In this course, we will take a look at the societies and cultures of the First Peoples of
British Columbia. The province is a vast, complex area and therefore this is not a survey
of all of the tribal groups. Rather, in class lecture, films, and guest visits, we will consider
three of the Nations—the Coast Salish, from the coastal south, the central coastal
Kwakwaka’wakw, and the northern interior Tahltan. We’ll switch topics and time frames
with each group, moving between the historic period and the contemporary world. I
expect you to do the reading so you will be ready for class lectures or presentations.
The goal is that you understand the historic diversity of Indigenous peoples in British
Columbia, and their various responses to colonialism. You will learn several
anthropological approaches to this, including ecological, legal, linguistic, and through
Indigenous perspectives. It will also be personal; you will meet Indigenous people in
person and on film. And, I will discuss my own work as an anthropologist with
communities and in regard to contemporary legal issues, and Thomas McIlwraith will
discuss his work.
These are either one or two pages long (double-spaced, about 500 words) and do two
things: first, summarize what the author is claiming; second, reflect your thoughts in the
commentary part : respond to this in some way—(but not whether you like it or not).
There are three response paper assignments.
Commentary part should compose 70 percent of your paper.
An Error in Judgement, Dara Culhane Speck
We are Still Dene, Thomas McIlwraith
Course Readings on our class canvas website.
Collins, Multilineal Descent: A Coast Salish Strategy
Miller, The Problem of Justice (excerpt)
Miller, An Ethnographic View of Legal Entanglements on the Coast Salish Seas
Nov. 14 Response paper due on McIlwraith. You get two pages. Human-animal
relations; hunter-prey system.
Final Exam—see university exam schedule