so, Bourbeau has shown that efforts to streamline the field of charity, if it did indeed lead to the emergence of the welfare state, was a phenomenon that was far from linear; on the contrary, it was marked by a lot of tensions and conflicts permeating all Catholic networks in Montreal, including executives as well as beneficiaries, reflecting the balance of power in both communities. This original research based on a range of public and private archives, written and oral is characterized by its intellectual scope and attention to nuance that will soon make this book a fundamental reference for a broad spectrum of studies involving this period and the rich themes analyzed in it.
Craig Heron, Lunch Bucket Lives: Remaking the Worker's City. Between the Lines, 2015.
Lunch Bucket Lives is not only an impressive condensation of the last half century of social history, but a deeply respectful examination of the complex lives of Hamiltonians as the city became Steeltown. Heron's unassailable command of both the primary and secondary literature permits a richly detailed discussion of working class lives on the job, at home, and in the community. In demonstrating how intersections of race, class, gender and ethnicity informed, nurtured, but also limited the responses of workers to the emergence of industrial capitalism, Lunch Bucket Lives attains an interpretive complexity that will challenge those familiar with its subject, period, and place. All in all, Lunch Bucket Lives is a study that equals the "Ambitious City" it seeks to document.
Michel Hogue, Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People. University of Regina Press, 2015.
Michel Hogue’s Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People is a remarkable book. Hogue has written the history of late nineteenth century borderlands diplomacy and state formation from an indigenous perspective. By following, in part, the story of Antoine Ouellette’s and Angelique Bottineau’s family, Metis and the Medicine Line offers both a captivating personal story and a new comparative analysis of the buffalo hunt, resistance, Métis-First Nations relations, colonization and the imposition of Canada and the United States onto the western plains.
Don Smith calls Hugh Dempsey “the dean of Alberta historians.” Author of 22 books, editor of 17 books and for 60 years of Alberta History, and archivist and curator at the Glenbow Foundation, Dempsey has played a pivotal role in preserving Alberta’s heritage. Throughout his career, Dempsey’s primary interest has been in the lives of interesting Albertans.
His marriage to Pauline Gladstone initiated his relationships with Treaty 7 First Nations. His close rapport with still-surviving elders provided him with exceptional entry into their oral traditions, which formed the basis of significant new insights into and biographies of First Nations people from their own voice. These works include *Crowfoot*, *Tom Three Persons*, *Big Bear*, and most recently *The Great Blackfoot Treaties*. Joining oral history with rigorous archival research, his widely read books have reshaped how we think about Alberta’s past. He has received many honors, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary and the Order of Canada. When he retired in 1991, the Glenbow made him chief curator emeritus and named the reading room of the Library and Archives after him. He is most proud of being inducted as an honorary chief of the Blood Nation and to receive the name Potaina, his wife’s grandfather’s name. Hugh Dempsey’s continuing commitment to preserving, researching, and writing history make him a deserving recipient of this Lifetime Achievement Award.
Emilie Cameron, Far Off Metal River: Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic. UBC Press, 2015.
Emilie Cameron's Far Off Metal River examines the significance of one of the most (in)famous stories about the Canadian North. Cameron offers a sophisticated and nuanced examination of the long term historical significance of Samuel Hearne’s famous account of the 1771 massacre at Bloody Falls. Although debates over the veracity of Hearne’s account have raged since it was published in 1795, Cameron turns our attention to a more consequential question: the significance of Qablunaat (non-Inuit) uses of the massacre story from the time of its publication to the twenty-first century. Cameron explains that the massacre story matters—whether the actual event happened or not—because it has profoundly shaped the way outsiders have perceived and treated northern indigenous peoples, resource extraction, and aboriginal claims ever since it captured their attention. Based on a wide array of sources as varied as Hearne’s own writings, aboriginal memories, explorers’ journals, government documents, plays, poetry, and art, Far Off Metal River invites readers to consider the significance of a 250-year old story in entirely new ways.
Lisa Pasolli, Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma: A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy. UBC Press, 2015.
Lisa Pasolli’s study details British Columbian women’s efforts to secure and/or to provide child care for working mothers throughout the 20th century. She demonstrates that advocates and critics alike invoked concepts like ‘entitlement’ in their campaigns for, and against, child care. She demonstrates the ways in which social policy on this front has responded to labour market needs, mothers’ economic vulnerability, and child development philosophies. Pasolli examines 20th-century discourses about working women’s ability – and right – to access child care as part of a broader debate about which kinds of contributions to society are recognized and valued, and how. Pasolli engages in, and contributes to, our understanding of how “social citizenship” has been defined in ways that reward male contributions to the labour economy, and view men as the the chief providers and therefore the heads of their families. She explains how BC’s child care policy debates relate to efforts to redefine the terms of social citizenship in ways that recognize female contributions, whether as participants in the labour economy, or as managers of their homes and families. She cleverly turns on its head the question of who is deserving of state support by showing how the absence of affordable and accessible child care has worked to exclude women from the privileges of social citizenship.
Some of these concepts are deceptively simple. Working mothers demonstrated a strong work ethic and were celebrated in wartime, but were criticized for continuing their paid employment while raising children during peacetime. The provision of child care in times of high labour demand, then, becomes essentially a labour policy; its withdrawal during times of relative labour surplus constitutes a decision to privilege male breadwinner labour, while requiring women to commit to child-rearing and housekeeping as full-time unpaid occupations. With these gendered assumptions concerning women’s proper place in force, the working mother who demanded child care was constructed by her critics as “a problem.” If working mothers were understood to be pursuing careers to alleviate financial need (rather than to pursuing a vocation, or fulfilling a desire to work outside of the home), then the policy solution was to provide mothers’ allowances. Mothers’ allowances (and related social programs) were designed to subsidize women to such an extent they stayed out of the paid workforce, and could focus entirely on caring for their own children.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Over the course of his distinguished career, Robin Fisher has contributed in many ways to the study of British Columbia history and has carved out a reputation for scholarly diligence, careful analysis, crisp writing, and inspired thinking.
Tracing the routes taken nearly 200 years earlier by James Cook, Fisher left his native New Zealand to study at the University of British Columbia. In time, this research was captured in his landmark study and first monograph, Contact and Conflict: Indian-European Relations in British Columbia, 1774-1890, which appeared in 1977, three years after he joined the Department of History at Simon Fraser University.
Contact and Conflict repositioned the west coast encounter as one in which Aboriginal agency offset the old imperial narrative of European exploration. Arguing that commerce in the Pacific Northwest was marked by Aboriginal strategies and priorities, separate agendas, and identifiable personalities who carefully shaped the terms of trade, Fisher identified the phenomenon of “mutual benefit” as a defining force in the study of the region’s past. Contact and Conflict remains one of the core texts on First Nations and British Columbian history. Fisher’s perspectives, arguments, and evidence have been challenged repeatedly yet the book has aged well. And whatever debate it continues to provoke demonstrates that it remains one of – perhaps the – single-most influential monographs ever written on the subject. That it first appeared in 1977, two years before the inaugural Clio Awards, means that it escaped the recognition from the CHA that it deserved.
Fisher’s subsequent monographs, contributions to BC Studies, and collaborative projects have furthered our understanding of British Columbia’s history. With Hugh Johnston, he co-edited Captain James Cook and His Times in 1979 and From Maps to Metaphors: The Pacific World of George Vancouver in 1993. He also worked with Jack Bumsted, editing An Account of a Voyage to the North West Coast of America in 1785 and 1786 in 1982 and with Ken Coates on Out of the Background: Readings on Canadian History, which has gone through two editions. Fisher was also a driving force between the unique department-wide collaboration on Pacific Province: A History of British Columbia, contributing an important update on his earlier work on contact and trade. His second major monograph, a biography of British Columbia’s “Little New Deal” Premier, Duff Pattullo of British Columbia, won honourable mention in the 1992 Clio Prize and still stands as exemplary historical biography and a major contribution to the literature on political history in British Columbia.
Fisher moved to Prince George in 1993 to build a History Department at the University of Northern British Columbia. As the founding Department Chair he played a pivotal role in assembling a team of scholars with strengths in northern and British Columbian studies. He remained active in teaching and researching the province’s history throughout this period, even after his promotion to the position of Dean. In 2002 he was recruited to the position of Dean of Arts at the University of Regina and three years later he became Vice-President Academic and Provost at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, shepherding it into university-status in 2009. Fisher’s continued support of Indigenous scholarship and students was manifest in his role in the building of the Iniskim Centre, for which he was honoured by Blackfoot elders and further recognized with a Niitsitapi name, Stum eek see yaan, prior to his retirement in 2013.
Fisher has taught thousands of undergraduates and supervised dozens of graduate students over the years. He has been a forceful advocate, as well, for the role of the public scholar and the need for academic historians to communicate their discoveries beyond the ivory towers. Fisher continues to pursue research, set a high standard as a writer, and engage publicly and collaboratively with the history of British Columbia, a path we celebrate with this 2016 Clio Award.
Gregory M.W. Kennedy, Something of a Peasant Paradise? Comparing Rural Societies in Acadie and the Loudunais, 1604-1755 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014).
Gregory Kennedy’s Something of a Peasant Paradise? is a significant achievement that will shift the historiography of Acadie and New France. The Acadians, descendants of a few hundred seventeenth-century French settlers, inhabited a borderlands colony that changed hands ten times between the British and French empires. Between 1755 and 1763, the British forcibly expelled about 10 000 Acadians from the Maritimes; most of the scattered Acadian communities maintained a distinct identity, and a nineteenth-century ‘renaissance’ entrenched a transnational, collective identity rooted in the colonial experience of their ancestors.
Previous historical assessments of the Acadians before the Deportation often speculated on the relative autonomy/oppression or wealth/poverty of the Acadians. Kennedy offers a perceptive comparison grounded in extensive research in French archives. He selects the canton of Loudun in the Poitou-Charentes region of France as his comparator for Acadie; this is an eminently reasonable selection, since a significant number of 17th-century Acadian colonists came from this region and it was a borderland in France’s 16th-century wars of religion. Though the Acadian archival inventory is rather skeletal, Kennedy has reconstructed quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the colony’s environment, economy, culture, familial patterns and community political structures as they relate to a contemporary French peasant community. He concludes that life in Acadie was probably less idyllic and more familiar to French peasants and seigneurs than many scholars have assumed.
This is not to say that Kennedy sees no difference between the Acadians and the Loudunais. Some recent scholarship on the formation of an Acadian identity has emphasized the Deportation as the formative experience, but Kennedy argues that the colonists forged a distinct, kin-based society in the unique environmental and political circumstances. In this, they were similar to the Canadiens, the Loudunais and other communities who were ‘subjects’ of France, but not yet ‘French’ in a nationalist sense. This will enable us to teach Acadian history as a holistic rather than a segmented reality. By reconnecting Acadie to the French Atlantic World and emphasizing tangible comparisons, Kennedy has opened the door to more comprehensive inquiries into the themes of change and continuity as formative forces. His conclusions will be widely discussed and inevitably challenged, but Gregory Kennedy has produced a valuable new perspective that will guide the conversation to follow.
Steven High, Oral History at the Crossroads. Sharing Life Stories of Survival and Displacement, Vancouver et Toronto, UBC Press, 2014.
Steven High and his team collected the life stories of Montrealers who have left their home countries because of war, genocide and other human rights violations. Shying away from the beaten path, they have chosen to share their researcher’s authority with the participants, blurring the traditional boundaries between them. Beyond gathering and rescuing memories, they build bridges between generations, cultural communities and between the latter and academics. They thus explore various uses of oral history and multiply its impact by multimedia broadcasts that rely on the performing arts and the posting of interviews online for example. Overall, Steven High gives an account of an impressive and amazing experimentation in oral history where all of the steps are scrutinized in a reflective process that redefines the potential and limitations of such investigations.
Jennifer Bonnell, Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014.
Residents of southern Ontario likely know the Don River Valley as the site of the Don Valley Parkway, also known as the Don Valley Parking Lot. Residents closer to the area itself know the Don as a polluted, un-navigable waterway which opens into Lake Ontario at a degraded post-industrial brownspace. Followers of GTA politics know it as the topic of much debate over urban and waterfront renewal. In Reclaiming the Don, Jennifer Bonnell unpacks the various meanings of the Don River Valley and different ways that it has been viewed and used across over two centuries of European settlement. This clearly written, exhaustively researched contribution to the region’s history tells a compelling story of the relationship between the river and the region through which it passes.
Like the Don River itself, Bonnell’s study ebbs and flows through several centuries of Ontario’s history. After discussing Indigenous communities’ uses of the river as an important resource before European contact, Bonnell traces the way “the Don” was reconceived by early Europeans such as John Graves and Catharine Simcoe, who framed it by the pastoral English ideal as a source of transportation and vitality, through its use as an outlet for sewage and industrial waste as the city around it expanded, and then to the many attempts to revitalize, reconstruct, and revision -- in essence reclaim -- the Don River, its valley, and estuary. It is a work of complexity and nuance, combining social, political, economic, and environmental history, using the Don River as a lens through which to tell the history of the region and its people.
PearlAnn Reichwein, Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974. University of Alberta Press, 2014.
PearlAnn Reichwein’s Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974 is a fantastic blend of leisure, environmental, and cultural history. Focusing on the Alpine Club of Canada, Professor Reichwein explores the ways the history of the club parallels and affected the development of the Rocky Mountain parks over the twentieth century. Covering topics ranging from the marketing of climbing equipment to organising opposition to hydro development in the park, she has written a book of broad appeal to twentieth century historians. In her conclusion she makes very powerful arguments about environmental history, climate change, and our relationship to nature and the mountains. The book is an exciting read and beautifully produced, integrating many images and side bars on a variety of topics, making it appealing to a broader audience than the academic market.
Dominique Clément, Equality Deferred: Sex Discrimination and British Columbia’s Human Rights State, 1953-84. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014.
With Equality Deferred, Dominique Clément has set a benchmark for human rights history in the province of British Columbia and a standard for the rest of the nation to match. This well-written and lively book will influence readers’ perceptions of human rights legislation. Clément effectively demonstrates how women (avowed feminist scholars and self-defined human rights workers as well as flight attendants, waitresses, mill workers and others) understood and applied developing human rights legislation to address sex discrimination.
Equality Deferred places individual women’s experiences and legal battles within the context of the human rights state. Clément demonstrates when and how human rights legislation was used to tackle gender inequality during a very active period of policy change and legal “innovations.”(15) However, the failure of the human rights state to address “systemic discrimination” is also acknowledged (13). That this era of dynamic policy innovation did not lead to an evenly applied progression to equal rights for all women is a key conclusion.
Clément also details how British Columbia’s application of human rights law differed from other provinces: specific contexts are significant. A case study approach illuminates local interpretations and applications of human rights legislation. The importance of Kathleen Ruff’s appointment as the first Director of the Human Rights Branch, and the contributions of the team of investigators she hired, exemplifies the importance of local and individual stories. Clément also indicates that BC’s labour force, provincial immigration rates, and the precedents set in sexual harassment and gay rights illustrate important regional differences in application of human rights law. He argues that British Columbia provides an ideal case study for the nation, because it was “the epicentre of a conflict on the nature and legitimacy of the human rights state.” (21)
Clément has written a historical monograph with sound research and an engaged sense of enquiry. Through excellent stories of individual women’s challenges to the law and by providing the context of the human rights state in a key period, he presents an image of some good intentions and some less than charitable notions, well mixed with politics and policy formation. Here we see, too, historical knowledge offered up as a call for action in the present. This is a compelling demonstration of what engaged historical scholarship can be.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The committee wishes to award this prize in recognition of Elsie Paul’s lifelong dedication to the stories and teachings of the Sliammon and to gratefully acknowledge her willingness to share her narrative with all of us. Ifhistorical knowledge is most valuable when it informs an active life in the present, Paul’s recollections are priceless for current and future generations of the Sliammon people and, indeed, all British Columbians. The committee feels that this recommendation is also a way for historians to respectfully acknowledge other First Nations elders and those authors who have contributed richly to the field (Harry Robinson’s collaboration with Wendy Wickwire, Julie Cruikshank’s work with Tlingit elders Angela Sidney, Kitty Smith, and Annie Ned, Robin and Jillian Ridington’swork with the Dunne-zaa, and Bridget Moran and Mary John’s collaboration on life at Lejac spring to mind, among other rich partnerships). Historians and anthropologists have helped bring oral histories to print but the dedication of the storytellers and their understanding of the value of their own histories make the endeavour possible.
In Written as I Remember It: Teachings (??ms ta?aw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder, Paige Raibmon and Harmony Johnson have deftly captured Paul’s knowledge and stories in written form, but she unreservedly remains the author. It is her voice that speaks on every page. Her determination to present her teachings and history within her own narrative framework makes her contributions extremely valuable and, in that regard, this book is much more than a biography. She wanted her teachings to be available to a wider audience. She was insistent about how her story would be told and preserved; she spent years speaking with scholars, journalists and relatives, hours in front of microphones, and many more hours reading and re-reading edited versions of her words. She consented to the process in order to preserve more than a memoir. As Raibmon noted, “Elsie is a serious storyteller….She takes the power of words seriously, and so tells stories in order to impart helpful, potentially healing, knowledge”. (4) The recent publication of Written as I Remember It: Teachings (??ms ta?aw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder is a culmination of a lifetime in service to the Sliammon history, language and culture and her valuable contributions to BC’s living history.
Ted Binnema, Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson's Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670-1870. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014.
Enlightened Zeal examines the Hudson Bay Company's involvement in scientific work in arctic and subarctic Canada throughout the period of its commercial monopoly between 1670 and 1870. Science was an essential element of the HBC's work: it satisfied the ambitions and interests of its officers, contributed to the company's reputation, and influenced debate regarding the region's future. Drawing on extensive research in the archives and the published literature, Binnema's book enlarges our understanding of the practice and meaning of science during this period: its social contexts, its relation to exploration, its political consequences (not least for American and Canadian territorial expansion), and its role in cooperative relations between aboriginal people and the HBC. He also places his account in a wider scholarly context. Enlightened Zeal is a groundbreaking study of the history of science in a chartered monopoly. Further, by exploring the networks that linked HBC officers in North America with company directors and scientists in Britain and elsewhere, Binnema contributes to our understanding of how knowledge moved across the continent and the Atlantic, advancing a reconsideration of traditional narratives of centre and periphery in the history of science. His ambitious work will be essential to our understanding of both the history of northern Canada and the history of Canadian and imperial science.
Renée N. Lafferty,The Guardianship of Best Interests. Institutional Care for the Children of the Poor in Halifax, 1850-1960.
The public and private institutions that have played a role of guardian of the poor children of Halifax were guided by what they believed to be the "best interests of the child." On the other hand, their concept of what their “best interests” was remained vague. Renée N. Lafferty demonstrates in her excellent book, The Guardianship of Best Interests that this concept is very indicative of the changing perceptions towards children, social services and the professions working with children. Lafferty’s study examines the creation and management of institutions for poor children from the mid-19th century until their closure a
century later. These institutions are then abandoned in favor of a system of foster families promoted by the Children’s Aid Society.
