New Histories for Old

Changing Perspectives on Canada’s Native Pasts

Edited by Theodore Binnema & Susan Neylan
Categories: Historiography, History: theory and methods, History, History and Archaeology
Publisher: UBC Press
Paperback : 9780774814140, 304 pages, July 2008

Table of contents


Introduction / Ted Binnema and Susan Neylan

1 Arthur J. Ray and the Writing of Aboriginal History / Ted Binnema and Susan Neylan

2 Rupert’s Land, Nituskeenan, Our Land: Cree and English Naming and Claiming around the Dirty Sea / Jennifer S. H. Brown

3 Echo of the Crane: Tracing Anishnawbek and Metis Title to Bawating (Sault Ste. Marie) / Victor P. Lytwyn

4 Compact, Contract, Covenant: The Evolution of Indian Treaty Making / J. R. Miller

5 Smallpox along the Frontier of the Plains Borderlands at the Turn of the Twentieth Century / Jody Decker

6 Mapping the New El Dorado: The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Appropriation of Native Space / Daniel Marshall

7 Innovation, Tradition, Colonialism, and Aboriginal Fishing Conflicts in the Lower Fraser Canyon / Keith Thor Carlson

8 Meanings of Mobility on the Northwest Coast / Paige Raibmon

9 "Choose Your Flag": Perspectives on the Tsimshian Migration from Metlakatla, British Columbia, to New Metlakatla, Alaska, 1887 / Susan Neylan

10 Gitxsan Law and Settler Disorder: The Skeena “Uprising” of 1888 / R. M. Galois

11 Arthur J. Ray and the Empirical Opportunity / Cole Harris




Scholarly depictions of the history of Aboriginal people in Canada have changed dramatically since the 1970s when Arthur J. (“Skip”) Ray entered the field. New Histories for Old examines this transformation while extending the scholarship on Canada’s Aboriginal history in new directions. This collection combines essays by prominent senior historians, geographers, and anthropologists with contributions by new voices in these fields. The chapters reflect themes including Native struggles for land and resources under colonialism, the fur trade, “Indian” policy and treaties, mobility and migration, disease and well-being, and Native-newcomer relations.


This selection of essays sheds new light on historical and up to date relationships between the European and the Native. It reviews the aspirations of the Indigenous people to recover their lands in whole or in part. The book is a fresh look at the history of our original peoples and is an up to date reference for both historians and litigators.

- Ronald F. MacIsaac