A Bounded Land: Reflections on Settler Colonialism in Canada
Published by: UBC Press
Imprint: UBC Press
Published: November 2021
Imprint: UBC Press
Page Count: 344 Pages
Illustrations: 22 maps, 3 tables
Dimensions: 6.00 x 8.90
344 Pages, 6.00 x 8.90 x 0.90 in, 22 maps, 3 tables
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In this beautifully crafted and written volume, Canada’s preeminent historical geographer traces how Canada’s geographical limitations have shaped the nature of its settler societies – from first contacts, to dispossession, to our current age of reconciliation.
Canada is a country of bounded spaces – a nation situated between rock and cold to the north and a political border to the south. In A Bounded Land, Cole Harris seeks answers to a sweeping question: How was society reorganized – for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike – when Europeans resettled this distinctive land?
Through a series of vignettes that focus on people’s experiences on the ground, Harris exposes the underlying architecture of settler colonialism as it grew and evolved, from the first glimpses of new lands and peoples, to the immigrant experience in early Canada, to the dispossession and resettlement of First Nations in British Columbia.
By considering the whole territory that became Canada over 500 years and focusing on sites of colonial domination rather than settler texts, Harris unearths fresh insights on the continuing and growing influence of Indigenous peoples and argues that Canada’s boundedness is ultimately drawing the country toward its Indigenous roots.
Part 1: Early Encounters
The Fraser Canyon Encountered
Imagining and Claiming the Land
Voices of Smallpox around the Strait of Georgia
Part 2: Early Settlements
Acadia: Settling the Marshlands
Of Poverty and Helplessness in Petite-Nation
The Settlement of Mono Township
Part 3: The Architecture of Settlement
European Beginnings in the Northwest Atlantic
The Overseas Simplification of Europe
Creating Place in Early Canada
Part 4: Reconfiguring British Columbia
The Making of the Lower Mainland
The Struggle with Distance
Part 5: Theorizing Settler Colonialism
Making an Immigrant Society
How Did Colonialism Dispossess?
Postscript: The Boundaries of Settler Colonialism
Notes and Further Readings; Index
"A Bounded Land brings new dimensions and reflections to the work of Cole Harris as a scholar. The themes turn on settlement, colonization, dispossession, re-settlement, and the concluding theme throws light on Indigenous displacement and theories of empire and decolonization."
Barry Gough, The Ormsby Review
Cole Harris has produced an eloquent compilation of work on settler colonialism in Canada. Ken Favrholdt, Kamloops, BC, BC Studies, Issue 209
There is a lot packed into this book ... [It] highlights the theoretical and practical policies that underwrote colonialism. In doing so, it helps to explain how the history of dispossession became inseparable from the rise of nation-states such as Canada.Benjamin Hoy, The Canadian Journal of History
Overall, this book is not only a fitting capstone to an extroardinary career, but also an excellent primer for understanding Canada's settler colonial past. Ryan Hall, Colgate University, Pacific Historical Review