Through a dynamic and interesting analysis, the author explores the interaction between these institutions and their environment throughout the period studied. The author notes that the institutions did not care about "saving" children from the worst conditions of poverty. The children had first to be made into "useful and responsible" citizens and thereby meet society’s expectations. To achieve these objectives, the children were separated according to age, gender, religion and race. Even though faced with chronic under-funding, these institutions nonetheless stated to be a
lways looking for the best professional methods of child care.
Lafferty’s article makes a significant contribution to Canadian historiography as it sheds new light on the evolution of social services for children. Previous studies argue that we have gone from an ineffective and often harmful network of institutions run by amateurs to a professional system for host families well supervised by specialists in social work. Lafferty questions this argument and demonstrates that the authorities in Halifax and Nova Scotia had long since developed an approach that combined foster families and care in institutions. In addition, these authorities supported services as well as public and private funding.
Mario Mimeault, L’exode québécois 1852-1925. Correspondance d’une famille dispersée en Amérique. Septentrion, 2013.
Through his original research, Mario Mimeault offers a new perspective on the Quebec exodus which will help us reflect upon the migration process. His main source of information, consisting of more than a thousand letters exchanged between 1852 and 1925, traces the migration experience of a French Canadian family of high social status dispersed throughout America. Carefully structured, the study examines several aspects of these exchanges and what they revea: the uses of letters, individual dreams and migrants adjusting to new realities, the family and the reconstruction of identity and sense of belonging in a family in transit. In particular, the author highlights the development, over generations, of a culture of migration within the family.
William Jenkins, Between Raid and Rebellion: the Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916. Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.
Using an innovative methodological approach which combines social historical methodology with historical geography, this book examines the lives and allegiances of Irish immigrants in Toronto and Buffalo in the period between the Fenian Raids and the 1916 Easter Uprising. Jenkins takes up the challenge of rendering the compelling allegiances of those communities intelligible through his examination of the transformations that took place over the politically-charged period of the narrative. The book is organized into two sections, both of which are grounded in a broad array of sources. In the first Jenkins examines the historical geography of the Irish immigrant experience in both Toronto and its American neighbor Buffalo, two rapidly growing cities that were both major destinations for Irish immigrants. In the second he provides an insightful analysis of the transformations and the ‘prevailing threads’ which run from the immigrants to their descendants. It is a work of remarkable complexity and it is firmly-rooted in the historical scholarship of both the Irish diaspora and Canadian and American politics. At one level, its insightful interpretations and its comparative structure add greatly to our understanding of a commonality of experience. More importantly, however, the subtlety and thoroughness of the argument and the skill of the author as a writer provide a richly nuanced study which accounts for national and transnational influences and for the power of geography as a vital historical determinant.
James W. Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life. University of Regina Press, 2013.
James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains offers a sweeping overview of the health of North America’s indigenous plains societies from pre-contact times through to the end of the nineteenth century. It combines original research with a synthesis of much recent work. Daschuk’s capacity to draw from archaeology, as well as the fields of ethnohistory, historical climatology, biology, veterinarian science and human epidemiology develops a significant new understanding of the pre-history and territorial history of plains aboriginal people and their precipitous demographic losses in the period of colonization. The “clearing of the plains” according to Daschuk, can be traced to the earliest periods of the fur trade, particularly as trade routes, disease pathways and episodic, regional game depletion became more widespread after 1821. In doing so, he sustains the observation that colonial commercial empires linked by market economies transformed as much world ecologies as they did economies. In this case, the realities of people of the Northern Great Plains were changed before colonization began, when the biotic and market impacts of the fur trade significantly altered aboriginal presence, forced bands to reconstitute themselves in new territories, or face subsistence crises aggrieved by climate events and ecological changes. A key contribution of the book links such earlier changes to the territorial period. In a masterful re-examination of the 19th century, Dashuk shows how, as bison disappeared from the plains, the numbered treaties, and later, the construction of the CPR and the events surrounding the 1885 resistance constituted far darker episodes in Canadian history than many appreciate. Dashuk demonstrates that famine, so associated with the treaty and early reserve era, cannot be linked to merely the absence of food in the post-bison period. Plains people bore the shock of the bison crisis to strategize as best as they could through treaties and new agricultural pursuits. However, their worst health crises occurred as famine enveloped reserve life. Food shortages were linked inextricably to the inefficiencies and corruption of rationing programs, insufficient territorial infrastructure and transport, and, especially, governance failures when Indian Affairs programs often store-housed, rather than distributed, food on reserves to populations now weakened by hunger and susceptible to disease.
While the book is self-consciously a work of medical history, it persuades the reader that ill health and disease cannot be separated from political decisions, shortfalls in governance, and racist ideology. In telling detail, Daschuk shows how the latter, in particular, led to malnutrition and epidemic disease in the early reserve period. Highly engaging and accessible to a broad audience, this important and timely re-interpretation of the familiar narrative of western Canada make it most deserving of the Clio Prize.
The prize was not attributed this year
Sean Kheraj, Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History (UBC Press, 2013).
Inventing Stanley Park is not just an environmental history of one of Canada’s great urban parks. It is also a story about Canadians’ complicated relationship with “Nature”. On the one hand we like our nature “virgin” and “wild” but we also want it “tidy” and “handy”. Kheraj tells a story of a tongue of land that falls just short of closing the mouth of Burrard Inlet, controlling access to what became Vancouver Harbour and its extension,Indian Arm: a location so strategic that for thousands of years it was home to Coast Salish people and then with the arrival of immigrants was quickly declared a military reserve. Harvested by First Nations and then by sawmill loggers, its strategic military value preserved it from urbanization until invasion threats passed and this much-used landscape was declared a natural refuge. Kheraj documents the interaction of humans and the environment of the park area from its early habitation through the response of Vancouverites to a dramatic blow-down in the park in 2006 focussing on how ideas of park changed over time. His work draws on a rich, recent literature on parks in general and on Stanley Park in particular, but he moves beyond the accepted premise that nature is a human construction and argues that ecosystems are, in their unpredictability and force, a key part of the historical record. He sees the physical environment as an actor that deserves independent attention, and yet cannot be disentangled from human actions in the park. In Stanley Park, Kheraj provides a microcosm of the contentious issues one sees in the creation of larger national parks, including the eviction of Indigenous People and the suppression of subsistence uses, along with the issues of urban parks influenced by the “city beautiful” movement with its bourgeois aesthetic and class components. Drawing on a sophisticated literature this accessible, well-illustrated volume overturns some popular understandings of the park and invites us to see it as a site with multiple histories still being written. It captures the flavour of a quintessential British Columbia landscape and the ongoing debate over how to define and defend it.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Arguably Jean Wilson has had a larger impact on the writing of British Columbia History than any other single person, a claim that is certainly true for the decades 1988-2008.
Jean’s impact on BC history comes not from any book she has written, nor from book reviews or journals she has edited. Jean Wilson has been midwife to hundreds of books of BC History over an outstanding career as Associate Director, Acquisitions of UBC Press. Without her mentoring, encouragement, and support of young scholars, and her even more patient assuaging, cajoling, and arm-twisting of old scholars one cannot imagine in what state the field would be. An astonishing number of the books she acquired have won the major awards in BC (including many Clio Award winners), nationally, and abroad.
When Jean joined UBC Press, it was a troubled publishing house; the university even considered shutting it down. Jean played a key role in rebuilding its reputation and operational structure, turning it into one of the most respected university presses in North America, twice serving as acting director. Jean has become Canada’s foremost editor of western history and is considered by many academics in that field as one of its most learned scholars. She is also leading editor and a recognized authority on native studies. As well, Wilson founded UBC Press’s highly regarded Sexuality Studies series. Retirement from UBC Press in 2008 meant a new role at the University of Manitoba Press, new responsibilities at the journal BC Studies, and more fostering of historical talent.
Jean is one of Canada’s most preeminent editors, universally admired by members of the Canadian book publishing community, and has been an ally to just about every scholar of B.C. history, no matter the field.
Some of the award-winning books on which Jean has worked are:
Other works, which are particularly pertinent titles in BC Studies/History, include (alphabetical by title):
Freeman M. Tovell, At the Far Reaches of Empire: The Life of Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
John Belshaw, Becoming British Columbia
Ruth Sandwell, ed., Beyond the City Limits: Rural History in British Columbia
Melanie Buddle, The Business of Women
Wing Chung Ng, Chinese in Vancouver: The Pursuit of Identity and Power
Richard A. Rajala, Clearcutting the Pacific Rain Forest: Production, Science, and Regulation
Dan Clayton, Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island
James Gibson, Lifeline of Oregon Country: The Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47
Brett Christopher, Positioning the Missionary: John Booth Good and the Confluence of Cultures in Nineteenth-Century British Columbia
Margaret Seguin Anderson and Marjorie M. Halpin, Potlatch at Gitsegukla: William Beynon's 1945 Field Notebooks
Cole Harris, The Resettlement of British Columbia
Andrea Laforet and Annie York, Spuzzum: Fraser Canyon Histories 1808-1939
Christopher Mckee, Treaty Talks in British Columbia
Judith Hudson Beattie & Helen M. Buss, Undelivered Letters to Hudson’s Bay Company Men on the Northwest Coast of America, 1830-57
John Hinde, When Coal Was King: Ladysmith and the Coal-Mining Industry on Vancouver Island
Robert Galois, A Voyage to the Northwest Side of America
Patricia A. Roy, A White Man's Province; The Oriental Question; The Triumph of Citizenship
Chad Reimer, Writing British Columbia History, 1784-1958
Lindsey McMaster, Working Girls in the West
And not to be forgotten are the books in the Pioneers of British Columbia series, listed here:
Wiliam C. Wicken. The colonization of Mi'kmaw memory and history, 1794-1928 : The King v. Gabriel Sylliboy. (University of Toronto Press, 2012).
In this engaging and inventive study, Wicken explores the “living tradition” of a treaty relationship across some 200 years. His narrative hook is a 1928 appeal of the conviction of Gabriel Sylliboy, Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaq, for violating Nova Scotia’s game laws. Wicken illustrates the way that Sylliboy and five other Mi’kmaw witnesses “remembered” the 1752 treaty between their ancestors and the British Crown, based on “collected” memories from earlier generations. The book is an interrogation of the relationship between shifting Mi’kmaw experiences within colonialism and the gradual modification of collective memory over time.
Bruce Curtis. Ruling By Schooling Quebec: Conquest to Liberal Governmentality – A Historical Sociology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.
Ruling by Schooling Quebec provides a rich and detailed account of colonial politics from 1760 to 1841 by following repeated attempts to school the people. This first book since the 1950s to investigate an unusually complex period in Quebec’s educational history extends the sophisticated method used in author Bruce Curtis’s double-award-winning Politics of Population.
Dan Malleck. Try to Control Yourself: The Regulation of Public Drinking in Post-Prohibition Ontario, 1927-44. (University of British Columbia Press, 2012)
Shelley A. M. Gavigan, Hunger, Horses, and Government Men: Criminal Law on the Aboriginal Plains, 1870-1905. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012.
Hunters, Horses and Government Men is a meticulously researched, carefully argued, and subtle account of the relationship between Aboriginal people and the law on the Plains at a time when the new Canadian state sought to assert its colonial power over the indigenous inhabitants of the region. Shelley A.M. Gavigan's study historicizes and complicates current assumptions about the criminalization of Aboriginal peoples. Based upon close study of criminal cases in the region from 1870 - 1905, the book draws important distinctions between the workings of the criminal law, and what Gavigan refers to as the "Indianization" of Aboriginal peoples subject to the Indian Act (1876).
Leslie A. Robertson, with the Kwagu'l Gixsam Clan, Standing Up with Ga'axsta'las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012).
This groundbreaking book deploys the toolkits of both anthropologists and historians to tell the story of a complex and controversial person – Ga'axsta'las, or Jane Constance Cook – at a difficult moment in the history of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The book takes the reader into the heart of Cook’s historical moment when her opposition to the potlatch and her deep Christianity led her to be dismissed by many as a sell-out to colonialism. The result is a book that sets a new standard of sophistication, challenging historians to work harder to move past the simple colonial frames in which BC history is still often told.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The BC Clio Prize Committee is very pleased to award Dr. Patricia Roy a 2013 Clio “Lifetime Achievement” Award in recognition of her distinguished career as a leading historian of British Columbia. Dr. Roy’s studies of the political history of the province, in particular, her analyses of the anxiety about race in the context of colonialism, are mainstays of the region’s historiography. Her breadth and insight are evident in her long list of publications. We consider her extremely deserving of a Clio Lifetime Achievement Award, and wish to thank her for all that she has taught us about her home province.
Wendy Dathan, The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977. (University of Calgary Press, 2012)
A Canadian history, within a circumpolar context, Dathan’s book represents many years of comprehensive and painstaking research drawing on Porsild’s journals and unpublished letters, as well as his published work. The careful attention to all episodes in his life, including Arctic travel (and the experience of going overland), diplomacy (especially in wartime), science (such as debates about plant biogeography), and a striking, public feud with Farley Mowat, will ensure that this work makes a significant contribution to the history of northern science and environmental history. It will stand both as an invaluable reference and as a compelling narrative of Porsild and his time in the Arctic, in Ottawa, and in the international world of botany. Dathan’s sensitivity and effort has produced a personal history of Canadian botany, by a botanist, but also a history of an extraordinary life.
Philip Girard, Lawyers and Legal Culture in British North America: Beamish Murdoch of Halifax. The Osgood Society for Canadian Legal History, 2011
In this nontraditional biography of Beamish Murdock, Philip Girard immerses us in the life of a colonial lawyer in pre-confederation Nova Scotia. It is an insightful recreation of Murdoch's world, contextualized within the development of the legal profession and a broader colonial legal culture in British North America. Legal culture, he posits, is not comprised of rigid laws and legal institutions. Rather, it is a dynamic terrain that is affected by the ideas and values of a variety of sub-cultures, which are in turn influenced by legal discourse. This dialogic relationship situates the colonial lawyer squarely within the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of his community. Indeed, the colonial lawyer’s non-legal activities were intertwined with his professional identity. Girard describes Murdoch, himself, as a “virtual whirlwind of improving activity,” engaged in journalism, law reform, philanthropy, temperance, municipal and provincial politics, and literary activity. In his major writing, the Epitome, Murdoch explicated a conception of modern liberty that embraced life, freedom, and property, but only to the extent that they could be molded by a representative assembly to protect the public interest. Ultimately, for Murdoch, “the highest form of liberty was not the absence of restraint but the right to participate in free institutions….”
Bettina Bradbury, Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Montreal. UBC Press. 2011
Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Montreal captures, through the issue of widowhood, how the nineteenth century helped to reshape the space of marital relationships, family and women's place in society in Montreal. Much more than classic historical reconstruction, Bradbury's book renews conceptual and methodological perspectives by merging quantitative approaches and those focused on demographic and individual actors and, rarer still, actresses. Behind a complex and efficient web of scales of analysis, the investigation of the ways in which women shaped the city through culture and institutions - precisely because of their exclusion from positions of authority and power which move during the century - brings a new vision.The very title of the book evokes a transition that involves negotiations for individuals, couples, families, institutions whose issues are reflected in the politics of the colonial era. Following two generations of widowed women, one in the 1820s, the other in the 1840s, the study takes us through the entire nineteenth century, a period which disrupts the rules and fates of Ancien regime. Bradbury combines admirably the feminist perspective of history, which articulates the personal and political issues, to the most recent one, which combines the concepts of gender and (post) colonialism. This approach allows her to explore the dynamics of the application of colonial rule in its broad spectrum, whose effects are felt in the private sphere and extend in the now. Finally, the book has, with its particularly mastered formatting as evidenced by the remarkable fluidity of the writing and aside from its universal scope on widows, all the qualities of a monograph of monumental proportions. We are dealing with an exceptionally comprehensive text which is already recognized as a staple in the historiography of Quebec and Canada.
Stuart Henderson, Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s. University of Toronto Press, 2011
Brilliantly conceived and engaging, Stuart Henderson’s Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s, argues that counterculture is performed by actors “within”, not outside, of the cultural process. Yorkville set in the midst of “Toronto the Good” was never merely a hippie haven but was always inhabited by people of differing class, ethnic and ideological backgrounds and affected by the wider society. The actors whether hippies, greasers, bikers or weekenders claimed and negotiated that space as they went about making and remaking the scene. Identities in “The Village” were ill-defined, contradictory and ultimately illusory as Yorkville was transformed from an unassuming ethnic enclave to a lively bohemian haunt then into an increasingly immoral thrill-seeking zone for the disenchanted. Yorkville as synonymous with hippies was but a fleeting and partial reality and by the mid-1970s their streets of counter-culture had become a yuppie shopping boutique Mecca. The author effectively sets this local history within the larger cultural debates and youth movements of the era. He enriches his analysis with aptly chosen theoretical perspectives and contributes to the literature on counterculture, authenticity, space and performance. He combines a sensitive and critical reading of media and written sources with oral interviews and thereby captures the voices of musicians, deviants, shop-owners, stodgy middle class mid-lifers, social workers, politicians and tourists. Yorkville became a cultural attraction, a media obsession influencing the younger generation across the province and the nation. It became the meeting point for a wide range of young people who flocked there to either observe or make the scene. This book is a masterful piece about an important episode in Canadian youth culture and ideological history.
Shannon Stunden Bower, Wet Prairie: People, Land and Water in Agricultural Manitoba, UBC Press, 2011Shannon Stunden Bower's Wet Prairie: People, Land and Water in Agricultural Manitoba is an exemplary bioregional history, representative of the flourishing field of environmental history in Canada. It probes the history of seemingly unproblematic efforts to drain the wet prairie of southern Manitoba to facilitate agricultural settlement. Stunden Bower employs sophisticated political and social analysis to explore the nature of liberalism, state development, and colonization in this region of the prairie West. As John Gunther claimed sixty-five years ago, "touch water and you touch everything" (John Gunther, Inside U.S.A., New York: Harper, 1947, p. 214). Settlers in Manitoba faced the unpredictable and variable conditions of the wet prairie, and attempted to solve problems associated with ever-changing levels of water on the land through various forms of intervention in the prairie landscape: without altering the terrain to control water, commercial agriculture was extremely difficult. White settlers living in Manitoba’s 'low country', however isolated and distanced in terms of ethnicity and culture, tended to link with one another to mobilize government action. At the same time, the situation of Aboriginal communities was largely ignored. State investment in water management was enormously complex and expensive, placing intellectual, financial and administrative burdens on successive municipal and provincial governments. Governments and individuals slowly came to realise that water did not respect individual notions of ownership, political boundaries imposed on the land, or colonists’ determination to cultivate grains. While some water management strategies enjoyed a measure of success, they also left their own legacy of unintended environmental change.
