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Single Issue

BC Studies no. 212 Winter 2021/22

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

Or order a print copy today!

Guest edited by Emma Feltes and Glen Coulthard.

Originating in British Columbia, the Constitution Express was an Indigenous movement launched in 1980 in response to the Canadian government’s plans to ‘patriate’ the Constitution from the UK. It was a local, national, and international movement with far-reaching impacts on decolonial thought and action, and among colonized people around the world. This special issue reflects the simultaneously local and transnational facets of the movement, and contributes a nuanced perspective on provincial politics and the scholarship of Indigenous rights.


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The Constitution Express Revisited  

By Emma Feltes and Glen Coulthard

The Front

The Front

Constitution Express: Ottawa '80, London '81 (April 1981)  

By Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

This Space Here

This Space Here


Exhibition, Film, and New Media Reviews

Exhibition, Film, and New Media Review

BC Museums Association Podcast

One of the museum sector’s perennial challenges is sustaining a sense of community and connectivity, given that workers are widely scattered, professional expertise spans many specialist areas, needs and interests are diverse, and opportunities to...

By Joy Davis

Exhibition, Film, and New Media Review

Mission Transition: Clean Energy and Beyond (Season 1 and 2)

In 2018 and 2019, Sierra Club BC, through the leadership of Caitlyn Vernon and former CBC host and broadcaster, Susan Elrington, released an episodic educational podcast resource called Mission Transition: Clean Energy and Beyond.  This...

By Nick Stanger

Book Reviews

Book Review

The Story of Radio Mind: A Missionary’s Journey on Indigenous Land

Many British Columbians today want to learn more about the history and ongoing legacy of settler colonialism. The news of unmarked graves being located at former residential school sites across Canada has prompted people to...

By Sean Carleton

Book Review

Resolve: The Story of the Chelsea Family and a First Nation Community’s Will to Heal

The remains of residential schools are scattered throughout Canada. Indeed, there are only three provinces (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland) that did not house residential schools. There is not an Indigenous community, family,...

By Heather MacLeod

Book Review

Able to Lead: Disablement, Radicalism, and the Political Life of E.T. Kingsley

Eugene Thornton Kingsley, an influential socialist in early British Columbia, was 33 years old when he adopted his revolutionary stance.  Employed as a brakeman on a railway in rural Montana in 1890, he fell between...

By Janet Nicol

Book Review

Rivers Run Through Us: A Natural and Human History of Great Rivers of North America

Eric B. Taylor’s Rivers Run Through Us: A Natural and Human History of Great Rivers of North America is a synthetic survey of ten waterways. In these fluid vignettes, the author covers the foundational importance...

By Daniel Macfarlane

Book Review

Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator

Most killer whale stories are sad stories. Jason Colby’s Orca is no exception. The nineteen short chapters take the reader on a deep and dark descent into the live-capture orca fishery that swept through the...

By Mark Werner

Book Review

The Wagon Road North: The Saga of the Cariboo Gold Rush, Revised and Expanded Edition

As Ken Mather reminds us in the preface to this revised and expanded edition of Wagon Road North, it is for a good reason that Art Downs’ book has remained probably the single most popular...

By Chris Herbert

Book Review

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

The polar north continues to have an enduring fascination for geopoliticians, tourists and mariners. Readers of history and other disciplines attracted to this subject abound. The navigation and search for a Northwest Passage is one...

By Barry Gough

Book Review

Capitals, Aristocrats, and Cougars: Victoria’s Hockey Professionals, 1911-26

Historians generally agree that hockey originated in eastern parts of Canada and later spread westward. In large part, this western migration of the sport followed the pattern of demographic movements. It is then not surprising...

By John Wong

Book Review

Fool’s Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver’s Official Town Fool

Once upon an acid-warped time, Vancouver had its own town fool. In the late sixties, a middle-aged family man, Kim Foikis, dressed in a red and blue jester’s outfit and led his donkeys, Peter and...

By David Hazzan

Book Review

Step Into Wilderness: A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and Around the Comox Valley

Drawing primarily on a photographic collection held by the Courtenay and District Museum, Step into Wilderness considers “the theme of people living in the natural world and exploring both the opportunities it provides and the...

By Sarah Jacobs

Book Review

Always Pack a Candle: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin

Marion McKinnon Crook’s Always Pack a Candle is an enlightening memoir of public health nursing in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of British Columbia in the early 1960s. Crook’s experience as a neophyte public health nurse armed...

By Linda Quiney



Glen Coulthard is an associate professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is Yellowknives Dene.

