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Colonialism and Resettling British Columbia: Canadian Aboriginal Historiography, 1992–2012


Correspondence: Department of History, 75 University Ave W., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5. Email:


This is the first of two essays examining the recent historiography of Canadian Aboriginal History published roughly in the last two decades (1992–2012) using a regional focus – British Columbia. Influenced by broader political contexts and land claims litigation, BC scholarship has been characterized by diversity and interdisciplinarity. The impact of ethnohistorical methodologies, “the cultural turn,” and the centrality of race and imperialism have brought an international scholarship to bear on the writing of British Columbia Aboriginal History. From reading the colonial archive against the grain to better appreciate Indigenous histories hidden within to seeking out Indigenous historical knowledge and employing collaborative relationships to facilitate this, historians have shifted their methods to be more inclusive of the Aboriginal perspectives. The prominence of colonialism and the acknowledgement of resettlement, rather than settlement, as the foundation of the province's past have kept Native-Settler relations in the foreground in the scholarship.