Timothy J. Stanley, Contesting White Supremacy: School Segregation, Anti-Racism, and the Making of Chinese Canadians, UBC Press, 2011
A complex, sophisticated, and substantial piece of empirical and theoretical scholarship, Contesting White Supremacy makes an important and unique contribution to the history of British Columbia.Timothy Stanley clearly shows the multiple and subtle ways in which racist thinking was established and then reinforced and reworked in the structure of social, political and cultural life in British Columbia. In doing so, he demonstrates the extent to which anti-Chinese racism is central to the construction of British Columbia as a place, and how colonization, dispossession and disenfranchisement were interconnected in colonial state formation.From the central narrative of a student strike in 1922-1923, Stanley places the experience of Chinese-Canadian students and their parents in Victoria at the centre of the story, while also attending to larger questions about the history of racialization in other parts of the province. The title, Contesting White Supremacy, points to an underlying theme: that Chinese immigrants, other racialized groups, and white allies constantly contested those who sought a “white man’s” province. This one of the few scholarly books on the history of Chinese communities in British Columbia to use Chinese language sources, which helps to make this a breakthrough book in the field and a nuanced and complex historical project. Complementing the rich archival research is Stanley’s use of critical race theory, which highlights the constructed nature of racialization and the complex and multiple histories of various Chinese communities in British Columbia. His attentiveness to the ways in which ‘Chineseness’ and ‘Chinese-Canadian’ were constructed, claimed and re-worked contributes a great deal to understanding the complex process of how racialized groups actively engaged with the colonial state. This book is a welcome addition to the history of race in British Columbia and speaks to scholars interested in colonialism, the comparative history of racialization, the construction of whiteness, state formation, and anti-racist education and pedagogy.
Lifetime Achievement – Julie Cruikshank
Julie Cruikshank has made a profound contribution to the field of northern history through a lifetime of scholarship devoted to Aboriginal oral tradition primarily in the Yukon Territory. Cruikshank’s work is significant for its pioneering incorporation of Athapaskan and Tlingit views of non-linear time and history, effectively challenging the notion that oral stories are merely supplementary evidence meant to augment traditional archival studies and linear historical narratives. Cruikshank’s work has also stretched disciplinary boundaries, deepening our understanding of place, culture and time in northern Canada by effectively linking approaches from history, geography and anthropology. Currently a Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Cruikshank’s work has constantly challenged her readers to account for the ways that the competing indigenous and colonial assumptions about the nature of knowledge inevitably shape our historical understanding of northern Canada. Cruikshank has published four books over her career. The first, Life Lived Like a Story (1990), is the product of an extended period of residence in the southern Yukon and a close collaboration with three elders: Angela Sidney, Kitty Smith, and Annie Ned. The book was awarded the CHA’s Macdonald Prize in 1991. Her next book, Reading Voices: Dan Dha Ts'edenintth'e (1991), was a commissioned work designated for teaching purposes at the secondary level in the Yukon. The 1998 volume, The Social Life of Stories, is a significant collection of essays on the nature of knowledge within the oral tradition. It embraces diverse themes including oral narratives on the Klondike Gold Rush, the incorporation of traditional environmental knowledge into policy processes, and the cultural politics of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. Cruikshank’s most recent volume, Do Glaciers Listen? (2005), is a study of the production of environmental knowledge (specifically the representation of glacial ice) among northern explorers and indigenous communities that was awarded the CHA’s Clio North Prize and two prizes from the American Anthropological Association: the Victor Turner Price in Ethnographic Writing and the Julian Steward Book Award. Add to this collection of books an impressive list of published articles, book chapters, and awards, and it is clear that Cruikshank is among the most prolific and important historians working in northern Canada over the last three decades. ______________________________________________________
Dean Bavington. Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse.
With lucid and highly accessible prose, Dean Bavington offers an insightful, and often disturbing, explanation of how “the northern cod was scientifically managed out of existence” (2). Bavington traces the history of managerial ecology and its hegemony in environmental discourse and practices of the twentieth century. Bavington calls for a shift from managerial to moral ecology. Bavington’s heterodoxy will have its critics, but his challenge to reconsider our conviction that we can control nature reminds us that we have seen this type of hubristic and flawed certainty in the past. His intervention is both timely and important.
Book AwardKeith Thor Carlson. The Power of Place, The Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism.This is a rich and innovative book that re-imagines the way historians might do aboriginal history. It brings together the methodological tools of ethnography, archaeology, geography, anthropology, and archival and oral history to examine the dynamic cultural identity of the indigenous communities of the Lower Fraser Valley. The depth of research and analysis is consistently impressive as Carlson deals deftly with the difficult issue of local versus larger group identity. A must read for anyone who wishes to understand First Nations history in a new light, this is an engaging, clearly written, and important book.
Achievement AwardRobert A.J. McDonaldThe BC Clio Prize Committee is pleased to present Robert A.J. McDonald with an achievement award. Throughout his career at the University of British Columbia, McDonald’s scholarship, teaching and service contributions have greatly expanded our knowledge of British Columbia’s history. His publications, focusing chiefly on urban, economic and social history, include Making Vancouver: Class, Status, and Social Boundaries, 1863-1913, four co-edited collections, and numerous book chapters and journal articles. A dedicated scholar, editor, public intellectual and teacher, Bob McDonald is a worthy recipient of this award and the committee thanks him for his ongoing contributions to the historical study of British Columbia.
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Shirleen Smith. People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in.
Michelle A. Hamilton. Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in Southern Ontario, 1791-1914.
Presented in rich detail, Michelle Hamilton’s Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in Southern Ontario examines the multiple issues and personalities involved in the collection of ethnographic and archeological objects in Southern Ontario between 1791 and 1914. The book demonstrates a sophisticated grasp of an impressive array of primary materials and an exhaustive archival research. Ably written and truly multidisciplinary, the book engages most recent scholarship on material culture, anthropology, public history and colonialism. The author shows convincingly how the contested narratives about collecting Aboriginal material culture in the nineteenth century continue to inform the professional fields of archaeology, ethnography, and museum studies.
The PrairiesBrenda Macdougall. One of the Family: Metis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan.One of the Family develops an innovative methodological approach by combining the tools of genealogy with more traditional historical sources to produce a nuanced history of Metis families in Saskatchewan’s northwest. The book offers a delicate interplay of Metis and observer/participant voices, and the Committee appreciated the author’s frequent challenges to Euro-centric interpretations of Metis history, and the attempt to rebalance that history in favour of a greater recognition of Aboriginal ways of life and the permeability between “Indian” and “Metis” cultures. Macdougall emphasizes the Aboriginal connection to homeland and family, and opens new avenues for research on both methodological and historiographical grounds.
Andrée Lévesque. Éva Circé-Côté : libre-penseuse, 1871-1949.
Biographies published by historians are rare in Quebec, those that trace the entire social fabric and culture of an era are even more so. Andrée Lévesque’s Eva-Circé Côté: freethinker is the fruit of a pioneering approach which makes the connection between women's history and that of Montreal’s cultural "avant-garde " environment. Andrée Lévesque overcame huge challenges due to her extensive expertise in the biographical genre and her deep knowledge of the era and environment studied. If her work reaches a variety of readerships, it also brings new light on Montreal’s cultural "avant-garde" bringing us into this network of writers inspired by French Parnassian, romantic and symbolist movements.
Béatrice Craig. Backwoods Consumers and Homespun Capitalists: The Rise of a Market Culture in Eastern Canada.
Béatrice Craig’s work on the Madawaska district and her explorations of economic life in rural communities are well-known for their sensitive explorations of domestic production, gender, inter-generational transmission of wealth, and other topics. These themes and others are fully explicated in Backwoods Consumers and Homespun Capitalists: The Rise of a Market Culture in Eastern Canada (UTP 2009). The book explores how “location, the nature of its resources, and its uncertain political status for most of the period under consideration resulted in the Madawaska Territory being part of three overlapping regions,” including New Brunswick, Lower Canada and New England (p. 16). Backwoods Consumers and Homespun Capitalists makes a significant contribution to the economic history of New Brunswick and to our collective understanding of colonial economies generally.
Craig’s analysis interweaves an excellent command of original source material with a robust and important historiography, resulting in a persuasive analysis that pays attention to the particularities of the Madawaska district, while situating this in a broader analysis of the development of capitalist trade patterns. Her conclusion that “the modern economy was not lurking in the wings, fully formed and ready to spring on the stage at the first opportunity” but rather was the result of a series of “actions of myriad individuals groping for solutions to problems whose causes they understood imperfectly” (p. 230) stands as a challenge to reinterpret economic development in colonial contexts.
Becki L. Ross. Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver.Burlesque West is an engaging social history of the striptease entertainment industry in Vancouver in the decades following the Second World War. Based on extensive archival research as well as interviews with fifty ex-dancers, club-owners, musicians, choreographers, and booking agents, it brings to the forefront voices of the marginalized and much-maligned in a positive and empowering way. Ross emphasizes dancers' self-conceptions of their work as a form of skilled athleticism without sugar-coating the difficult conditions on the job. Ross argues that Vancouver’s burlesque scene was important as a driving force in the development of local and tourist economies.
Ross effectively contrasts east-end and west-end striptease clubs and in so doing highlights ethnic and class distinctions that few scholars of Vancouver have explored. She makes a convincing case that striptease is a topic that belongs squarely within labour history, and this too is another of the book's major contributions. However, Ross’s interviews with ex-dancers allowed her to consider them as far more than just workers dealing with degenerating conditions, workplace hazards, and stumbling blocks in efforts to unionize. Her study assesses commerce, sexuality, gender relations, ethnicity, and morality as complex and interconnected issues informing those women’s and club-owners’ lives. It deals with significant changes over time as shifts in performance styles and audience expectations resulted in what her interviewees seem to view as a "de-skilling" of the industry. As a highly original contribution to the historiography, this highly readable book is well deserving of the British Columbia regional Clio Award.
NORTH / LE NORD
Liza Piper. The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.
We are pleased to award the Northern Clio Award to Liza Piper for her thoroughly researched, lucid, and insightful study The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada. Piper’s work presents a rich account of human actors in the region – bureaucracts, corporate executives, engineers, mill workers, and native peoples – but her main focus is the environmental changes in the vast region surrounding the lakes of subarctic Canada, including Great Bear, Great Slave, Athabasca and Lake Winnipeg. From 1921 to 1960 the sub-Arctic became increasingly industrialized, with mining, fishing, and oil extraction carried out by companies like Eldorado, Cominco, Gunnar, Giant and Imperial Oil. Piper brings to this industrial transformation the finely-trained eye of an environmental historian, considering the dramatic ecological impacts of mine tailings, new transportation links, dammed rivers and fish kills, among other consequences of northern development. She also intertwines histories of the state, corporate North America, Aboriginal prospectors, fishers and workers, as well as outside labourers and professionals. The result is a rich tapestry of characters and events, brought together in a convergence that bore little resemblance to the previous world of the northern fur trade. Like all good environmental history, we are left to lament the destructive and disruptive intrusion of “progress” against the possibilities of a more sustainable treatment of the Lakes, but also to consider the resilience of Aboriginal peoples in the face of such changes, and the creative interaction between human labour and natural processes that produced industrial landscapes in the subarctic environment.
William Morrison started teaching at the University of Brandon in 1969 and has just retired after a forty-year career, culminating with several administrative positions that he has held at UNBC since 1991. As a scholar, he has distinguished himself as a “northernist,” continuing in the footsteps of his mentor Morris Zaslow. Morrison has carried the history of the Canadian north in innovative directions, encouraging historians not only to situate the north in a national framework but to understand development and identities in the context of northern communities and regions themselves. In many ways, his work has reshaped the field itself.
Morrison has published two books, Showing the Flag and True North: The Yukon and Northwest Territories, as well as thirteen monographs and many articles with Ken Coates. His latest co-authored book, Arctic Front: Defending Canada in the Far North, was awarded the prestigious 2009 Donner Prize for the best Canadian book on public policy. Morrison has stimulated interest in the north for undergraduate and graduate students alike, and has made a considerable contribution to the field. We look forward to his continuing contributions to our knowledge of the Canadian north from the comfort of retirement in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Sharon Wall. The Nurture of Nature: Childhood, Antimodernism, and Ontario Summer Camps, 1920-55. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.
This engaging and accessible study examines the summer camp experience, primarily an Ontario phenomenon in Canada, which the author argues was an idea born of anti-modern impulses yet fundamentally rooted in modernism, as camp leaders attempted to order, control, and commodify “natural” landscapes. Wall studies elite private camps, camps run by agencies such as the Girl Guides, and fresh-air charity camps for the urban poor, considering the sometimes contradictory aims of camp leaders, parents, and children. She makes nuanced use of an extensive range of oral and documentary sources as she traces the tensions between competing cultural ideals. Building on earlier studies of wilderness, this book offers a number of valuable contributions to our understanding of modernism in Ontario, including ideas about childhood and youth, consumer culture, gender, leisure, class and race.
This co-authored book breaks new ground, intertwining immigrant and ethnicity studies with those of place, and urban prairie places in particular, to offer a revised conceptualization of the prairie west. Organized chronologically, it emphasizes continuity and change though time, and links those circumstances to larger economic, cultural, social, and political shifts on regional, national, and even international scales. In this way, Friesen and Loewen show how immigrants to prairie cities negotiated their ethnic identities when faced with the dual features of nativism and community building. Friesen and Loewen explore a shift in cultural attitudes over the course of the twentieth century, partly due to changes in immigration policies, and the aftermath of international conflicts, but also due to changes in the internal rhythms of the cities themselves. Religious communities developed and anchored ethnic identities. Advancements in transportation and communication brought further changes to the layering of identities as individuals and families developed new “mental maps” locating their place of origin as well as their new communities in ways that allowed them to communicate with or even visit both with relative ease. After Diefenbaker, the unhyphenated Canadian became a mythical figure of the west, but as these authors show, high political policies were often out of sync with actions at the local level. Folk festivals flourished in the latter half of the century, and created caricatures of ethnic customs but also retained significant, if romanticized, links with “old county” traditions from a particular moment in time.
Éric Bédard. Les Réformistes. Une génération canadienne-française au milieu du XIXe siècle. Montréal : Boréal, 2009.Éric Bédard’s piece constitutes a major work whose richness flows from its solid grounding in the present and the numerous, relevant questions it raises. This is an important work, especially through the new light it sheds on the leaders present during a still largely unknown period of Québec history, namely the years from the rebellions of 1837-38 through to Confederation. Among the members of this generation of reformers that played a significant role in the political and social life of the period, Éric Bédard studies the emblematic figures of Étienne Parent, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and George-Étienne Cartier. He also turns his attention to some lesser known figures, including Joseph-Édouard Cauchon and Antoine Gérin-Lajoie. Approximately 10 men made up this “nébuleuse réformiste” (nebula of reformers) who guided the decisions made on behalf of the French-Canadian nation (p. 15).An exemplary and crystal-clear introduction is followed by six chapters dissecting the political, economic, social, religious and nationalist facets of reformist thinking. The argumentation is solid and well documented and makes an original contribution to the debate on Québec modernity, which the reformers appear to reflect. From the historiography perspective, the author shows his pragmatic side, taking clear positions on several issues, notwithstanding the views of authors having preceded him. Through the incisive style and the clarity of the ideas expressed in the work, Les Réformistes moves the current re-evaluation of the political and national history of Québec a significant step forward.
John Reid, with contributions by Emerson W. Baker, Essays on Northeastern North America: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
John Reid’s Northeastern North America: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries stands as a record of how his scholarship has dramatically changed the historical questions pertaining to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic region and beyond. The three essays in Part One: Colonial Habitation, demonstrate the possibilities and problems of “making empire” at the margins –what Reid calls “the fragility of colonial habitation.” The second group of essays, headed Imperial Exchange, offers a deep sense of how the colonial order was very much negotiated on the basis of fragility, while the third section, Aboriginal Engagement, is a serious and sustained analysis of the aboriginal response to colonial incursions and settler societies. Part Four, Commemoration, reflects on the changing ways in which historical commemorations of early Northeastern North America have been understood and presented. The volume includes an introduction, thirteen essays organized in the four sections discussed above, and an Epilogue. Two essays were co-written with Emerson W. Baker. Collectively these essays underscore Reid’s important contribution to the reconceptualization of the history of the Atlantic region.British Columbia
John Lutz, Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations
Makúk is a ground-breaking book about exchanges, conflicts of meaning, intercultural relations, and work. Developed as part of the Chinook jargon on the northwest Pacific Coast in the late eighteenth century, the word Makúk means, “Let’s Trade.” In John Lutz’s book this simple phrase nevertheless unfolds onto a rich and diverse examination that considers patterns of mobility in wage labour, community-based stories, industry-specific histories, and the economic development of British Columbia. Carefully constructed case studies of the diverse experiences of different groups, including the Lekwungen and the Tsilhqot’in, provide depth and texture to sweeping synoptic analyses of changing patterns of aboriginal labour, state welfare policies, and ideas of work. The archival reach of Makúk and its engagement with the international theoretical literature is impressive; so too is Lutz’s insistence on and demonstration of new modes of historical inquiry that draw oral history into the core of analysis. While Makúk reframes BC history in important ways and offers an analytically complex narrative, it also models an approach that makes academic research more accessible. The writing never hides behind specialist language but introduces difficult ideas in plain terms; the innovative print layout and format deploy visual images and selected archival texts to interrupt the narrative and raise new questions for readers. This book helps to refresh some areas of BC historiography that were seemingly well understood; it will have an important effect on BC, national, and international scholarship.Contribution Prize
The BC Clio jury would like to acknowledge Jean Barman for her substantial contributions to BC historical scholarship over the course of her distinguished career in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her scholarship has been both voluminous and important. Not only is she the author of the major survey text of British Columbia history, The West Beyond the West, which has reached a wide public audience across the country, but she has also written or edited eighteen other books and published over fifty papers in BC history. Her research has received accolades and prizes for broadening and deepening the historiography of BC and Canada. She has twice been awarded the BC Clio prize for the best book on British Columbia history (2002 and 1992), won the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing (2004), and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002. Barman has also mentored new scholars at her home institution, as well as others conducting research on BC from across Canada and North America; in doing so she provided critical support for the renewal and rethinking of British Columbia history. In addition to her distinguished scholarly record, Barman has assumed an important role as a public intellectual. She has been central to the Vancouver Museum Revitalization Project, a regular contributor to CBC-Radio’s “Almanac” programme, a Director of BC Heritage Trust, a Director of Pacific Book World New Society, and a member of the Vancouver City Council’s Downtown Historic Greenway Committee. In these ways, her scholarship has informed her citizenship and enriched the public discourse of the province.The North
The Clio Award Committee for Northern Canada is pleased to offer Dorothy Harley Eber the Certificate of Merit in acknowledgement of her contributions to northern history. Although not a trained historian, Harley Eber has spent the last forty years traveling to the Arctic from her home in Montreal, first as a journalist and more recently to conduct oral interviews with Inuit elders. Her five authored or co-authored books on Canada’s north include: Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life, (1970); People From Our Side: A Life Story With Photographs (1993); When the Whalers Were Up North: Inuit Memories From the Eastern Arctic (1996); Images of Justice: A Legal History of the Northwest Territories As Traced Through the Yellowknife Courthouse Collection of Inuit Sculpture (1997); and Encounters on the Passage: Inuit Meet the Explorers (2008).
