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. 197 Spring 2018

Features COVER ART by Val Napoleon; THIS SPACE HERE “Justice for Colten: UBCIC Statement of Solidarity;” ARTICLES by Becki Lynn Ross and Jamie Lee Hamilton, Michael Boudreau, and Gerald Thomson; a RESEARCH NOTE by Alix Shield; a REFLECTION by Wade Davis; and a SOUNDWORK by Megan Robertson.

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The Front

The Front

Artist Statement  

By Val Napoleon

This Space Here

This Space Here

Justice for Colten: UBCIC Statement of Solidarity  

By Union of BC Indian Chiefs


Book Reviews

Book Review

People of the Saltwater: An Ethnography of the Gitlax m’oon.

 “Gitlax m’oon, people of the saltwater” are more commonly known as the Gitxaala; their principal village, Lach Klan is located on what is now called Dolphin Island, a little to the south of Prince Rupert....

By Robert M. Galois

Book Review

This is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice

All three books included in this review contribute significantly to the body of work concerning the Haida First Nation in British Columbia, with the added importance of bringing Haida voices to the fore in the...

By Gillian Crowther

Book Review

Mixed Blessings: Indigenous Encounters with Christianity in Canada

Mixed Blessings is a collection of papers developed for a May 2011 workshop, “Religious Encounter and Exchange in Aboriginal Canada,” capably edited by historians Tolly Bradford and Chelsea Horton, whose helpful introduction and conclusion pull...

By Dorothy Kennedy

Book Review

The W̲SÁNEĆ and Their Neighbours: Diamond Jenness on the Coast Salish of Vancouver Island, 1935

Anthropologist Rolf Knight launched a new chapter of Indigenous history in 1978 with the publication of his book, Indians at Work: An Informal History of Native Indian Labour in British Columbia, 1858-1930.[1]  In contrast to...

By Wendy Wickwire

Book Review

Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire: Colonial Relations, Humanitarian Discourses and the Imperial Press

In May 1861, the British Colonist, a local newspaper in Victoria, Vancouver Island, reported on a “Horrid Massacre in New Zealand.” According to the Colonist, Maori warriors had launched a surprise attack on a small...

By Robert Hogg

Book Review

The Life and Art of Arthur Pitts

Kerry Mason begins The Life and Art of Arthur Pitts with a question: ‘Why haven’t I heard about this artist?’ (x) By the end of the book the reader is persuaded that we should indeed...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Imagining Uplands: John Olmsted’s Masterpiece of Residential Design

This is a most handsome book, and a most intelligent analysis of the dense process of realizing a design concept. Larry McCann has allowed his telling of the Uplands history to be imaginative, if not...

By Rhodri Windsor Liscombe

Book Review

Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917.

E.A Heaman has produced a decided masterpiece on a topic too often thought to be dry as a bone. Taxation, with its underlying legitimacy of consent, is the lifeblood of the state, supplying it with...

By Michael J. Prince

Book Review

An Exceptional Law: Section 98 and the Emergency State, 1919-1936

For most of the past eighty years, Section 98 of Canada’s Criminal Code has been seen as an “exceptional law” in a different way than Dennis Molinaro regards it. Because of its limited life (1919-1936),...

By Larry Hannant

Book Review

The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang

The past decade has witnessed a surge in Vancouver criminal and nocturnal history, from Daniel Francis’s Red Light Neon (2006) to Diane Purvey and John Belshaw’s Vancouver Noir (2011) and Belshaw’s edited collection Vancouver Confidential...

By Matthieu Caron

Book Review

Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community

The Alaska Highway runs from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska. Built by the American military for defense purposes during the Second World War, it was opened to the public in 1948 and...

By Steve Penfold

Book Review

The Queen of the North Disaster, The Captain’s Story

As one might expect from a competent and conscientious career mariner, Colin Henthorne’s account of the sinking of the Queen of the North on March 22, 2006, a little south of Prince Rupert on British...

By Howard Stewart

Book Review

Culture Gap: Towards a New World in the Yalakom Valley

To seek a new and better way of life in a new and better community is surely a basic human compulsion. The more dissatisfied we are with our old lives, the greater our interest in...

By Andrew Scott

Book Review

The Regulation of Peace River: A Case Study for River Management

The Peace River is an impressive natural system, flowing from the Rocky Mountains of northeastern British Columbia to the Arctic Ocean, and it has been historically (and prehistorically) a vital part of the region. From...

