It’s that time early in the semester when I am required to submit my book requests for next semester. I will be teaching a first year course called British Columbia Native Cultures during the Winter of 2011. For years, I have required that students read Hugh Brody’s Maps and Dreams: Indians and the British Columbia Frontier. Brody’s book is wonderful. It is readable and balances nicely the first hand perspective of doing anthropology with third person accounts of British Columbia history and its impact of the lives of native people. But, based on research from the early 1980s and having been published first in 1981, it’s getting old. While that’s not always a reason to reject a book, I understand that to my 18 and 19 year old students, 1981 is a long time ago. Moreover, there have been many developments in aboriginal history and rights in BC in the past 30 years. I’d like to use an ethnography that was researched and written in the context of Delgamuukw and the BC Treaty Process.
So, while not categorically dismissing Maps and Dreams, I am soliciting advice on a different ethnography to teach in my class. I need a book that is accessible to first year students. Many of the students who will take the class have not had any anthropology classes; many do not know much about BC geography or history. I’d like it to have been written in the past 10 years (but that’s not a deal breaker). And, what about ethnographies written by aboriginal scholars? That would be wonderful.
Based on a few conversations with colleagues, here’s a short list of suggestions. Please make others in the comments, below. Thanks!
Suggested Ethnographies for British Columbia Native Cultures (Anth 1120) at Douglas College
McDonald, James A. (2003) People of the Robin: The Tsimshian of Kitsumkalum. CCI Press
Wa, Gisday and Delgam Uukw. 1992. The Spirit in the Land.Gabriola Island, BC: Reflections.
I feel like the answer is on the tip of my tongue. What am I missing?