Her most recent book (published by the University of Toronto Press in 2008) attests to her remarkable aptitude to bring to life the stories told by Inuit elders of encounters between early European explorers and northern indigenous people. Harley Eber has worked in partnership with many Inuit storytellers, elders, artists and interpreters. She has listened, respected, and passed on their histories. She has acted as an interpreter for southern readers by introducing Inuit artistic representations and by providing oral histories of the Inuit side of the Native/Newcomer encounter. The oral interviews Harley Eber has collected will serve as an important repository of Inuit histories, and the books that she has written have forged further understanding of Inuit cultures in the far north.Ontario
Catharine Anne Wilson, Tenants in Time: Family Strategies, Land, and Liberalism in Upper Canada, 1799-1871
In this fascinating and readable study, Catharine Anne Wilson challenges and overturns our basic assumptions about the settlement era in Ontario history. She argues convincingly that values inherent in liberalism about land have become so entrenched in our thinking that historians have focused almost entirely on land ownership; however, rural tenancy was a significant part of the Upper Canadian experience. By exploring the range of types of tenants and tenancy, the relations between landlords and tenants, the legal system that governed those relations, the differences between the legal framework and actual practice, and tenancy as a family strategy towards security and mobility, Wilson demonstrates that tenancy was central to the economic, social, political, and ideological development of the province. While tenancy was not part of the prevailing liberal ideal, she shows compellingly that it was vital to its functioning. The book is extensively and carefully researched, but the reader is never lost in statistics or detail; a micro-history of one township in Northumberland County brings the story very much to life.The Prairies
Sarah Carter, The Importance of Being Monogamous: Marriage and Nation Building in Western Canada to 1915
The Importance of Being Monogamous joins other innovative works in social and colonial history that draw connections between the growth of European-Canadian settlement, nation building, and the extension of empire. Before 1870, the West was made up of diverse and complex cultures that practised varied forms of marriage. Unfortunately, for European-Canadians this matrimonial diversity was a sign of social disorganization and immorality, and thus needed to be changed. Examining the imposition of the monogamous Christian marriage model, Carter traces the process through which the state asserted its European-Canadian cultural, economic, and political hegemony over the Prairie West. Carter shows how the creation of a White settler society in Western Canada (which was rooted in appropriate gender norms, agriculture, and a European-Canadian identity) was neither a natural nor inevitable process.
Carter’s study also makes important contributions to the history of sexuality, law, gender, and public policy. In this study Carter complicates popular beliefs that marriage is by definition monogamous, heterosexual, universal and fixed. Carter clearly shows that the “wistful nostalgia” (expressed by social conservatives) for an imaginary simpler time -- when gender roles were firmly in place with the husband as family head and provider, and the wife as the dependent partner obedient, unobtrusive, and submissive -- is based on a entirely imagined past. Instead, she demonstrates that the construction of the monogamous marriage as ‘normal’ was a deliberate and relatively recent choice made by the increasingly dominant social group in the West at the turn of the century.
That this book is published with Athabasca University Press is also noteworthy. Athabasca University Press is relatively new to scholarly publishing. Its mandate is to overcome barriers to education by making its catalogue as accessible as possible. Electronic copies of the Press’s publications, including this book, are accordingly available, free of charge, online. Therefore, not only does The Importance of Being Monogamous make an important contribution to scholarship, but it should reach a broad audience.Quebec
Marc Vallières et coll., Histoire de Québec et de sa région, 3 tomes
The committee is pleased to award this year’s Clio-Quebec Prize to Histoire de Québec et de sa region, by Marc Vallières, Yvon Desloges, Fernand Harvey, Andrée Héroux, Réginald Auger, Sophie-Laurence Lamontagne and André Charbonneau. This wide-ranging study in three volumes traces the history of Quebec City and the region that surrounds it from their very beginning until today. Among the many strengths of this work, the jury would like to highlight the following: extensive research in primary and secondary sources (both classic and recent); rigorous analysis; the ability to situate Quebec City and its region in a much wider geographical context; the attention paid to all residents of Quebec City (Aboriginal and European, Catholic and Protestant; francophone and anglophone; men, women, and children); and a noteworthy concern for detail. In addition to featuring a wealth of very useful illustrations, graphs, and tables, these three volumes are clearly and accessibly written. All in all, Histoire de Québec et de sa région is an ambitious and impressive work of synthesis that will become the reference of choice for all matters related to the history of Quebec City.
John Sandlos, Hunters At The Margin: Native People and Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest Territories. University of British Columbia Press, 2007
Hunters At The Margin is a richly detailed, well researched, and insightfully argued book. John Sandlos convincingly demonstrates the Canadian government’s determination to colonize the northern landscape, and Canada’s Northern Aboriginal people in an effort to limit their abilities not only to hunt, but to pursue their traditional lifeways. During the early twentieth-century, the federal government’s desire to expand their control over conservation, particularly with respect to wood bison, muskox and caribou conflicted with the interests of the Cree, Inuit and Dene of the Northwest Territories. The establishment of national parks, game sanctuaries and hunting regulations severely disrupted traditional patterns leaving Northern Aboriginal Canadians to pursue unstable employment possibilities and to live in communities overseen by government officials. This system of surveillance ultimately deprived traditional hunters of their freedom to roam the land and live independently. John Sandlos presents a well-balanced narration of the voices of early conservationists, of government officials, and of Aboriginal leaders, all of whom claimed to have a stake in northern wildlife management. Those most affected by this new intervention, the northern peoples themselves, frequently opposed and resisted the government policies. The author’s skillful elucidation of this set of tensions serves as a potent reminder of the federal government’s disregard for Northern Aboriginal people, and the dreadful costs that resulted. We are also reminded of how environmental history can provide a rich tapestry through which to understand human action, and, in this case human error.Contribution Prize
The Clio Awards North wishes to acknowledge Inuit Elder Winnie Owingayak for her numerous contributions to the preservation and maintenance of Inuit heritage and cultural traditions. Born and raised on the land, she is a resident of Baker Lake, Nunavut and recently retired as the Manager of Itsarnittakarvik: Inuit Heritage Centre, Baker Lake. She is a member at large of the Archive Council of Nunavummi and member of the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Katimajiit, which provides advice to the Government of Nunavut on traditional Inuit knowledge and values.
As one of the new generation of Inuit documenting Inuit culture, Winnie Owingayak has collected hundreds of recordings of elders and participated in the development and production of the CDs Tuhaalruuqtut Vol. I & Vol. II and Footprints, recordings of traditional Inuit songs. She was instrumental in the development of Tuhaalruuqtut Ancestral Sounds, a virtual exhibit of the Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre which is hosted on the Virtual Museum of Canada website. Visitors to the exhibit can hear examples of Winnie singing throat songs and playing accordion. While promoting a living understanding of Inuit heritage in her community of Baker Lake through her participation and organization of dances, games and other cultural activities, Winnie Owingayak has also been active regionally and nationally, widely sharing the knowledge of Inuit songs, stories and traditions through her collecting efforts and her own performances.British Columbia
William J. Turkel's The Archive of Place: Unearthing the Pasts of the
Esyllt W. Jones, Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007).
Jones’ study of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic offers a new and innovative approach to a topic that has received a great deal of scholarly attention. By considering how family, class, gender, and ethnicity operated in Winnipeg during the flu pandemic, Jones weaves together a nuanced social history that combines both medical and labour perspectives. Jones focuses on how class and gender shaped the contours of the epidemic and crystallized around social divisions of class and ethnicity. In particular, her examination of the gendered dimensions of the pandemic is sophisticated and uses social responses to ill-health to explore the porous boundaries between home, work, and community. Indeed, volunteerism and public health nursing brought new actors into different urban spaces to provide both services and surveillance in Winnipeg’s ‘ethnic’ north.
In addition to medical history Jones’ work contributes to Canadian labour history. On the eve of the Winnipeg General Strike, and at a moment when the city had a reputation as Canada’s Chicago, this study offers significant insight into the social fabric of that urban dynamic during the epidemic. Given the proximity of the pandemic to the Winnipeg General Strike, Jones argues the experiences of illness helped forge strong class identities in Winnipeg and served to create a collective experience which helped mobilize and radicalize workers. She does this through examining three episodes in detail: from the first general strike vote in October 1918, the municipal election where labour was strongly represented, to the general strike itself in 1919. Jones makes a subtle and nuanced argument that through the experience of the epidemic the working classes of Winnipeg came to view disease as a social construction that emerged out of the city’s social relations.Ontario
Robert B. Kristofferson, Craft Capitalism: Craftworkers and Early Industrialization in Hamilton, Ontario 1840-1872 (Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 2007)
In this book, Robert Kristofferson has produced a vivid and specific account of skilled men in the first stages of Hamilton's industrialization. He explores craft culture and the institutions through which it was made, arguing that at this point industrialization was not a linear process involving the degradation of skills and that artisan-producers played a significant role in determining its course. Drawing impressively on the relevant sources, notably census manuscripts, the press, and rich local biographical data, the author develops an image of historical change that is nuanced and complex. In the emerging industrial workplace, men identified themselves as members of a craft, and learned their skills through stages that they had good reason to anticipate would culminate in their own independence as proprietors or in well-paid and well-respected supervisory positions. Even in the largest workplaces, including the immense shops of the Great Western Railway, the organization of work was based on craft culture, in which craft pride and craft hierarchies were reinforced. In engaging the rich literature on economic and social change in mid-nineteenth century Hamilton, Craft Capitalism demonstrates how a local focus can address the largest of historical questions.Quebec
Martin Petitclerc, ‘Nous protégeons l’infortune’. Les origines populaires de l’économie sociale au Québec. Montréal, VLB Éditeur, 2007.
Although mutual benefit and friendly societies were important actors in nineteenth-century public life, they have been largely neglected by historians of Quebec. Martin Petitclerc’s “Nous protégeons l’infortune”. Les origines populaires de l’économie sociale au Québec is thus a most welcome addition to the historiography. A deeply researched, well-structured, and cogently argued work of history, this book sheds new light on associational life, but also on class relations, the role of the Catholic Church, masculinity, and working-class culture in nineteenth-century Quebec. While Petitclerc pays particular attention to the Montreal chapter of l’Union Saint-Joseph, this is much more than an institutional history. Careful empirical research is integrated into a rigorous theoretical framework; the everyday functioning of l’Union Saint-Joseph and other mutual benefit societies is made sense of through an analysis that relies upon Karl Polanyi’s and Mark Granovetter’s theories of ‘embeddedness.’ Petitclerc has drawn appropriately on the relevant international historiography in order to produce a work that is rooted in the history of Quebec’s popular classes, but that poses larger questions about the relationships between the economy and social relations, between liberalism and solidarity.
Actrices importantes de la vie publique au XIXe siècle, les sociétés de secours mutuels ont néanmoins été négligées par les historiens du Québec. « Nous protégeons l’infortune ». Les origines populaires de l’économie sociale au Québec, de Martin Petitclerc, est donc un ajout précieux à l’historiographie. Bien structuré, reposant sur des recherches imposantes et une argumentation convaincante, ce livre fait la lumière sur la vie associative, mais également sur les rapports de classe sociale, le rôle de l’Église catholique, la masculinité et la culture ouvrière au Québec au XIXe siècle. Petitclerc consacre une bonne partie de son livre à l’Union Saint-Joseph de Montréal, mais cet ouvrage est beaucoup plus qu’une simple histoire institutionnelle. La recherche empirique soignée est intégrée à un cadre théorique rigoureux; le fonctionnement quotidien de l’Union Saint-Joseph et d’autres sociétés de secours mutuels est compris à la lumière d’une analyse s’appuyant sur les théories de l’encastrement développées par Karl Polanyi et Mark Granovetter. Petitclerc a su s’inspirer de l’historiographie internationale pertinente afin de produire un ouvrage qui, tout en étant enraciné dans l’histoire des classes populaires québécoises, pose des questions plus vastes concernant les rapports entre l’économie et la société, entre libéralisme et solidarité.Altantic
A.J.B. Johnston, Endgame 1758: The Promise the Glory, and the Despair of Lousibourg’s Last Decade. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press 2007.
A.J.B Johnston’s Endgame 1758: The Promise the Glory and the Despair of Louisbourg’s Last Decade, based on exhaustive and meticulous research in French, British and British and French colonial records, successfully places the events leading to the fall of Louisbourg within the mid-18th-century Atlantic world. Johnston uses his well-sustained chess metaphor to carefully reconstruct the movement of opposing fleets, military strategies and engagements that form the central focus of the monograph. At the same time Louisbourg is imagined as a “fortress, seaport, and community.” (4) The account of the re-occupation of Louisbourg by the French provides excellent portrayals of the social and commercial life of the town in its last decade and brings its population to life as residents struggled with food shortages and enjoyed pre-Lenten carnivals. Through the use of personal details, such as the exchange of gifts between the British commander Major General Amherst and Madame Drucour, the wife of Louisbourg’s governor during the final battle Johnston skillfully engages his readers with his subjects, thereby heightening the poignancy of the final defeat.(237) The text is enriched by evocative first person accounts by a wide variety of participants on both sides of the conflict. Johnston has also made a strong and successful effort to place the aboriginal allies (and enemies) of the French at Louisbourg solidly within the narrative. While offering a wealth of rich detail about the naval and military engagements that led to the final defeat of Louisbourg as well as the social and commercial aspects of life in the fortified town, it is a highly readable book.
Rusty Bittermann. Rural Protest on Prince Edward Island: From British Colonization to the Escheat Movement, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2006.
To an historiography habitually accused of insularity, Rusty Bittermann has contributed an innovative new study of an old theme. His account of rural protest on Prince Edward Island during the period 1763 to 1842 not only provides a new interpretive vehicle for understanding the early colonial period in British America’s most agrarian polity, but contextualizes Island events within the larger British imperial world. The result informs both spheres.
Prince Edward Island’s “Land Question,” its unhappy addiction to an increasingly anachronistic leasehold system of land tenure, is a much ploughed field in Island historiography. Yet Bittermann makes it yield important new insights. Historians have long since transcended the simplistic formula of “heroic” tenants versus “evil” absentee proprietors that once provided the storyline for early Prince Edward Island, but Bittermann both nuances the Land Question equation and adds to it. He argues convincingly that land reform agitation in early Prince Edward Island was not simply the cynical manipulations of contesting elites, but a genuine grassroots protest movement. And he links that movement to radical reform movements elsewhere in both the British Isles and British North America. Not only were they aware of, and influenced by, each other, but the Colonial Office perception of reform sentiment on Prince Edward Island was conditioned by this broader set of influences. So, too, was the perspective of the emerging proprietorial faction, anxious to protect its interests against levelling tendencies. Bittermann adeptly dissects their position as well. And, if historians such as J. M. Bumsted have established the essential, self-interested role of local government in land issues on Prince Edward Island, Bittermann identifies within Island politics a sort of “third way” during the early 19th century between land reformers and the proprietorial camp, a mercantile faction that felt the key to settlement and economic development was state-sponsored provision of infrastructure.
Broadly researched and perceptively written, Rural Protest on Prince Edward Island achieves that historiographical paradox of complicating yet clarifying. In the process, it provides a new interpretive vehicle for the early decades of the 19th century on Prince Edward Island that will also resonate with the larger scholarship on radical reform. It promises to become a standard reference in years to come.
Lisa Ornstein, Director of the Acadian Archives/Archives acadienne, University of Maine at Fort Kent.
The director of a small archives wears many hats, but Lisa Ornstein wears more than most. Over the course of her nearly two decades at the Acadian Archives in Fort Kent, she has been administrator, archivist, and educator, but also, ethnomusicologist, musician, curator, collector, programmer, grant-writer, fundraiser. From three empty rooms on the campus of the University of Maine, the Acadian Archives has burgeoned under her direction into a major repository for the francophone Acadian culture that permeates Maine’s Upper Saint John River Valley. In the best -practice tradition of the modern archives, the Acadian Archives adheres to its core mandate to collect, catalogue, and preserve, while extending the institution into the wider community with an impressive array of creative outreach activities.
In an archival culture that is chronically under-funded (if not under-valued), the activities at the Acadian Archives are inevitably an extension of the multiple talents of its director since 1991, Lisa Ornstein. A concert-level violinist with a passion for French-Canadian fiddle music, she completed a master’s degree in ethnomusicology at Laval University, working and performing for fourteen years in Quebec before bringing her energy, charisma, and many talents to the fledgling Acadian Archives at Fort Kent. That she moves so easily between academia and the local community is a testament to personal as well as professional qualities. “There are very few people,” writes one of her references, “who can, in a given day, instruct children in Acadian music, collect oral history among the elders, and then sit down in public meetings with government and university officials.” It is just such diverse activities that ensure the Acadian Archives is both valuable and perceived as valuable by that magic circle of funders, users, and potential donors whose support is required to secure any archive’s future.
To add one further hat to the many Lisa Ornstein wears, she is a bridge-builder, who connects academia with the culture it studies. Her bridge, of course, is the collection and programming at the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Having, as one admirer asserts, “conjured an Archive center out of not much more than air,” she has fashioned a strong and durable span over which intellectual commerce passes both ways, and it stands as an outstanding legacy for the archival administrator with the fiddle in her hands.Québec
Donald Fyson, Magistrates, Police, and People: Everyday Criminal Justice in Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1837, Toronto, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History/University of Toronto Press, 2006.
The committee is pleased to award this year’s Clio-Quebec Prize to Donald Fyson’s Magistrates, Police, and People: Everyday Criminal Justice in Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1837. A book that explores the everyday workings of criminal justice in Quebec and Lower Canada between the British Conquest and the Rebellions of 1837-1838, it is ambitious in its scope and impressive in its mastery of the historical context. Firmly grounded in the Quebec historiography and in the international literature of policing and criminal justice, Magistrates, Police, and People assesses the administration of criminal justice from a variety of angles, ‘top-down’ as well as ‘bottom-up’. Fyson’s conclusions are incisive, nuanced, and convincing and are based on an exhaustive and rigorous analysis of judicial archives and the records of the colonial administration. It is, finally, a beautifully polished book, attentive to detail in both its structure and its argument. In sum, Magistrates, Police, and People is a study that forces us to rethink the conventional periodization of early Quebec and that will chart the course of future research in the field.Ontario
Kerry M. Abel, Changing Places: History, Community, and Identity in Northeastern Ontario, Montreal & Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006.
To those who fault social history for having made our profession’s concerns too small and too obscure, this book is a superb rejoinder. In it, Kerry Abel unfolds a story that spans two centuries of life in a hard, beautiful place – today’s Porcupine-Iroquois Falls District. The people here came from widely varied backgrounds. Their goals were many, and sometimes conflicting. It was anything but likely that they would come to see each other as allies and alike. Yet, Abel argues, over the course of the first half of the twentieth century, the material and the imagined coalesced in Northeastern Ontario to form a local identity and a sense of community.
In remarkably short order early in the twentieth century, railways, mining, and forestry transformed an economy based on the fur trade. Economic inequalities produced oppression and resistance, local First Nations faced new challenges, and ethnic and gender relations contributed tensions of their own. But this is no reductive narrative of inevitable conflict. The tendency to form a community was present, too, as forest fires, flu epidemics, and other crises offered the people of the Porcupine occasions to see each other as sources of help and participants in shared projects. The routine experiences of work and daily life – in school, church, union, choir, town council, and team – provided, not just the frameworks of difference, but also the conceptual categories for cooperation.