Emma Feltes is a legal and political anthropologist, writer, and or-ganizer. She has a PhD in anthropology from the University of British Columbia and currently holds a postdoctoral position at Columbia Uni-versity. Her work focuses on Indigenous-State relations, international and constitutional law, and the legal and political construction of Canadian colonialism.

Louise Mandell was one of the founding partners of Mandell Pinder, a law firm specializing in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights law. In 2011, she moved out of the day-to-day practice of law but remains connected in the esteemed capacity of partner emeritus to the firm. On behalf of her many First Nations clients, she has devoted her professional life to the advancement of their Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights. She was brought into the area of Aboriginal law when it was in its infancy, working under the direction of the late Grand Chief George Manuel, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. Acting for UBCIC, she was legal counsel in their fight against the patriation of the Constitution. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997 and, in 2001, was awarded the Georges A. Goyer QC Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the development of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights jurisprudence across the country. In 2013, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs recognized and honoured her by creating the Louise Mandell Legal Research Collection. In June 2012, she received an honorary doctor of laws from Simon Fraser University. And in October 2014, she was appointed as the second chancellor of Vancouver Island University.

Kent McNeil is a distinguished research professor (emeritus) at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he began teaching in 1987. He has also taught in the Indigenous Law Centre’s Summer Program in Saskatoon. His research focuses on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. He is the author of numerous works on Indigenous Rights, including three books: Common Law Aboriginal Title (1989), Emerging Justice? Essays on Indigenous Rights in Canada and Australia (2001), and Flawed Precedent: The St. Catherine’s Case and Aboriginal Title (2019). He has held visiting positions in Australia, France, Italy, and the United States, and has acted as a consultant and expert witness for Indigenous Peoples. His work has been relied upon by the Supreme Court of Canada and the High Court of Australia in leading cases on Indigenous Rights.

Sarah Nickel is Tk‘emlúpsemc (Kamloops Secwépemc), French Canadian, and Ukrainian. She is an associate professor in the Department of history, classics, and religious studies at the University of Alberta. Her first book, Assembling Unity: Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs was published with UBC Press in 2019and recently won the Canadian Historical Association prize for the best scholarly book in Indigenous History. Sarah also recently co-edited a volume on Indigenous feminisms titled: In Good Relation: Gender, History, and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms, which was released by the University of Manitoba Press in May 2020.

Mildred Poplar is from Old Crow, Yukon – home of the Gwitchin Nation. Her family lived a nomadic life until her parents made a difficult decision to move from their village so the children could get an education. They attended the Chooutla Indian Residential School in southern Yukon. Mildred worked as a secretary, married, and had three children. It was while she and husband Joe lived in Fort St. John, BC, that he passed away. She moved to Prince George and worked with Indian communities in education before being hired by George Manuel to co-ordinate the education portfolio at the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs in 1978. Poplar was co-ordinator of the southern train when UBCIC organized the Constitution Express. She went on to be the assistant to four UBCIC presidents until she retired in 2000. As a member of the Native Council of the Anglican Church of Canada, she was sent to many international conferences, including the first international gathering of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in New York. Poplar has written a book to reflect the world view of the Indigenous Peoples, what those on the frontlines have to endure, and what it takes to fight for freedom.

Rudolph C. Rÿser is the founding Chair of the Centre for World Indigenous Studies with more than forty five years’ experience in the field of Indian Affairs, as Indian Rights advocate, and as a leading theorist of Fourth World geopolitics. He is of Cree/Oneida descent on his mother’s side and Swiss descent on his father’s. Dr. Rÿser has contributed to policies and laws affecting American Indians and Indigenous peoples internationally, including the development of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is the author of the seminal book Indigenous Nations and Modern States: The Political Emergence of Nations Challenging State Power (2012) and the Fourth World Geopolitical Reader.

Sharon H. Venne is a Cree woman who graduated from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law in 1979. She has since worked within Canada and internationally and has written extensively on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her Master of Laws thesis was published as Our Elders Understand Our Rights: Evolving International Law regarding Indigenous Peoples.

Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams is Lil’watul, and until she retired in 2014 she held the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning in the Faculty of Education (Curriculum and Instruction) and Department of Linguistics at the University of Victoria. Dr. Williams is an educator with many years of experience in Aboriginal education, Indigenous language revitalization, curriculum development, teacher development, mediated learning, cognitive education, effects of colonization on learning, and Indigenous ways of knowing. She is a trainer in Instrumental Enrichment and Bright Start. Lorna co-directed a series of videos called First Nations: The Circle Unbroken made available to all BC schools and she was co-producer and subject of the Gemini award-winning film, The Mind of a Child. She has written children’s books, teachers’ guides, and developed Lil’wat language curriculum to teach people to read and write the Lil’wat language, which was exclusively oral until 1973.