We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territories and we thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for their hospitality.

Single Issue

BC Studies no. 186 Summer 2015

Featuring articles by Caroline Elizabeth Grego, John P.D. Dunbabin, Gordon Robert Lyall, Ron Verzuh, and George Malcolm Abbott.

To read the full issue online, visit our OJS site.

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Book Reviews

Book Review

Wood Storms/Wild Canvas: The Art of Godfrey Stephens

In the introduction that the art critic Robert Amos has contributed to this pictorial biography, he tells us that Duncan-born Godfrey Stephens is “too busy and too self-centred, to study the influences of art history...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Accidental Eden: Hippie Days on Lasqueti Island

A friend said recently that he didn’t think much of the new generation of histories about British Columbia’s “back-to-the-landers” in the 1960s and seventies. Because if you weren’t there, then the stories just don’t mean...

By Howard Stewart

Book Review

Walhachin: Birth of a Legend

Walhachin has a particular resonance for many British Columbians. Because of this, certain aspects of the Walhachin story have acquired a permanency and legitimacy that are not supported by what actually happened at this Edwardian orchard...

By Dennis Oomen

Book Review

Xweliqwiya: The Life of a Stó:lō Matriarch

Xweliqwiya is the name carried by Rena Point Bolton among the Steqó:ye Wolf People. It marks an indelible position in the Xwélmexw (Stó:lō) world, relating her to a particular geography, linking her to mythological narratives,...

By Leslie Robertson

Book Review

From the Hands of a Weaver: Olympic Peninsula Basketry through Time

This book tells the story of the many roles of basketry in the lives of the First Peoples of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and of the diverse styles and materials used by the weavers, mainly women....

By Nancy J. Turner

Book Review

Rebel Youth: 1960s Labour Unrest, Young Workers, and New Leftists in English Canada

With Rebel Youth, Ian Milligan hearkens back to the political youth movements that went to the barricades, the conferences, and the picket lines in the 1960s, and in the process historicizes the events and people...

By Ron Verzuh

Book Review

No One to Tell: Breaking My Silence on Life in the RCMP

Like all new recruits graduating from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) training academy in 1991, Janet Merlo was looking forward to getting to work at her first posting in Nanaimo, British Columbia. It was...

By Bonnie Reilly Schmidt

Book Review

Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast Island

At first glance, Becoming Wild and Heart & Soil appear to be accounts of very different ways of relating to the natural world. Nikki van Schyndel describes her year living in the “wilderness” and Des...

By Lauren Harding

Book Review

Rufus: The Life of the Canadian Journalist who Interviewed Hitler

Colin Castle has undertaken a labour of love. The retired schoolteacher spent four years researching, transcribing, and writing the story of newspaperman Lukin “Rufus” Johnston. The self-described “history buff” (xvii) married Val Johnston, the granddaughter...

By Bruce Hodding

Book Review

Elusive Destiny: The Political Vocation of John Napier Turner

All four volumes reviewed here have a link with British Columbia, although for two it is very tenuous. They vary in genre, in focus, and in the political persuasions of their subjects or authors. Two...

By Patricia E. Roy

Book Review

Salmo Stories: Memories of a Place in the Kootenays

The year 2012 saw the publication of two books dealing with aspects of the history of the West Kootenay. As with so many histories of this region, both are labours of love and represent the...

By Takaia Larsen

Book Review

Picturing Transformation: Nexw Áyantsut

Picturing Transformation: Nexw Áyantsut is the collaborative effort of a prize-winning photographer (Nancy Bleck), a writer (Katherine Dodds), and a Squamish Nation chief (Bill Williams). The 175-page coffee-table book documents the story of how a...

By Dorothy Kennedy

Book Review

Klallam Dictionary

Timothy Montler’s Klallam Dictionary is much more than a listing of words in Klallam and English. It is a beautiful, solid volume of information that has potential to be useful to a wide range of...

By Suzanne Urbanczyk

Book Review

Historical GIS Research in Canada

This is a wonderful collection of thirteen essays, nine co-authored (twenty-seven authors all told), written by historians, geographers, librarians, archivists, cartographers, environmental scientists, and an architect, many of them acknowledging by name the other research...

By Deryck Holdsworth

Book Review

Haida Gwaii: Islands of the People

On the face of it, the only feature that the two books under review share is their connection to Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands. While Dennis Horwood’s Haida Gwaii: Islands of the People,...

By Molly Clarkson

Book Review

On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada

Michael Asch has enjoyed a distinguished career as an anthropologist and original thinker. In his writing he wrestles with the big questions of Indigenous/settler relations, proposes original answers, and argues his points with elegance and...

By Neil Vallance

Book Review

Boundless Optimism: Richard McBride’s British Columbia

Patricia E. Roy’s Boundless Optimism: Richard McBride’s British Columbia examines the political career of one of the province’s most significant premiers. Born in New Westminster in 1870 and educated at New Westminster High School and...