Insisting always on the interplay of circumstance and character, Abel applies to the world of Northeastern Ontario a subtle understanding of social theory’s central questions. Her vivid portrayal of place, blended with a masterful treatment of major ideas, makes this work a treasure. Changing Places will become a reference work for students of Ontario history and a model, too, for all historians who aim to write social history, full of human detail, that is also a guide to the most broadly significant questions of politics.Prairies
David McCrady, Living with Strangers: The Nineteenth-Century Sioux and the Canadian-American Borderlands, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
Conceived as a study of the borderlands history of the Sioux in the western Canadian/American plains, this book makes an important contribution to both western and Native history. Sioux bands who lived on the borderlands between the United States and Canada have been poorly treated by both Canadian and American scholars, who have confined the Sioux to domestic narratives. McCrady performs a very valuable service by constructing a narrative chronology to understand these peoples and their relations to other native groups and the different state powers.
This book shifts the interpretive landscape of borderland studies in two respects. The first is McCrady’s use of partition as a central concept. Organizing his narrative around this concept places the Sioux’s story in the context of global process of colonial expansion and empire in the 19th century. The establishment of the border between western Canada and the United States is less the story of how two nation-building states incorporated their Native peoples than how partition destabilized and reshaped the fate and identities of the Sioux peoples. How the Sioux came to be identified with the American nation is the subject of lucid and exhaustively researched narrative.
The second interpretive shift is a recentering away from the process and geography of treaty-making systems toward a narrative focussed on the movement of specific peoples and their subsistence and diplomatic strategies. His book reaches beyond the traditional dichotomy of Native-white relations to deal with interactions between other First Nations groups. McCrady finds that exchanges with other Native groups were as important to the Sioux’s well-being as their dealings with Canadian and American authorities. Indeed, McCrady convincingly argues that Native history was not determined solely by settler colonialism, but also involved negotiations between multiple and diverse groups.British Columbia
Gerta Moray, Unsettling Encounters, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 2006.
Unsettling Encounters is a remarkable and deeply researched book which situates Emily Carr and her work within the context of an evolving encounter between settlers and First Nations people in British Columbia. Moray draws on Carr’s paintings, sketches, notebooks, and a range of other primary materials, the latest scholarship on British Columbia’s settler society, and her own extensive fieldwork to show Carr and her work as very much a product of their times. Moray reveals Carr as someone who cared deeply for First Nations people and the power of their art forms, empathized with their struggles and hardships, and attempted to champion their culture to a Euro-Canadian society that generally viewed native peoples as either “vanishing” or in need of “civilizing.” At the same time, by situating Carr within a humanitarian strain of settler politics, Moray offers us another way of thinking about settler perspectives in British Columbia and complicates our understanding of settler-First Nations relations. All of this is done by Moray in an intellectually sophisticated and careful way.
Beyond an incredibly detailed study of Carr’s world, Unsettling Encounters represents an impressive attempt to make sense of the way Carr absorbed Northwest Coast First Nations artistry in her work. Moray reveals Carr as an artist powerfully drawn to First Nations artistic forms and imagery but understandably limited in her understanding of them. As a result, Moray provides us with a fresh interpretation of Carr’s work as a hybrid production which made use of native forms and images to make its own expressions. This is a beautifully produced book with a large section of colour plates of Carr’s work and many black and white photographs throughout the text which greatly enhances the argument. In her concluding remarks, Moray wonders if Carr’s “Indian” work will remain relevant in a time when First Nations people, “are so actively engaged in their own cultural production and self-representation.” Unsettling Encounters will certainly keep Carr alive as example of a complex, moving, and hopeful encounter experience between a settler and First Nations people and their culture in British Columbia. The British Columbia committee is pleased to be able to honour Gerta Moray for Unsettling Encounters.North
Julie Cruikshank, Do Glaciers Listen? Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters & Social Imagination, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 2005.
Do Glaciers Listen? is a timely culmination of anthropologist’s Julie Cruikshank’s thirty year career spent listening to the stories of Aboriginal elders in the Yukon. This cross-border, transnational work takes as its entry point the varying histories and meanings of glaciers in the liminal space of the St. Elias Mountains, offering a remarkable contribution to our understanding of the encounter between Tlingit and Southern Tutchone local knowledge and western exploration and science. Drawing from a rich theoretical literature on colonialism and oral tradition, Cruickshank marshals evidence from oral narratives, travel writing, scientific surveys, songs and carvings to argue eloquently that understanding human relationships with glaciers can tell us how humans give shape to their world. Epistemologically, local Aboriginal peoples saw glaciers as sentient and held appropriate respect for them, whereas Euro-American newcomers tried to understand them as separate from culture, as quantifiable and scientifically explicable.
This book not only sheds new light on the era of the Little Ice Age (1550-1900) in northwestern North America, but is also a hauntingly powerful appeal to listen to the people who have listened to the land for centuries. This is especially relevant at a time when the trend towards setting aside vast tracts of land for World Heritage Sites is, as Cruikshank suggests, further separating the land from those who have occupied it for thousands of years. This innovative exploration of northern history in the context of local knowledge and colonial encounters makes a significant contribution to scholarship across a number of disciplines, including environmental studies, anthropology, Indigenous studies, and history.
N.E.S. Griffiths. From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755. Montréal and/et Kingston, Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy Administration, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.
Naomi Griffiths has long been recognized as the foremost authority writing on pre-Deportation Acadia in English, and the winner of this year’s Atlantic region CLIO clearly stands as her masterwork. From Migrant to Acadian consolidates and extends Griffiths’ previous interpretation of the Acadian people’’s evolution from the dawn of the 17th century until the days of their deportation during the mid-1750s. With painstaking attention to detail, she explores how a disparate sprinkling of migrants, caught in the nexus of imperial rivalries that alternated malign neglect with ambivalent attention, gradually developed a unique society and identity. The nature of Acadia has long been contested terrain among scholars and writers, so that even its historiography has become the stuff of history. Griffiths’ account everywhere demonstrates an impressive grasp of that literature, past and present, even as it brims with her own considerable scholarship. The result is a rich and subtle synthesis of social, diplomatic, and cultural history, finely attuned to broader imperial contexts and yet situating itself in a post-colonial "identities" framework, where traditional and contemporary themes complement rather than collide. For all of these reasons, From Migrant to Acadian is a remarkable feat of scholarship. Comprehensive in approach, nuanced in treatment, magisterial in tone, it is unlikely to be surpassed in our lifetimes.Québec
Magda Fahrni. Household Politics: Montreal Families and Postwar Reconstruction. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2005.
This study is an important contribution to the social, political and cultural history not only of Montreal, but more broadly of Canada during the immediate post-war period. In particular, it lets us examine from a new angle the intervention of the federal government in the matter of family policy by bringing out the dynamic role played by citizen movements which militated to make the family a public issue of the highest importance. Far from considering this period as one of the liberal imposition of a particular social model, the work is innovative in revealing, through concretes examples, a period of largely ignored negotiations, innovations and controversies. In many respects, the conclusions of this study will force a re-reading of the origins of the Quebec quiet revolution. For example, a larger place will now have to be made for the words of “ordinary people.” The analysis, based on very solid theory and well entrenched in historiography, is supported by remarkably extensive empirical research, as the author uses a wide variety of sources stemming from all components of Montreal society. Inventive in its narrative and methodological progression, clearly and intelligently written, this work is captivating, passionate and convincing.Ontario
Isabel Kaprielian-Churchill. Like Our Mountains: A History of Armenians in Canada. Montreal and/et Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.
Dr Isabel Kaprielian-Churchill’s detailed and mature study is one of the most evocative treatments of the challenges facing an ethnic group in the ‘New World’ that we have read. She combines the approaches of an insider with those of a detached scholar at a very successful and sophisticated level. The Armenian community is never reified: in Dr Kaprielian-Churchill’s hands it is depicted as a complex and sometimes divided group of people who shared common histories (and challenges) but who read those histories in different ways at diverse times. The author is alert to how ethnicity is cross-cut by religious belief, gender, class, and time of arrival. She wears her grasp of the relevant scholarship lightly, and thus the book can be enjoyed by non-academic as well as specialist readers, as is her intention. Dr Kaprielian-Churchill’s research base is formidable, drawing upon a strong collection of primary documents, extensive interviews, and a wide range of secondary sources. Her writing is engaging, and given the nature of the topic, is never too sentimental. Like our mountains: a history of Armenians in Canada is a fascinating account of how one ethnic group coped in Ontario (primarily) over some one hundred years.Prairies
Bill Waiser. Saskatchewan: A New History. Calgary, Fifth House, 2005.
Bill Waiser’s Saskatchewan: A New History is a comprehensive description and analysis of Saskatchewan as both a community and province. It not only synthesizes the most recent scholarship on Saskatchewan themes, incorporating significant new research undertaken by the author, but it is also the first provincial history of the prairie provinces to consistently weave First Nations’ experiences into the larger narrative. He does this in interesting and innovative ways. Instead of beginning the book with an analysis of the fur trade and the economies and societies of the Metis and aboriginal peoples, Waiser begins his narrative in 1870 with an account of the territorial ambitions of the colonizers, and their ineffectual and contradictory efforts to remake aboriginals into economic citizens of the new order. This intersection of native, settler, and government narrative trajectories is thus introduced at the outset and forms one of the underpinnings of the rest of the book.
In explaining the social, cultural and economic trends of Saskatchewan’s past, Waiser keeps the focus on the lived history of the province. The book recounts the stories of outstanding individuals and the experiences of the downtrodden. Waiser has a naturalist’s eye for the impact of agricultural change, and he blends a finely tuned grasp of geography with an intimate sense of human adjustment. His examination of local experiences, like the resettlement of farmers from the southwest to northern forests during the Depression, broadens the geographical vision of the province beyond the farmsteads of wheat growers. Another of the book’s strengths is its integration of the north into the larger narrative.
The book is well written, engaging, and very interestingly shaped and organized. It does not blaze any new interpretive trails, but it does make Saskatchewan’s past come alive for both scholarly and popular readers. This is a model centennial history of the province that will stand the test of time.British Columbia
Christine Wiesenthal. The Half-Lives of Pat Lowther. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2005.
The committee found The Half Lives of Pat Lowther to be both a beautiful and sensitive “life” of the British Columbia poet which deserves a wide readership across the country. In the work, Christine Wiesenthal provides a richly researched portrait of a complicated woman, and offers a much needed and new perspective on the history of the 1960s and 1970s in British Columbia. The committee was impressed by the author’s depiction of Lowther’s impoverished working class life and the stark family and cultural world in which she wrote her poetry. The committee also admired Wiesenthal for her nuanced examination of the details and troubling issues raised by Lowther’s brutal murder and the posthumous development of her reputation as a poet. The Half Lives of Pat Lowther breaks new ground in several areas of British Columbia history. It is a very worthy recipient of this year’s British Columbia Clio award.North
Lifetime Achievement Award
William Barr is one of this country's best historical editors and finest northern scholars. Trained as a geographer, he developed a life-long preoccupation with the history and geography of the Canadian North, exemplified by a series of superbly edited volumes on aspects of northern exploration and adventure. His work has, from the outset, been characterized by attention to detail and a fine scholarly eye for matters of significance. His careful approach to editing and extensive research has ensured that his volumes are first-rate models of the historian's craft. The introductions to his books are highly significant works of scholarship in their own right, seeking to balance a greater understanding of the individual's life with an explanation of the broader social, cultural, economic and geographical context within which the explorer or adventurer operated. The meticulous detail in these books -- always supplemented by the superbly drawn maps one expects from a geographer -- illustrates the depth of Barr's knowledge and understanding of northern history.
Barr's body of work includes over 100 scholarly articles and such important books as Overland to Starvation Cove (1987), The Expeditions of the First International Polar Year (1985), Searching for Franklin (1999), and A Frenchman in Search of Franklin (1992), to cite only part of his contributions. His translations of key international works have made important historical documents available in English, thus contributing to the greater understanding of the international interest in, and contributions to, the history of the Circumpolar World. One of his best contributions is From Barrow to Boothia (2002), a finely edited production of the journal of Hudson's Bay Company Chief Factor Peter Warren Dease that provides much needed critical insight into this long-ignored explorer. His most recent work, Red Serge and Polar Bear Pants (2004), describes the life and times of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Harry Stallworthy, using extensive family records to provide an unusually detailed discussion of the experience of serving the RCMP in the North.
The diversity of William Barr's contributions is further demonstrated by his recent translation (from the German) of Wilhelm Dege's account of the last German Arctic weather station (published in 2004 as War North of 80). William Barr has done much to keep scholarly interest in northern exploration and science alive at time when the study of Arctic discovery and adventure has lost much of its cachet. He has, in the process, provided a series of foundational studies which scholars across a wide variety of disciplines will continue to exploit to great and positive effect. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently a Research Associate with the Arctic Institute, University of Calgary. William Barr, historian, editor, translator and Circumpolar expert, is the deserving recipient of the 2006 Clio Award for the North from the Canadian Historical Association.
Peter Pope. Fish into Wine: The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2004)
Writing with a masterful clarity that belies the complexity of both his topic and his methodology, Peter Pope effectively re-positions Newfoundland in the socioeconomic landscape of seventeenth-century North America and the North Atlantic world. Fish into Wine marshals evidence across disciplines and oceans to fashion a compelling argument about the nature of early settlement in Newfoundland and the complex relationship between planter and migratory fishers on the raw frontier of the international cod fishery.
Popes 17th-century Newfoundland is no isolated economic outpost, a pawn of European empires, where fishers contend with settlers, and English settlement defies official policy. Relying on a superb grasp of a sprawling international literature, an impressive range of archival sources, and innovative archaeological analysis (especially of the proprietary colony founded at Ferryland in 1621), Fish into Wine argues instead for a Newfoundland where the customs and practices of the English fishery extend into the New World, and where permanent plantations serve an essential purpose for both migratory fishers and the European trading network that sponsor them.
Not only does Fish into Wine significantly enrich our understanding of life in the emerging plantations on Newfoundlands English Shore; not only does it offer revisionist insights into the symbiotic relationship between planters and migratory fishers; not only does it convincingly connect those plantations with the nascent European colonies of eastern North America; but it does all of this within a comprehensive, nuanced, and admirably balanced narrative of the foundation of European settlement in Newfoundland and the lucrative international fishery around which it revolved.
In its marriage of diverse disciplines and sources, and in its persuasive analysis, Fish into Wine makes a significant contribution to Atlantic Canadian history. As one reviewer has already concluded, Understanding the early history of Newfoundland now begins here.Quebec
Denyse Baillargeon. Un Québec en mal d'enfants. La médicalisation de la maternité 1910-1970. (Les éditions du remue-ménage, 2004)
If collective memory has long valued the idea of an alleged excessively high birthrate of Catholic francophones in Quebec (the so-called revenge of the cradles), it has to a lesser extent remembered that, at the beginning of the 20th century, this society experienced one of the worst infant mortality rates in the west. This infamous situation was the first opportunity used by doctors to justify especially by citing the nationalist cause their progressive occupation of the field of pregnancy and childhood. This remarkable work by Denyse Baillargeon, who situates her subject within a perfectly mastered international historiography, allows us to appreciate the specific rhythm and expression of the Quebec case. The author uses a number of clearly handled theoretic approaches which capture both the cultural and social aspects of her subject. Denyse Baillargeon uses a great variety of analytical methods and documentation, and her discipline, critical mind and assurance do as much justice to the medical propaganda as to the statistics. The results of the fascinating oral research also allow us to grasp the role of the mothers themselves in this story and the text is accompanied by truly useful illustrations. All this adds up to a work of rare solidity, intelligent, disciplined and absolutely enthralling, that explains a highly complex, important phenomenon of contemporary historyOntario
Peter L. Storck. Journey to the Ice Age: Discovering an Ancient World. (University of British Columbia Press, 2004)
Peter Storck's account of a life spent investigating the archaeology of early paleolithic Ontario is many things: archaeology, history, biography, and a cracking good read. Storck was fresh from graduate school in Wisconsin when he joined the Royal Ontario Museum in 1969, assigned to investigate the earliest archaeological records in Ontario, from 8 000 to 12 000 years ago, or even further back if older artifacts could be found. Off he went to explore the beaches of prehistoric Lake Algonquian, around Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment. Sometimes weeks of tramping, digging, sifting resulted in nothing at all; other years he practically stumbled across the fluted points--visually unremarkable bits of shaped rocks--that provide almost all the surviving evidence of early paleolithic peoples and their lives in Ontario. Finding these bits of stone was only part of the struggle: they couldn't be carbon dated, so Storck and his colleagues had to rely on other, often speculative ways of determining the age of their makers. Storck had to find the source of the stone, so he could tell what direction these people travelled. He had to tease out an understanding of the tools' uses (even when that meant going to stone-carving school), until perplexity would give way to sudden insight that these people had caught and filleted fish on the shores of the ancient lake, or that they had hunted hare, or fox, or reindeer across the Ontario tundra. Some mysteries were resolved; many others remain. One's experience of the Ontario landscape is transformed.
Storck's account comes as a revelation to the uninitiated because the literature on paleolithic Ontario has generally been written by experts for experts, and inaccessible to a wider audience. Storck manages to convey the human dramas behind the jargon: not only the hard-won knowledge about ancient peoples, but also workings of the modern historical, archaeological and curatorial professions in Ontario, permitting a rare glance at scholarship centered on the museum rather than the university. These were great times for Ontario archaeologists. With research money available, knowledge of ancient history and geology improved enormously, and Ontario was transformed from an intellectual backwater to a focal point for post-ice-age archaeology. Peter Storck is an eloquent and passionate guide to both worlds, and his book deserves a wide readership.Prairies
Simon Evans. The Bar U and Canadian Ranching History. (Calgary: University of Calgary, 2004)
This is one of those rare books in which discussions of ropin, ridin, and range management are elevated to finely-honed analysis. It is a work of mature and elegant scholarship that provides the best description to date of the origins of ranching in Alberta and the different epochs of the ranching business in Canada, as seen through the history of the Bar U and its people. It is a careful and detailed local study at the same time as it places the ranch in its bigger geographic, economic, political and social context. The Bar U is the first close examination of a ranch community to include its aboriginal and Chinese members along with the whites, women and children along with the men, disgruntled cooks along with the cowboys and outlaws. It moves beyond the kind of vague nationalism and romanticism that often permeates the historiography of ranching to answer such questions as how did the large ranches like the Bar U function in the early ranching economy of the region, what was necessary to keep a workforce in place from one season to the next, what kinds of labour were required and who performed it, when and how did aboriginal and Chinese workers enter the picture, and what was the physical signature of ranching on the southern Alberta landscape? Extending the case study from the ranchs beginnings in the 1880s to its re-incarnation as a National Historic Site in the 1990s puts the Bar Us famous cattle kingdom days under George Lane and Pat Burns into perspective, and reminds readers that for a while the ranch was as well known for its Percheron horses as for its cattle. The rich and extensive visual material adds far more than just illustration to the text and brings a unique dimension to the analysis. Superimposing the Bar Us holdings over a modern highway map, for example, conveys just how large the home ranch was at its peak. Evans asks in his Preface whether the study of a single ranch can claim to throw light on Canadian ranching history (xix) and The Bar U does that and more. In the recent flood of scholarship on ranching this book stands out.British Columbia
Matthew Evenden. Fish vs. Power: An Environmental History of the Fraser River. (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Environmental history is still a new field in British Columbia historiography, and this well-researched, well-written and highly original study is a most welcome addition to British Columbian, as well as to Canadian, environmental history. In this study Evenden does a fine job of exploring and explaining the competition of interests, historically contingent actions and environmental factors that led to a significant non-event in the provinces environmental, political and social history: the remarkable failure to dam the Fraser River. The study is original within both the local context and the wider field of environmental history, and successfully pushes beyond the particularities of the topic to reflect more widely on the relationships among different peoples, power (and not just of the hydro-electric variety) and the environment.North
Robert McGhee. The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World. (Key Porter Books, 2004)
Robert McGhee has devoted his career to explaining the early human history of the Canadian North. His insightful and impressive scholarship has provided both specific studies of aspects of polar archeology and accessible overviews of human adaptation to the Arctic. The Last Imaginary Place, perhaps his most impressive work to date, builds a number of bridges: between history and archeology, between studies of the Canadian North and the broader developments of the Circumpolar world, and between the presentation of academic research to scholarly and general audiences. McGhee has written a superb account of the early human history of the circumpolar world, doing so in a fashion that commands attention from historians and other scholars. He describes the rich and complex adaptation of indigenous peoples to the Arctic without deprecating or romanticizing their experience. Making effective use of maps and illustrations, he demonstrates that historians have much to learn from practitioners of archeological science. His writing is accessible and compelling, making the book a tremendously valuable addition to the northern studies library.