By Undiné Thompson

Book Review

In the Spirit of Homebirth: Modern Women, An Ancient Choice

This edited volume of modern BC birthing stories will be a compelling read for anyone with a personal or professional interest in the rich drama of childbirth. Not intended as a scholarly text, the sixty...

By Megan J. Davies



Michael Boudreau is Professor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University. He is the author of City of Order: Crime & Society in Halifax, 1918-1935 (UBC Press, 2012) which was short-listed in 2013 for the Canadian Historical Association’s annual prize for the book “judged to have made the most significant contribution to the understanding of the Canadian past.” He has recently written a blog posting entitled “The Legalization of Cannabis in New Brunswick” and he is researching capital punishment and executions in New Brunswick, 1869-1957.

Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Author of twenty books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, he is the recipient of eleven honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Jamie Lee Hamilton is a trans, Metis, sex work, and anti-poverty activist with deep roots in the Downtown Eastside. Jamie Lee has run numerous times as a political independent for municipal council and Park Board, and she has operated her social club, Forbidden City, for ten years. Jamie Lee gave testimony at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver (2012), and she will testify at the National inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (2018). With Becki Ross, Jamie Lee co-founded the West End Sex Workers Memorial Committee, and the installation of the permanent memorial lamppost at Jervis and Pendrell Streets.

Raji Mangat is the Director of Litigation at West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (West Coast LEAF), a social justice organization based in Vancouver with a mandate to address systemic sex and gender discrimination. Raji oversees West Coast LEAF’s litigation program and represents the organization at all levels of court.

Val Napoleon is an artist and an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Victoria. The title of her research chair is Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance. She is from northeast British Columbia (Treaty 8) and a member of Saulteau First Nation. She is also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitksan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at UVic in 2012, she was cross-appointed with the faculties of Native Studies and Law at the University of Alberta. Her current research focuses on Indigenous legal traditions (Indigenous legal theories, pedagogies, law and precedent, legal institutions, and legal research methodologies), Indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance. Val has taught and published on aboriginal legal issues, Indigenous law and legal theories, Indigenous feminisms, governance, critical restorative justice, oral traditions, and Indigenous legal research methodologies.

Megan Robertson holds a PhD from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her dissertation focused on the intersection of memory, new media, and photography.

Becki L. Ross does her anti-colonial feminism queerly inside and outside the University of British Columbia. Cross appointed to the Department of Sociology and the Social Justice Institute, Becki has enduring academic-activist passions which include LGBTQ2 liberation, reproductive rights, femme/butch histories, sporting bodies, Indigenous sovereignty, and sex workers’ self-determination. Recent publications include her book Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Post War Vancouver, articles in Canadian Theatre Review and the Journal of Historical Sociology, and a book chapter in the forthcoming collection, Red Light Labour: Sex Work Regulation, Agency, and Resistance.

Alix Shield is a PhD student and settler scholar in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC). Her research uses contemporary digital humanities methods to analyze collaboratively authored twentieth- and twenty-first-century Indigenous literatures in Canada, and is primarily focused on E. Pauline Johnson’s and Chief Joe and Mary Capilano’s 1911 text Legends of Vancouver. Alix is also a research assistant for Dr. Deanna Reder’s “The People and the Text” SSHRC-funded project, and the recipient of a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her doctoral work.

Gerald Thomson is a retired special education teacher and university lecturer. He received his PhD in Educational Studies from UBC in 1999 and has taught courses on the “History of Education in BC” (UBC Summer School) and on the “History of British Columbia” (Kwantlen University). He has been previously published in BC Studies, BC History and Historical Studies in Education. As a special education teacher with a twenty-five year career in the BC public school system he frequently used Achievement Tests to assess students experiencing learning difficulties in order to qualify for a ministry special education designation.

Bibhas Damodar Vaze, BA (Hons.) (Toronto), LLB (UBC), LLM (Columbia) is a barrister and member of the Bars of British Columbia, Ontario, and the Yukon territory. He has a broad-based practice with a special concentration in matters involving public law, including civil/ human rights, prisoners’ rights, civil and asset forfeiture, and complex criminal cases. For over ten years, Mr. Vaze has been advocating to bring and maintain the rule of law inside prison walls, most notably in the case of Khela v. Mission Institution 2014 SCC 24, which he argued at the Supreme Court of Canada.