By Duff Sutherland

Book Review

Welcome to Resisterville: American Dissidents in British Columbia

Just about every kid who grew up in British Columbia in the 1980s had a friend (or a friend of a friend) whose parents were American immigrants. Their parents usually arrived in the province sometime...

By Sean Kheraj

Book Review

Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse

Among the more curious phenomena within Northwest Coast contemporary art discourse is the disjunction between the careers of famed First Nations artists Robert Davidson and Roy Henry Vickers. Propitiously, the last year has marked the...

By Rhys Edwards

Book Review

Surveying Southern British Columbia: A Photojournal of Frank Swannell, 1901-07

When the Vancouver convention centre was completed in 2009, a series of interpretive panels describing the history of British Columbia were placed along the waterfront promenade. Featured among these panels is the story of “BC’s...

By Kelly Black

Book Review

John Scouler (c.1804-1871) Scottish Naturalist: A Life, with Two Voyages

Less celebrated than his friend David Douglas, John Scouler was nevertheless an important scientific traveller to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Nootka Sound, Haida Gwaii, and Observatory Inlet in 1825. Although Douglas has been...

By Ted Binnema

Book Review

Aboriginal Peoples and Forest Lands in Canada

Forests, long of economic and socio-cultural importance to both Aboriginal peoples and settlers in Canada, have also been sites of contention between these groups, reflected in blockades, court action, and state policies intended to address...

By Brian Egan

Book Review

Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft That Helped Shape British Columbia

A devoted canoeist, Sanford Osler has used his wide experience with many forms of paddle-craft to write a comprehensive and well-informed review of canoeing and kayaking in British Columbia. His up-to-date and very readable presentation...

By Alan Hoover

Book Review

Salmonbellies vs. The World: The Story of the Most Famous Team in Lacrosse & Their Greatest Rivals

In this well-researched, beautifully illustrated book W.B. MacDonald tells the story of the Salmonbellies from their founding to the present, and he does much more. He traces the evolution of lacrosse in the province, beginning...

By Eric Sager

Book Review

Buckerfield: The Story of a Vancouver Family

Buckerfield tells the story of one of Vancouver’s most important business families. The story is structured around two narrative strands. One is the business history of the family patriarch, Edward Ernest Buckerfield, the New Brunswick-born...

By Robert A.J. McDonald

Book Review

Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670–1870

A Strange and Dangerovs Voyage (1633) was published by command of King Charles I after Thomas James (c.1593-1635) returned from overwintering in James Bay. Dead by 1635, James had nothing to do with the founding...

By I.S. MacLaren

Book Review

Schooling in Transition: Readings in Canadian History of Education

This collection of essays is edited by Sara Burke, a historian, and Patrick Milewski, a sociologist and former elementary school teacher, at Laurentian University. The title, Schooling in Transition, reflects the editors’ belief that public...

By Patrick A. Dunae



George Abbott is a doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Victoria. He has previously published in BC Studies on “Duff Pattullo and the Coalition Controversy of 1941” (Summer 1994) and “Pattullo, the Press, and the Dominion-Provincial Conference of 1941” (Autumn 1996). He was a Member of the BC Legislative Assembly for Shuswap from 1996 to 2013 and a cabinet minister from 2001 to 2012.

John Dunbabin is now an Emeritus Fellow, and was, before retiring, Fellow in Politics and Modern History at St. Edmund Hall, and a university Reader in International Relations, at Oxford. His publications include books on rural discontent in nineteenth-century Britain and on international relations since 1945. He is now writing on the diplomatic processes through which what is now the line of the Canadian-US border came to be agreed. The present article is a spinoff from this project, as are two earlier map-related articles in Imago Mundi.

Caroline Grego is a second-year PhD student in history at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Originally from South Carolina, Caroline graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a BA in geography in 2011, and earned her MA in geography from the University of British Columbia in 2013. Her work now has a broad focus on environmental history, and she writes primarily about hurricanes, race, the South, and the environment.

Gordon Lyall received his MA in history from the University of Victoria in 2013. His research interests include First Nations’ historiography, nineteenth-century British Columbia, regional identity, and the occult in Victoria. Gordon is currently project manager of Colonial Despatches, a digital archive at UVic.

Ron Verzuh is a writer, historian, and documentary filmmaker currently completing his doctoral dissertation in history at SFU. He is a retired national communications director for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and author of three books, several monographs ,and numerous articles for newspapers and magazines. His latest film, Remembering Salt, is an examination of McCarthyism in small-town BC. His most recent article for BC Studies was “Oregon’s Doukhobors: The Hidden History of a Religious Sect’s Attempts to Found Colonies in the Beaver State.”