The Clio Award for northern Canadian history has, as befits a field of scholarship that has been greatly enriched by contributions from scholars in other disciplines, been given several times to authors whose disciplinary home is other than history. Recognizing the significant accomplishment of Robert McGhee marks another example of how the understanding of the human history of the North is a truly multi-disciplinary endeavour. The Last Imaginary Place is a worthy recipient of the Clio Award in Northern History, recognizing both the continuing contributions of Robert McGhee to northern scholarship and this important addition to the understanding of northern Canada's past.
Jerry Bannister. The Rule of the Admirals: Law, Custom and Naval Government in Newfoundland, 1699-1832. (Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History/University of Toronto Press, 2003).
Jerry Bannister has written a lively and fascinating book that opens up the relatively unknown world of 18th century Newfoundland. Bannister shatters myths of isolation and the despotic nature of naval justice between the Newfoundland Act of 1699 and the establishment of representative government in 1832. The result is the opportunity to think more generally about the nature of law, state formation, governance and political culture as they related to British colonial and naval projects and Newfoundlanders. The book represents a significant reinterpretation of Newfoundland history, and the chronological scope of its coverage, more than 130 years of colonial development, is almost Newfoundland into the new historiography of the First British Empire.
The Rule of the Admirals explores hitherto underutilized court and naval records, and disentangles a complex interrelationship of the state and society. This book suggests that the state in Newfoundland, despite the conclusions of later Whig nationalist historians, passed through a succession of forms that met the needs of the fishery. Bannister argues that this system lasted for over a hundred years because it worked and served the interests of the various parties involved. The book is based on outstanding research in Newfoundland and British sources and the author has chosen to highlight the primacy of legal texts with the inclusion of primary documents at the end of each chapter and a useful notes on primary sources section at the end.
While the existing literature focuses upon the English law and the fisherys economic organization, Bannister points out that much of the law governing social relations within the fishery were local customs that later became codified through formal law. He expertly traces the development of legal apparatus from the days of the Fishing Admirals through the rule of Naval surrogates to the establishment of courts of civil jurisdiction.
Unlike the traditional interpretation, Bannister argues that the Fishing Admirals and Naval authorities provided effective regimes that were well suited to the needs of the local community. As Bannister explains, the Georgian Royal Navy, far from being corrupt and inefficient, managed the largest industrial organization in the Western World. (23). During each transition from one regime to the next, he points out, the victors rhetoric condemned the earlier regime. Bannister follows Keith Matthewss argument that historians have been too quick to accept these judgments as fact.
While demarking the outlines of the shifting legal structures, Bannister argues against the idea that Newfoundland was exceptional and advances a new interpretation of Pallisers Act and a general re-emphasizing the criminalization of servants failure to live up to contractual obligations. This discussion of paternalism and corporal punishment promises to provoke much debate among those who study this pivotal period.Quebec
Jean-Philippe Warren. L'engagement sociologique : La tradition sociologique du Québec francophone (1886-1955). (Boral, 2003)
A history but also a sociology of ideas, Jean-Phillippe Warren's L'engagement sociologique is a remarkable study dealing with an ambitious subject the development of a sociological tradition in francophone Quebec, from Léon Gérin's stay in France in 1886 to Father Georges-Henri Lévesque's departure from the deanship of the Social Sciences Faculty of Universit Laval in 1955. Written in a sumptuous style that captivates the reader, no matter how wary of anything scholarly, J.-P. Warrens study raises issue with the familiar bromides on the supposed backwardness of intellectual and scientific life in francophone Quebec. It presents a detailed and erudite analysis of the three schools formed with the institutionalization of sociology, the Le Play School, doctrinal sociology and Laval sociology. He elucidates a discipline less uniform and ramshackle than the one insisted on by those with a preconceived idea about the modernization of Quebec society. The members of the jury of the 2003 Clio Prize, Quebec section, recognize the consistent sensitivity to and successful implementation of an interdisciplinary dialogue between sociology and history. Jean-Phillippe Warren's L'engagement sociologique is a work that will significantly mark the field of intellectual history, and contribute strongly to the investigation of the subject of science as social practice. It is with great delight the kind that comes from the pleasure of knowledge that the members of the jury unanimously award the 2003 Clio Prize, Quebec section, to Jean-Phillippe Warren and his innovative study.Ontario
Terry Crowley. Marriage of Minds: Isabel and Oscar Skelton Reinventing Canada. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Studies in Gender and History series, 2003).
Terry Crowley's Marriage of Minds makes an important contribution to intellectual and political history and to the gender history of Canada. It successfully crafts together these diverse frameworks for narrating the lives and careers of two prominent Ontarians. Unusually, it gives equal weight to female and male protagonists, the professor turned mandarin and the literary author, exploring their conceptions of self and nationhood. Husband and wife bob and weave through constitutional crises, everyday political confrontations, intellectual disputes, and the dramas of domestic life. With its analysis of the development of nationalist identity in the late 19th and early 20th century, the book helps us to understand the polity through the eyes of individuals, as intellectuals and also as people shaped by family and gender expectations. Marriage of Minds proves conclusively that social history can help us better understand the nation.Prairies
Raymond J. A. Huel. Archbishop A.-A. Taché of St. Boniface: The Good Fight and the Illusive Vision. (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2003).
Raymond Huel's Archbishop A.-A. Taché of St. Boniface: The 'Good Fight' and the Illusive Vision is the first scholarly biography of this central figure in western Canadian history, whose views provide unique and rich insight into the founding events of Manitoba's history. Alexandre-Antoine Taché, born and raised in Québec, was the first Oblate missionary to come to western Canada in 1845. He was the first of his congregation to be ordained, he served as a missionary to Chipewyans in Ile-à-la-Crosse, he was the first Oblate bishop in the northwest, and he was the first archbishop of Saint-Boniface. By the time Taché died in 1894, he had played a major role in negotiating a peaceful settlement of the Red River Insurrection and helped shape the early years of the province of Manitoba. Archbishop Taché's central wish during his career was to create a "sister province" of Quebec in the northwest, and cement Canada as a bilingual and bicultural nation. Although Taché's vision proved illusory, he fought long and hard to promote French and Catholic interests in the region, encourage French Canadian immigration, and protect the rights of the Métis.
Huel's biography provides a nuanced portrait of Archbishop Taché in an array of contexts, including as a young missionary, a maturing bishop, a hardened archbishop, a passionate politician, an efficient bureaucrat, and a homesick son. Huel's work is important in a number of regards. He illuminates a mostly unwritten chapter in early western Canadian history, that of the French, French Canadian, and the Catholic, and their institutional and foundational role in shaping the west. Huel demythologizes Taché and explains the issues that were dear to his heart. The study is thoroughly researched and masterfully constructed, with a good balance between Taché's "life" and the "times" in which he lived. Huel's account of Taché's perspectives on the Riel amnesty question and the school's question in Manitoba and the Northwest is an especially impressive addition to scholarship. In addition to providing a sensitive and compelling portrait of Taché and the complex worlds through which he moved, Huel also writes more broadly about the benefits and problems associated with the genre of biography, and his thoughtful analysis of sources runs through this biography.British Columbia
Jean Barman. Sojourning Sisters: The Lives and Letters of Jessie and Annie McQueen. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003).
In Sojourning Sisters Jean Barman stresses the ordinariness of her subjects, two sisters from Nova Scotia who made their way to British Columbia in the late 1880s. Jessie and Annie McQueen were young teachers who took posts in the provinces Interior. They lived in a number of places in BC during the following years, but they remained connected to the Maritimes, at times traveling home for extended periods. The narrative offers intimate knowledge of the womens lives; over five hundred letters to or from the sisters survive, as well as a larger number between their parents and siblings. These letters, covering the period from 1860 to 1930, offer extraordinary insights into feelings and aspirations; the roles of daughters, sisters, and wives; and work and leisure experiences. Life on the British Columbia frontier is seen close up.
Two things particularly elevate this book. First, the book is a pleasure to read. Second, Barman links the lives of these women to the larger process of nation-building, the spreading of assumptions about religion, culture, and race from one coast to another. Here ordinary people were truly constructing Canada.The North
Ishmael Alunik, Eddie Kolausok and David Morrison. Eddie Kolausok and David Morrison. Across Time and Tundra: The Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. (Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2003).
Northern Canada is engaged in a rich and potentially transformational historiographical exercise. For generations, the writing of northern history rested in the hands of southern-based historians and antiquarians. Only rarely were northern voices and, even more rarely, were indigenous perspectives given more than passing historical attention. That is now changing rapidly, and nowhere more powerfully and dramatically than in the Canadian North.
Across Time and Tundra is an engaging, beautifully illustrated cross-cultural exercise in northern historical writing. The authors represent the diversity of northern historical perspective. Ishmael Alunik contributes as an Inuvialuit elder. Eddie Kolausok is an Inuvialuit land claims negotiator, and David Morrison is an historian with the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The collaboration resulted in a rich blend of historical narrative, perceptive analysis founded on recent scholarship, direct engagement with the issues of the contemporary western Arctic, and the unique insights of Inuvialuit elders.
This book sparkles with insight and understanding of the Inuvialuit of the western Arctic. Where most portraits of the Arctic emphasize the sparseness and isolation of the environment, Across Time and Tundra highlights the deep and abiding connections between the people and their land and, through the words of elders and the well-chosen photographs and illustrations, documents the complex transformations resulting from the arrival of newcomers. Historians and other scholars have, for several decades, learned how to collect information from indigenous peoples. Increasingly, as with this deserving book, indigenous elders, writers and non-indigenous scholars have discovered how to share their insight and to collaborate on projects designed to challenge existing perceptions of the indigenous experience.
Across Time and Tundra is a worthy choice of the Canadian Historical Associations Clio Award for Regional History (The North). The authors are to be commended for their excellent work in bringing the history of the Inuvialiut forward in such an accessible, creative and insightful fashion.
William C. Wicken, Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land and Donald Marshall Junior (University of Toronto Press, 2002).
This original and readable study elegantly moves across time to explore and explain the historical origins of a complex contemporary issue. Grounded in the careful reading of legal documents across three centuries, the reader comes away with an understanding of 18th and 20th-century Mi'kmaq politics, imperial "diplomatic" relations and the challenges of using history and historical arguments before the contemporary courts. It advances our understanding of 18th-century Mi'kmaq society and of native-white relations by focussing on the 1725-26 peace and friendship treaty between the Mi'kmaq and the Nova Scotia government. In great detail, the author explains the complexities of treaty-making in the colonial era and offers insights into the role of oral tradition, and academic history, in court cases on aboriginal rights.
Wicken's study demonstrates an understanding of Mi'kmaq social structure, kinship and economy and illustrates that the Mi'kmaq viewed the treaty making process as part of a continuing relationship. By implication, he indicates that a legal reading of the text as a document that stands alone would not be an accurate historical representation. Further, Wicken effectively establishes that the British military authorities were not exercising jurisdiction over Nova Scotia during the better part of the eighteenth century. By examining the meaning of various clauses of the pertinent treaties he shows British intentions to be modest. Wicken's argument is that British intentions were to develop a legal category to govern the Crown's relationship with Mi'kmaq. The discussion of British misunderstanding of the nature of the alliance between the French and Mi'kmaq is persuasive and the conclusion that the British thought they achieved more than they did through treaties is significant. This book will be of great interest to students of history, politics and the law, and serves as an important example, for academics and their students, that history 'matters.'Quebec
Le Centre de recherche des Cantons de l'est / Eastern Townships Research Center
The sub-committee recognizes the remarkable contribution of the CRCE/ETRC in disseminating regional history in Quebec. For twenty years, starting at Bishop's University, the CRCE/ETRC has been offering history researchers in the Eastern Townships a commendable administrative framework worthy of mention. It testifies both to the excellence of the leading research of recognized historians, and to the praiseworthy concern taken by this organization to popularize history, notably with its book launchings, the publication of a comprehensive newsletter and an annual conference that attracts a large audience. The CRCE/ETRC shows how exciting it is to have quality research produced in the region, research that is expressed in the two languages that signify the historical richness of the Eastern Townships. In order to properly commemorate the 20th anniversary of this organization, the Quebec sub-committee has decided to award a 2002 Clio Prize in recognition of the enormous contribution of the Centre de recherche des Cantons de l'est / Eastern Townships Research Centre.
Paul-Louis Martin, Les fruits du Québec. Histoire et traditions des douceurs de la table (Septentrion, 2002).
What a delightful book! The reader can't help but be won over by the novelty of the subject matter, the discipline and the richness of the research, the author's elegant and clear writing, and the exquisitely pleasing construction of the book. Following on the heels of innovative studies by Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari, Paul-Louis Martin reminds us of a flavourful world that we thought had been left behind forever with the globalization of trade. While delving into the history of these fruits and their soil - the elements of daily, if not ordinary, life - the author with great good humour acknowledges the contributions of ethnology, the economy and history, not to mention botany, agronomy and the natural sciences, to the knowledge of Quebec's past, and of the first Aboriginal settlements to the different regions of contemporary Quebec. Paul-Louis Martin tactfully retraces the multiform influence of the Catholic Church - by naming different plant varieties - and also the effects of the multiple cultural influences which, through nature, have shaped Quebec society. Finally, he reveals to the fascinated reader the existence of an Aboriginal "plant heritage," a heritage that is not confined to the invention of traditional cultures. An important and innovative addition to the Quebec historiography, Paul-Louis Martin's work is a surprising and remarkable study that the reader, no matter how exacting, can't help but devour at one go. With the unanimous agreement of its replete members, the Quebec sub-committee awards the 2002 Clio Prize (work) to Paul-Louis Martin and to his delectable book, Les Fruits du Québec. Histoire et traditions des douceurs de la table.Ontario
William Westfall, The Founding Moment: Church, Society, and the Construction of Trinity College (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002).
William Westfall's small book is a gem. With gentle wit, sympathy, and a profound sense of irony, he relates the tale of Bishop Strachan's ever-hopeful campaign to beat back the forces of secularising modernity and construct a godly, conservative society in mid-19th century Toronto. Furious at the state's seizure of University College, Strachan defiantly launched Trinity College, with its independent funding and its required courses in "physiology in its relation to natural theology" and "the outlines of Ecclesiastical History," taught by men who were, he boasted, both scholarly and gentlemanly. Trinity was to be a "Christian household" where young men would learn, as children did from their mother, the highest standards of Christian morality. The "moment" was brief: Strachan's successors bowed before charges that they infantilised their students and did not represent the Church writ large, and they soon took down some of the religious barriers that Strachan had so carefully erected. Westfall deftly integrates institutional history with the history of education, religion, government, masculinity, the family, and the 'invention of tradition.' Highly readable and resting on impressive research and analysis, The Founding Moment is cultural history of the highest order.Prairies
Theodore Binnema, Common and Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwest Plains (University of Oklahoma Press, 2001).
Theodore Binnema's Common and Contested Ground is a grounding-breaking monograph. In this sweeping history of the northwestern plains from 200 A.D. to 1806 (the year Lewis and Clark explored the upper Missouri River), Binnema carefully traces the complex relationships among landscape, animals and people over a longue dure. He challenges the dominant anthropological paradigm of culture groups and instead focuses on significant individuals, bands and events, outlining how kinship and the environment underlay social organization among people on the plains. Binnema explores the interaction between bison and hunters, and the interethnic relations among Blackfoot, Crees, Assiniboines, Shoshonis, Arapahos, Gros Ventres, Crows, Hidatsas, Salishans and Flatheads that led to distinct band formations and regional coalitions. In combining environmental history with diplomatic and political history, Binnema has refigured the Native history of the northwestern plains. His book provides both an argument and a model that will stimulate debate and new research in the field.British Columbia
Cole Harris, Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia (UBC Press, 2002).
This impressive volume tackles a crucial question in British Columbia: the dispossession of First Nations from the land. Historical geographer Cole Harris, a previous Clio winner, provides an 'historical narrative of geographical change,' exploring the colonization of the province through the creation of the reserve system. This process ignored aboriginal title, appropriated land, and created some 1500 small reserves for First Nations people. Emphasizing that the discourse of colonialism was complex and contradictory, Harris begins by discussing the inconsistent nature of imperial policy in the middle of the 19th century. He then traces the colonizing venture to 1938, when the Indian reserves in British Columbia were officially transferred to the Dominion of Canada. The 1870s were pivotal, according to the author, for this decade witnessed the defeat of an option that included a more generous land policy, as well as a measure of self-government, for First Nations. Throughout the book the often competing voices of the British Colonial Office, the colonial and provincial governments, the Canadian government, the settler society, and the natives are heard. A final chapter considers the modern predicament; rejecting the policy of assimilation, Harris calls for a politics of difference, where land, resources and self-government for First Nations can begin a new relationship between the aboriginal and settler societies.
Elegantly written and thoroughly researched, the book moves fluidly from theories of colonialism to detailed, on-the-ground discussions between land commissioners and native chiefs over the size and makeup of particular reserves. Some fifty maps further ground the history in specific individual cases. For students of British Columbia's past and present, Making Native Space is essential reading.The North
Shelagh D. Grant, Arctic Justice: On Trial for Murder, Pond Inlet, 1923 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002).
Shelagh Grant has provided a compelling and superbly researched analysis of the killing of Robert Janes by the Inuit of Baffin Island in March 1920. Janes died at the hands of Nuqallaq, an Inuk from North Baffin Island, who was acting on the basis of Inuit custom which justified the killing of an aggressive, threatening person on a pre-emptive basis. To Nuqallaq and his colleagues, the killing was an act of self-protection, but Canadian authorities had a different interpretation. Eighteen months after the killing, a Royal North West Police officer investigated the slaying and recommended that Nuqallaq and two others be charged. Following the trial, Nuqallaq was sentenced to ten years of hard labour at Stony Mountain Penitentiary in Manitoba. He remained only eighteen months, when he was released to return to Pond Inlet, where he died a few months later of tuberculosis.
The killing of Janes convinced the Canadian government that the time was right to assert national sovereignty over this long-ignored piece of the Dominion. Arctic Justice describes the tense and difficult intersection of Inuit and Canadian justice and documents the political and strategic motivations which underscored the Canadian government's determination to intervene. Grant argues, as she has in earlier works on the extension of government authority into the Canadian North, that a preoccupation with sovereignty convinced the Canadian government to act. More originally, she provides an insightful analysis of the Inuit response to the murder, the police investigation and the subsequent court proceedings.
The strength of Grant's work lies in the detailed and carefully reconstructed narrative and the nicely-contextualized analysis of the murder, the police actions, and the handling of the case by Canadian legal and political authorities. Where the book clearly stands apart from most other works of northern history is in the author's extensive efforts to collect and use Inuit oral testimony in the reconstruction and explanation of the events and the cultural circumstances surrounding the killing and the subsequent trial. This is, in sum, a superb work of ethnohistory that capitalizes on the strengths of archival and oral documentation and shows a great deal of respect for both the canons of historical scholarship and the historical traditions of the Inuit of Baffin Island. Arctic Justice is well-illustrated, with useful and informative maps, reproductions of historical documents, and other well-chosen illustrative material. Shelagh Grant has written a masterful, compelling and insightful work, which fully deserves recognition as the winner of the Clio Award for Northern Canadian History.
Maureen K. Lux, Medicine That Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880-1940 (University of Toronto Press, 2001).
In Medicine that Walks, Maureen Lux applies innovative frameworks to the exploration of disease among Native peoples on the Canadian plains from 1880-1940. She challenges the virgin population explanation for on-going and widespread pestilence among First Nations well into the twentieth century. European-Canadian settlement on the plains was accompanied by military, economic and cultural invasions, as well as the loss of bison herds and forced settlement on reserves, which led to grinding poverty, malnutrition, and overcrowding. For Native peoples, health was not simply the absence of disease, rather it was a holistic sense of well being --having food, clothing, shelter, and political self-determination. Likewise, the Canadian government equated poverty among Native peoples with ill health. Bureaucrats, missionaries and physicians explained high death rates and continued ill health of plains peoples in the quasi-scientific language of racial evolution, and saw disease as an inevitable stage in the struggle for civilization. This well-researched book draws on oral sources, ethnography, archaeology, epidemiology, ethnobotany, and documentary records, and demonstrates that poverty and poor living conditions allowed disease to spread through Native communities. Yet Native peoples survived and consistently demanded a role in their own health and recovery. This book is more than just a provocative contribution to the existing historiography, it seeks to fundamentally challenge the scholarship over the causes of disease among prairie First Nations communities and over the supposed ensuing decline of Native medicine. This book is especially original in integrating approaches from the history of medicine with Native ideas of health and disease, and reveals a new layer to the interactions between Native peoples and European-Canadians.Atlantic
Margaret Conrad and James K. Hiller, Atlantic Canada: A Region in the Making (Oxford University Press, 2001).
A distillation of a complex historiography, this is an accessible yet scholarly work by two established historians. Working within the confines of a word limit imposed by the publisher, the authors cover 500 years of regional history in a succinct and graceful fashion. They strike an impressive balance in synthesizing current scholarly work on the region, including archaeological scholarship, in a popular and readable form. The attention payed to different regions within Atlantic Canada is balanced, as is the treatment of the First Nations, ethnic groups and both genders. The inclusiveness of the synthesis, with the diverse experiences elegantly included in both written and visual form, is particularly appreciated. The authors recognize that Atlantic Canada is largely a region only in terms of its relationship with the federal state in the period after 1949 - yet succeed in finding commonalities in the lives of people in the disparate regions that make up what is now the Atlantic provinces. This book, suitable as a text for courses in Atlantic Canada, redresses the imbalance in recent historiography by paying more attention to the pre 1867 period than the post Confederation era. The selection of maps, photographs and illustrations is especially effective - in many cases providing significant information about the past. Those teaching in universities and colleges finally have something that can replace W.S. MacNutts monograph of 1965. On the whole, Atlantic Canada: A Region in the Making is an attractive and effective popular history that should exert a wide influence in academic circles and beyond.British Columbia
Adele Perry, On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871 (University of Toronto Press, 2001).
In this scholarly yet colourful study about gender and race in colonial British Columbia, Adele Perry argues that the best efforts of a diverse group of reformers, including missionaries, politicians, and journalists, failed to regulate experience on the edge of empire. The homosocial culture of white males and the relationships between these men and Aboriginal women resisted transformation, and the mass immigration programs and land policies that reformers thought would reshape the colony were never implemented and thus never effected their intended miracle. Rather than remoulding colonial society, the assisted immigration of white women highlighted the discrepancies between imperial intent and practice. In the end, Perry concludes that the organization of British Columbia society occurred through the twinning of the processes of the resettlement of white settlers and the dispossession of indigenous peoples but also that the intertwining of gender and race is the essence of the colonial process in British Columbia. She draws selectively from feminist theory, Marxism, and post-colonial and post-structural theory and merges her insights convincingly when constructing her discussion. This important book fuels and raises to a higher level the debate about gender, race, and class in which British Columbia historians have engaged for three decades, and it will be read - and no doubt argued about - for years to come.Quebec
Serge Courville et Normand Séguin (dir.). Atlas historique du Québec. La paroisse (Presses de lUniversité Laval, 2001).
This remarkable study deals with an institution that had a profound impact on the social construction of the landscape and on the sociohistoric evolution of Quebec. Using various approaches, the study gives a brilliant account of the central place of the Roman Catholic parish as the nexus of urban and rural sociability, the locus for a sense of shared socio-cultural belonging, and the meeting place where the abstract reality of the state found expression. The structure of the argument exposes the various components of parochial reality [origin and volution, landscape and organization, medium of life, its expansion outside of Quebec]. The sections on the expansion of parishes outside of Quebec and on relations between parishes and state administration are major contributions to contemporary historiography. Part of the ambitious project of the Historic atlases of Quebec, this volume on the parish testifies will to the heuristic character of the interdisciplinary approach (geography, history, anthropology) of an institution that has been too often reduced to its simplest component. Finally, the cartography and iconography in this book are sumptuous and very effective.Ontario
Alexandra Palmer, Couture and Commerce: The Transatlantic Fashion Trade in the 1950s (University of British Columbia Press, 2001).
Couture and Commerce explores the links between Parisian couture houses and the realm of fashion in 1950s Toronto. Alexandra Palmer uses an innovative and creative blend of sources - oral histories, company records, and sketches photographs of couture wear - to bring an often-overlooked dimension of Ontario's past, that of the history of fashion, into the mainstream of the province's history. Palmer's study of couture calls our attention to the significance of ties between Toronto and Europe during this decade. Previous scholarship has traced the links between Ontario, Britain, and the United States; Palmer thus provides new dimensions to our knowledge of Ontario's position within a wider international spectrum. Couture and Commerce is written in an engaging and accessible style and is also well-grounded in scholarly work in fashion history and material culture. The book's beautiful illustrations are carefully used to demonstrate consumers' use of couture clothing. Palmer's sensitive use of material culture suggests new and exciting directions for Ontario history.North
Renée Fossett, In Order to Live Untroubled: Inuit of the Central Arctic 1550 to 1940 (University of Manitoba Press, 2001)
Renée Fossett has produced a work of sincere and insightful scholarship. Her study of the Inuit of the Central Arctic draws on a wide variety of archival and oral sources and is greatly enriched by the insights gleaned from a decade-long residence in the region. In Order to Live Untroubled provides a sweeping analysis of four centuries of Inuit history, providing a chronological and thematic assessment of the transformation of Inuit life in the region. The broad temporal coverage permits the author to assess the pre-contact history and life-ways of the Inuit and to assess the impact of successive waves of Europeans and other outsiders on the peoples of the Central Arctic. She documents the creative manner in which the Inuit reacted to the intrusions and arrival of outsiders and considers the degree to which these external influences affected and, on occasion, attacked the core of Inuit life. The breadth of her research and the balance of Inuit insights and theoretical perspectives gained from an extensive review of the secondary literature makes this a worthy and valuable addition to northern Canadian scholarship. The committee is pleased to recommend Rene Fossett's In Order to Live Untroubled as this year's winner of the Regional History Award (Northern Canada) award from the Canadian Historical Association.
L. Anders Sandberg and Peter Clancy, Against the Grain: Foresters and Politics in Nova Scotia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2000.
Against the Grain draws on interdisciplinary perspectives ranging from History through Economics and Environmental Studies to Political Science in analyzing the forestry sector in Nova Scotia in the twentieth century. L. Anders Sandberg and Peter Clancy use a biographical approach in their well-written study, providing profiles of seven forestry professionals to illustrate their analysis of forest policy. Rather than a simple narrative of the history of this resource sector, the authors present a unique and careful perspective on the role of resource managers in both the public and private sectors revealing the development of the industry as well as the political and ideological factors that affect policy decisions. Resource management is treated as a historical subject rather than as a simple technological vocation and the study underlines that forest policy involved contested ideological terrain and policy choices.The Prairies
Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R.A. Kmet, Alberta's North: A History, 1890-1950. Edmonton: Canadian Circumpolar Institute Press and The University of Alberta Press, 2000.
This substantial book is the first comprehensive study of the history of Alberta's North. The authors trace the rise of northern Alberta as a region, its transformation through national expansion, the diverging economic and social life of its various districts, and the changing relationship between Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian people. Parts I and II provide a chronological overview and in Part III a thematic approach is taken to topics such as transportation, towns and social services, agriculture, social life, trapping, Aboriginal land rights and political organizations. The authors strive to present the multiple perspectives of those who occupy Alberta's north, stressing that no single narrative is adequate, and they successfully demonstrate the diversity and complexity of northern Alberta's societies and economies. A major theme woven throughout if that the policies and programs of both government and business placed the economic needs and standards of newcomers above those of the Aboriginal residents.The North
No prize this yearQuebec
Yvan Lamonde, Histoire sociale des idées au Québec (1760-1896) Vol. 1. Montréal, Fides, 2000.
This important work presents the evolution of Quebec by examining the main ideas that have shaped this part of North America. The book demonstrates that francophone society in Quebec was influenced by a variety of ideological forces and by various international events, in particular in relation to the Rebellions of 1837-1838. The product of many years of research, this work of synthesis makes excellent use of published works, newspapers and archival documents. Written in a clear style, the book presents an innovative perspective on this very important period in Quebec history. By studying the social history of ideas in Quebec using the metaphor of "clearings in the forest," Yvan Lamonde reveals to the reader "the multifarious identities in Quebec."British Columbia
Gordon Hak, Turning Trees into Dollars: The British Columbia Coastal Lumber Industry, 1858-1913. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Gordon Hak gives us the first scholarly comprehensive study of the coastal lumber industry from the creation of the colony of British Columbia in 1858 through to the changing of American tariff laws in 1913. He argues that the market orientation of the staples approach and the production relations of industrial capitalism are both necessary in understanding this industry. Drawing on his solid research of primary materials and his extensive reading of secondary sources, Hak systematically analyses the lumber industry's "front end" of markets, company structures, and business strategies, its "back end" of government policies, critics, and independent loggers, and, finally, the mechanical and human aspects of production. In particular, he uncovers the dissenting voices of those who emerged to critique companies and government. Thus, in addition to giving historians a practical theoretical approach, Hak builds a sound foundation for understanding today's crises and conflicts in the woods between government, companies, loggers, Aboriginals, and environmentalists.Ontario
Shirley Tillotson, The Public at Play: Gender and the Politics of Recreation in Post-War Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Shirley Tillotson's study of the recreation movement in post-war Ontario is a important new addition to the burgeoning literature on this period. While focusing on the development of the recreation movement at the local level, in Brantford and Simcoe County, Tillotson skillfully links community developments to a number of national concerns and themes: citizen participation in the liberal state, the development of professional identities for recreation workers, and women's voluntary role in public recreation. A richly-detailed and well-written book, The Public At Play provides significant insights about the formation of the Canadian liberal democratic welfare state. Deftly integrating social theory into her empirical research, Tillotson successfully demonstrates that gender relations and discourses were central to state formation in this period.
Nancy Wachowich, in collaboration with Apphia Agalakti Awa, Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak, and Sandra Pikujak Katsak, Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women, (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999).
In Saqiyuq, Nancy Wachowich, Apphia Agalakti, Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak and Sandra Pikujak Katsak provide detailed and unique insights into the lives of Inuit women in the 20th Century North. The three Inuit collaborators - a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter - offer perspectives from three successive generations and, in the process, document the changing social and cultural dynamics of the Arctic. The accounts collected and presented by Nancy Wachowich are particularly important for the light that they shine on aspects of women's experience, including marriage, child-rearing, and community relations.
Saqiyuq is a strong example of the new practice of collaborative indigenous history, combining the insights of elders and participants with the perspective and editorial hand of an academic. This volume is an important addition to the history of the Inuit, women in the Arctic and northern Canadian history generally.
Dr. Bruce Hodgins
In a full and rewarding career, Dr. Bruce Hodgins established himself as one of the leading figures in Northern Canadian history. Although his initial work was in the broader field of Canadian political history, Bruce's love for the North - and his passion for wilderness canoeing - turned his scholarly attentions to northern districts. His contributions have been many-fold, and include pioneering work in the development of undergraduate courses in northern history, service as Director of the Frost Centre for Northern Studies at Trent University, and tireless promotion of Northern Canadian Studies at the national and international level. He has published significant works on the history of northern Ontario and has edited several key collections of articles on northern themes. Perhaps his most enduring contribution, however, has come through his supervision of undergraduate and graduate theses, as he managed, with great success, to pass his love of the Canadian North on to new scholars. For thirty years, Bruce Hodgins has been at the forefront of the field of northern Canadian history and he is a worthy recipient of this recognition.British Columbia
Beyond the City Limits: Rural History in British Columbia. (Ruth Sandwell editor).
Beyond the City Limits is a welcome addition to the written history of British Columbia. This collection of essays moves the focus of analysis away from the Lower Mainland in a much needed treatment of rural British Columbia. Each essay offers fresh insights into a diverse range of subjects from cougar hunting on Vancouver Island to pimping in Prince George. But this text is more than just an important shift from the usual, it is also a theoretically - informed, methodologically-sophisticated study of what has traditionally been deemed marginal in British Columbia history - the small towns, the farms, and the communities of the north and the interior. As such, Beyond the City Limits, contributes to a new scholarship of Western history that spans beyond provincial and national borders and so makes a most significant contribution to the history of British Columbia.The Prairies
Jack Glenn, Once Upon An Oldman.
Once Upon An Oldman is a captivating study of the intense and bitter controversy over the Oldman Dam in southern Alberta, from its beginnings in 1976 to the present day. The Alberta government began construction of the dam in 1986, with the support of a highly effective irrigation lobby, and despite the opposition of the Peigan First Nation, local landowners, environmental groups and anglers. There were court actions, demonstrations, public debates, and a federal government panel declared the project unacceptable, but the dam was completed by the end of 1991. Glenn argues that the provincial and federal governments proved that they were not dedicated to protecting the environment, or safeguarding the interests of Aboriginal people, despite claims to the contrary. The book is a valuable contribution to regional history as Glenn provides context to the dispute through an examination of human occupation and water management in the Oldman River Basin. He effectively explores the historic associations of this region of Alberta to the Peigan.Ontario
Mark McGowan, The Waning of the Green
McGowan's book insightfully traces the development of the Catholic Irish in Toronto from an ethnic enclave into an integral part of the community. McGowan's work is based on extensive statistical research, which substantiates his claims regarding this group's dispersion throughout the city and their upward mobility. McGowan provides new insights into the organizational nature and activities of new Catholic organizations that supplanted older nationalistic ones. He looks at gender relations, compares and contrasts Irish-Canadian Catholics with immigrant Catholics from other countries, and examines the role of the Irish-Canadian community during the First World War. The Waning of the Green is a well-written and compelling piece of historical scholarship.Atlantic
David Frank, J. B. McLachlan: A Biography
David Frank's richly textured J.B. McLachlan: A Biography combines extensive archival research with an accessible style to tell the gripping life story of the Scottish-born Cape Breton mine leader. James Bryson McLachlan played a central role among the miners as educator and organizer in the early to mid-twentieth century. He supported the miners when they joined the United Mine Workers of America, 1908-09, served on the union executive and led the legendary 1909-11 strike. Probably best remembered, however, as the radical leader of the miners in the dramatic labour struggles of the 1920s and 30s, McLachlan comes to life in this compelling biography. Frank skillfully weaves McLachlan's life into the story of Cape Breton where economic boom was accompanied by dire poverty for the miners, and widening class divisions. This long-awaited biography of a working class leader makes a major contribution to the history not only of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada but to Canadian history as well.Quebec
Peter Gossage, Families in Transition. Industry and Population in Nineteenth-Century Saint-Hyacinthe. McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999.
Families in Transition is a genuine monograph which makes intelligent use of numerous and various sources to show convincingly the local impact of the transition to industrial capitalism and of the demographic transition. The author has compiled a remarkable data bank, which can be used to make unusual correlations and conclusions differentiated by class, and to reconstitute family files which provide eloquent illustrations of important phenomena brought up to date. While making use of the theories of socio-economic history from the past thirty years, he remains attentive to the specifics of Saint-Hyacinthe whose environs he describes evocatively, with the help of a rich collection of illustrations astutely analysed.
René Hardy. Contrôle social et mutations de la culture religieuse au Québec, 1830-1930, Les Éditions du Boréal, 1999.
This very mature study, which deals with the volution of the place of religion in culture, plunges into an area of social life so difficult to grasp that it seems homogeneous and unchangeable. Excellent articles enable us to appreciate clever approaches, a work of rigorous and exacting evidence, and clear explanations informed by theories of European historiography. The subtle analysis enables an astute reflection on the significance of the institutions. There is a refreshing variety of themes selected to explore the religious culture. The author introduces important distinctions, and he accomplishes the patient work of dating by gradually introducing the new practices in Quebec's religious tradition.
H.V. Nelles, The Art of Nation-Building. Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec's Tercentenary. University of Toronto Press, 1999.
The Art of Nation-Building is a new and fascinating application of current trends in the history of memory with regard to the history of Quebec and Canada. Particularly pleasant reading, the work integrates collective history and individual experiences. It uses various approaches, from different areas, from intellectual history to urban history, by way of political history and the history of religions.
Julian Gwyn. Excessive Expectations: Maritime Commerce and the Economic Development of Nova Scotia, 1740-1870 (McGill-Queen's University Press).
Julian Gwyn uses modern development theory and a massive data base to track each of Nova Scotia's economic sectors over time, to follow the rise and fall of import/export ratios, and to note the unsettling effects of war and changes in British colonial policy. Like most modern scholars, he rejects the 'myth of the golden age' at mid-century and finds the Reciprocity Treaty of dubious benefit. In addition to his macro-economic findings, he conducts a fascinating economic tour of the villages and outports, describing their productive activities and the constant struggle of the inhabitants to eke out a living. He demonstrates that the global economy was just as competitive and unpredictable then as it is now, especially for small undercapitalized regions.Peter B. Waite, The Man from Halifax: Sir John Thompson, Prime Minister, 1985, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Notwithstanding his interest in the larger national political life, Professor Waite has always remained attentive to the history of the Atlantic provinces. Even before the great revival of Atlantic Canadian history in the 1970s, he was encouraging his students to head to the archives and investigate regional topics. His biography of Sir John Thompson and his lively two-volume history of Dalhousie University probe the relationship of the individuals and institutions of this region to the larger national and international community. They do so, moreover, in the elegant, often anecdotal and witty manner that has become the hallmark of this 'man from Halifax'.Quebec
Margaret Bennett. Oatmeal and the Catechism: Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Quebec. (John Donald Publishers, Edinburgh and McGill-Queen's University Press).
Out of a local experience, which acts as a mediator for identity as it is observed in the practices of daily life, comes a work which presents cultures in all their creative dynamics. It is an ethnological and anthropological study that provides a better understanding of the pluralism of the Eastern Townships and the contribution of the Gaelic culture to the history of this area of Quebec. It is an analysis which highlights the often otherwise silent contribution of women in a blind world. Its methodology is well constructed and makes a fine use of oral sources. Finally, it is voices that make themselves heard and invite a rewriting of our national stories.Ontario
Janet E. Chute. The Legacy of Shingwaukonse: A Century of Native Leadership (University of Toronto Press).
Janet Chute provides a detailed and carefully contextualized analysis of the lives and careers of the Garden River Ojibwa chief Shingwaukonse (Little Pine) and two of his sons. Located near Sault Ste Marie, the community faced pressures for change and assimilation during the nineteenth century resulting from Canadian industrial expansion, missionary activity, and government policy. Through the use of an impressive range of oral archival, and published sources, and with as careful attention to spiritual considerations as to matters of practical negotiation, Chute demonstrates how these leaders sought -- with some degree of success -- to preserve the cultural values of their community and a degree of control over their lands and resources.The Prairies
David Bright. The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929 (UBC Press).
In this well-researched, thematically broad study, David Bright examines class formation and the labour movement in Calgary in the years before the Depression. He demonstrates the reality of class differences but also explores the impediments to the creation of a unified working class consciousness. While focused on Calgary, Bright's engaging and revealing work connects to larger themes across the Prairies and beyond.British Columbia
Mary-Ellen Kelm. Colonizing Bodies: Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia, 1900-1950 (UBC Press).
Mary-Ellen Kelm takes a province-wide approach to the history of aboriginal health, drawing together isolated and disparate studies in the service of an innovative perspective. Her approach includes a critical, post-modernist view of the ways in which notions of the body have been constructed. For aboriginal British Colombians, this process has taken place within the context of colonialism and perceived inherent inferiorities. Kelm handles these theoretical challenges with aplomb and, in doing so, forces a re-thinking of not only medical history in British Columbia but demography, missionary work, residential schools, and the state. Scholars working in each of these areas will be obliged to think again about many of their premises and assumptions. The research is solid, the conclusions are important, and the tables are first rate.Alice Glanville,Past president of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Alice Glanville has been active in the preservation and publication of materials associated especially with the Boundary area. Editor and contributor to The Boundary Historical Report, she is also author of Grand Forks: The First 100 Years, Schools of the Boundary, 1881-1991, and The Life and Times of Grand Forks: Where the Kettle River Flows. She has been active in promoting British Columbian and regional history in the schools, in preserving artifacts and sites, and in encouraging others in their researches. As well, she has played a public role as a school trustee and a marriage commissioner and has served as a member of the Boundary Health Council and the Phoenix Foundation.The North
Charlene Porsild. Gamblers and Dreamers: Women, Men, and the Community in the Klondike(UBC Press).
Charlene Porsild provides an engaging and informative overview of the social dimensions of the Klondike Gold Rush, summarizing the available literature and offering new insights based on extensive archival research. She tackles numerous stereotypes and myths about the Klondike experience and offers a realistic portrayal of this important period in the history of the North.
Peter E. Pope, The Many Landfalls of John CabotQuébec
Jules Bélanger, "for his contribution to the history of the Gaspé region"Ontario
Keith Walden, Becoming Modern in Toronto: The Industrial Exhibition and the Shaping of a Late Victorian CulturePrairies
Frank Tough, 'As Their Natural Resources Fail': Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870-1930British Colombia
Cole Harris, The Resettlement of British Bolumbia: Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change
Douglas Cole, Simon Fraser UniversityThe North
W. Gillies Ross, 'This Distant and Unsurveyed Country': A Woman's Winter at Baffin Island, 1857-1858
Certificates of Merit in Regional HIstory
Ian Ross Robertson, The Tenant League of Prince Edward Island, 1864-1867: Leasehold Tenure in the New World
The Smallwood Heritage Foundation and the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and LabradorQuébec
Christine Hudon, Prêtres et fidèles dans le diocse de Saint-Hyacinthe, 1820-1875
Le groupe de recherche sur l'histoire de Montréal
Honourable Mention: José E. Igartua, Arvida au Saguenay: Naissance d'une ville industrielleOntario
Cecilia Morgan, Public Men and Virtuous Women: The Gendered Languages of Religion and Politics in Upper Canada, 1791-1850British Colombia
Alicja Muszynski, Cheap Wage Labour: Race and Gender in the Fisheries of British Columbia
Anne Yandle, for her support of the writing of British Columbia historyThe North
David Neufeld and Frank Norris, Chilkoot Trail: Heritage Route to the Klondike
Sean T. Cadigan, Hope and Deception in Conception Bay: Merchant-Settler Relations in Newfoundland, 1785-1855Québec
Odette Vincent et. al., Histoire de l'Abitibi-TmiscamingueOntario
Patricia Jane Jasen, Wild Things: Nature, Culture, and Tourism in Ontario, 1790-1914Prairie Provinces and North-West Territories
Mary Kinnear, In Subordination: Professional Women, 1870-1970British Columbia and Yukon
Frank Leonard, A Thousand Blunders: The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Northern British Columbia
George Brandak "for an outstanding contribution to the study of British Columbia's Past"
Phillip A. Buckner and John G. Reid, eds. The Atlantic Region to Confederation: A HistoryQuébec
Chad Gaffield, Histoire de l'OutaouaisOntario
A. B. McKillop, Matters of Mind: The University in Ontario, 1791-1951
Ontario Women's History Network, "for promoting the History of Ontario and Canadian Women"Prairie Provinces and North-West Territories
I.S. MacLaren and C. Stuart Houston, Arctic Artist: The Journal and Paintings of George Back, Midshipman with Franklin, 1819-1822British Columbia and Yukon
Naomi Miller "for her contribution to History in British Columbia"
Tina Loo, Making Law, Order, and Authority in British Columbia, 1821-1871
E. R. Forbes and D.A. Muise, The Atlantic Provinces in ConfederationOntario
Janice Potter-MacKinnon, While the Women Only Wept: Loyalist Refugee Women in Eastern Ontario
J. Keith Johnson "for his contribution to a better understanding of Ontario's regional history"Prairie Provinces and North-West Territories
M. Hallett and M. Davis, Firing the Heather: The Life and Times of Nellie McClung
Honourable Mention: R.K. Loewen, Family, Church, and Market: A Mennonite Community in the Old and New Worlds
William Eldon Peters "for his particular passion for the preservation of Alberta's rural heritage"British Columbia and Yukon
Dianne Newell, Tangled Webs of History: Indians and the Law in Canada's Pacific Coast Fisheries
Keith Ralston "for a tremendous impact on the study of British Columbia provincial past"Québec
Louis Lavallée, La Prairie en Nouvelle-France, 1647-1760
Musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal, Pointe-à-Callière and the Candian Center for ArchitectureOntario
Marilyn I. Walker, Ontario's Heritage Quilts
Ontario Heritage FoundationBritish Columbia and Yukon
James Gibson, Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: The Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785-1841
Scott McIntyre, "for his important contribution to the study of British Columbian history as a publisher and as an advocate for scholarship in this region"Atlantic Region
Steven Hornsby, Nineteenth Century Cape Breton: A Historical Geography
Institute for Social and Economic ResearchPrairie Provinces and North-West Territories
Lynn Bowen, Muddling Through. The Remarkable Story of the Barr Colonists
British Columbia and Yukon
Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia
Honourable mention: Robin Fisher, Duff Pattullo of British Columbia
Rolf Knight in honour of his career contributionAtlantic Region
Rosemary E. Ommer, From Outpost to Outport: A Structural Analysis of the Jersey-Gasp Cod Fishery, 1767-1886Ontario
Marianne McLean, The People of Glengarry: Highlanders in Transition, 1745-1820
Queen's University Archives for "Its role as a Valuable Resource for the Study of Ontario Regional History"Prairie Provinces and North-West Territories
Richard I.Ruggles, A Country So Interesting. The Hudson's Bay Company and Two Centuries of Mapping, 1670-1870
Mention honorable: George Wenzel, Animal Rights, Human Rights, Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic
Glenbow Library and Archives for "Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Western Canada"Québec
J.I. Little, Crofters and Habitants: Settler Society, Economy, and Culture in a Quebec Township, 1848-1881
W. Gordon Handcock, Soe Longe As There Comes Noe Women: Origins of English Settlement in Newfoundland (Breakwater)
André Beaulieu and Jean Hamelin, La presse québécoise des origines à nos jours(Les Presses de l'Université Laval)
Joy Parr, The Gender of Breadwinners: Women, Men and Change in Two Industrial Towns, 1880-1950
Sarah Carter,Lost Harvests: Prairie Indian Reserve Farmers and Government Policy (McGill-Queen's University Press)
Cyril E. Leonoff, An Enterprising Life: Leonard Frank Photographs, 1895-1944 (Talonbooks)
Camil Girard and Normand Perron, Histoire du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (IQRC)
W.H. Graham, Greenbank: Country Matters in Nineteenth-Century Ontario (Broadview Press)
Mrs. Gladys Blyth (British Columbia)
Norbert Macdonald, Distant Neighbors. A Comparative History of Seattle and Vancouver (University of Nebraska Press)
Eric Sager, Seafaring Labour: The Merchant Marine of Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914 (McGill-Queen's University Press)
Cape Breton's Magazine
Canadian Parks Service: Prairie Region
Alvin Finkel, The Social Credit Phenomenon in Alberta (University of Toronto Press)
Norman Wells Historical Society
Gaston Deschnes, L'anne des Anglais. La Côte-du-Sud l'heure de la Conquête
Donald B. Smith, Sacred Feathers: the Reverend Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby) and the Mississwauga Indians
Paul Voisey, Vulcan: The Making of A Prairie Community
The University of Manitoba Press for the Manitoba Studies in Native History
Howard White, Harbour Publishing, Raincoast Chronicles and his promotion of regional history
Georges Arsenault, Les Acadiens de l'Ile, 1720-1980
Professor J. Murray Beck
Agnes O'Dea & Anne Alexander, Bibliography of Newfoundland
Richard Wilbur & Ernest Wentworth, Silver Harvest, The Fundy Weirman's Story
Peter Thomas, Strangers from a Secret Land. The Voyages of the Brig "Albion" and the Founding of the first Welsh Settlements in Canada
John Hare, Marc Lafrance & David-Thierry Ruddel, Histoire de la ville de Québec, 1608-1871
Yvan Lamonde & Raymond Montpetit, Le parc Sohmer de Montréal 1889-1919. Un lieu populaire de culture urbaine
Nancy Z. Tausky & Lynne D. Disefano, Victorian Architecture in London and South Western Ontario: Symbols of Aspiration
Chad Gaffield, Language, Schooling, and Cultural Conflict
Ontario Historical Society
Alberta Historical Society
Paul Thistle, Indian-European Relations in the Lower Saskatchewan River Region to 1840
Okanagan Historical Society
Catherine McClelland, Part of the Land. Part of the Water. A History of the Yukon Indians
Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble for North-west Coast Artifacts
The Vancouver Historical Society, The Vancouver Centennial Bibliography
Bruce Hodgins and Margaret Hobbs, The Canadian North by Canoe and Snowshoe
Barry Glen Ferguson, Athabasca Oil Sands: Northern Resource Exploration, 1875-1951
Hugh Dempsey, for a distinguished career, symbolized by his latest work, The Gentle Persuaser
Rosemary Donegan, Spadina Avenue
Multicultural History Society of Ontario
La Société Radio-Québec (Abitibi-Témiscamingue) & Benoît-Beaudry Gourd, À la Conquête du Nord
Bruno Jean, Agriculture et Développement dans l'Est du Québec
T.W. Acheson, Saint John: The Making of a Colonial Urban Community
Elizabeth Jones, Gentlemen and Jesuits: Quests for Glory and Adventure in the Early Days of New France
Breakwater Books, St. John's, Newfoundland, for the publication of the Canada's Atlantic Folklore-Folklife Series (a total of 12 volumes since 1978)
Père Gaston Carrière, for his contribution to an understanding of the Oblate Order and Church history within a regional context
Stanley A. Saunders
The Island Magazine
Revue d'histoire du Bas-Saint-Laurent
Le Groupe d'initiative et de recherche appliquée au milieu (GIRAM)
Victor L. Russell, ed., Forging a Consensus: Historical Essays on Toronto
J. Maurice S. Careless
Brenda Lee-Whiting, Harvest of Stones: The German Settlement in Renfrew County
Diane Payment, Batoche, 1870-1910
Manitoba Record Society
Barry M. Gough
Morris Zaslow, The Opening of the Canadian North, 1870-1914
W. Kaye Lamb, founder of British Columbia Historical Quarterly
Gerald Friesen, The Canadian Prairies: A History
Dr. J.W. Grant MacEwan
Louis Gentilcore & C. Grant Head, Ontario's History in Maps
Donald H. Akenson, The Irish in Ontario: A Study in Rural History
John English & Kenneth McLaughlin, Kitchener: An Illustrated History
Richard Tatley, The Steamboat Era in the Muskokas
D.G. Bell, Early Loyalist Saint John: The Origin of New Brunswick Politics, 1783-1786
Joseph R. Smallwood
Christian Pouyez & Yolande Lavoie, with Gérard Bouchard, Raymond Roy, Jean-Paul Simard and Marc St-Hilaire, Les Saguenayens
Alain Gamelin, Ren Hardy, Jean Roy, Normand Séguin & Guy Toupin, Trois-Rivières Illustrée
Lynne Bowen & the Coal Tyee Society, Boss Whistle: The Coal Miners of Vancouver Island Remember
David H. Breen, The Canadian Prairie West the Ranching Frontier, 1874-1924
Docteur Lucien Brault (certificate of excellence)
Dr. Gerald Killan, David Boyle: From Artisan to Archeologist
John C. Weaver, Hamilton: An Illustrated History
G.M. Story, W.J. Kirwin, J.D.A. Widdowson, eds., Dictionary of Newfoundland English
Don MacGillivray, Allan Sekula, Robert Wilkie, Mining Photographs and Other Pictures: A Selection from the Negative Archives of Shedden Studio, Glace Bay, Cape Breton, 1948-1968
Christopher Moore, Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth Century Garrison Town
André Charbonneau, Yvon Desloges and Marc Lafrance, Québec, ville fortifiée du XVIIe au XIXe siècles
Ruth Holmes Whitehead, Micmac Quillwork, Micmac Indian Techniques of Porcupine Quill Decoration: 1600-1950
Francine Bourgie and Jean-Pierre Proulx, Histoire d'Embrun
Hugh Brody, Maps and Dreams: Indians and the British Columbia Frontier
David Gagan, Hopeful Travellers: Families, Land and Social Change in Mid-Victorian Peel County, Canada West
Margaret A. Ormsby, British Columbia, A History, etc.
David E. Smith, The Regional Decline of a National Party: Liberals on the Prairies
Glenn J. Lockwood, Montague: A Social History of an Irish Ontario Township, 1783-1980
Jules Bélanger, Marc Desjardins and Yves Frenette, Histoire de la Gaspésie
Graeme Wynn, Timber Colony: A Historical Geography of Early Nineteenth Century New Brunswick
Centre d'études acadiennes, The Acadians of the Maritimes: Thematic Studies
Senator Frederick Rowe, A History of Newfoundland and Labrador
L.S.F. Upton, Micmacs and Colonists: Indian-White Relations in the Maritimes, 1713-1867
Phyllis Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax, 1867-1890, etc.
Them Days (Doris Saunders, editor)
The Agricultural History of Ontario Seminar Proceedings 1976-1979. (Terry Crowley, editor, 1976-78, Alan Brookes, editor, 1979)
Roy MacGillivray and Ewan Ross, A History of Glengarry
Alan F.J. Artibise, Winnipeg: A Social History of Urban Growth
John Herd Thompson, Harvests of War
J. Donald Wilson et David C. Jones (eds.) Schooling and Society in 20th Century British Columbia
Richard J. Diubaldo, Stefansson and the Canadian Arctic
David Alexander, The Decay of Trade and his numerous articles in Acadensis, Journal of Canadian Studies, CHA Historical Papers and Canadian Forum
B.C. Studies (Margaret Prang and Walter Yound, editors)
Ernest Forbes, Maritime Rights -- The Maritime Rights Movement, 1917 - 1927: A Study in Canadian Regionalism, etc.
Paul O'Neill, A City in your PocketContributor to Joseph Smallwood, Book of Newfoundland. Author of Legends of a Lost Tribe. He has written a comprehensive two volume history St. John's, etc.
John Richards and Larry Pratt, Prairie Capitalism: Power and Influence in the New West
Leslie Ross, Saguenayensia
Robert C. Tuck, Gothic Dreams: The Life and Times of Canadian Architect William Critchlow Harris, 1854-1913, etc.
Esther Clark Wright
B.C. Historical News, Philip A. Yandle (deceased) and Anne Yandle, editors
Barbara M. Wilson, ed., Ontario and the First World War, 1914-1918
Jaroslav Petryshyn, ed., Victorian Cobourg: A Nineteenth Century Profile
Gerald Tulchinsky, ed., To Preserve and Defend: Essays on Kingston in the Nineteenth Century
Leo A. Johnson, History of the County of Ontario, 1615-1875
Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region (P.A. Buckner, editor)
Barry Baglole, (editor), Understanding Island History and The Island Magazine. Co-author of The Chappell Diary
Saskatchewan History (Hilda Neatby - 1948-49; L.H. Thomas - 1949-58; Evelyn Eager - 1959-60; and D.H. Bocking - 1960 - present, editors)
Robert Rumilly, L'Histoire de la Province de Québec
Les Cahiers historiques de la Société historique du Centre de Québec