Monday, September 30, 2013

Daschuk, "Clearing the Plains" reviewed

In the new Literary Review of Canada, sociologist Andrew Woolford reviews James Daschuk's Clearing the Plains:Disease Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life:
Daschuk locates a watershed shift from the unintended consequences of the pre-treaty era to the more interventionist policies that followed after the treaty period and the push for European settlement on the plains. It is at this stage that one sees in Daschuk’s book the active “clearing” of the plains, as suggested by the title. The treaties themselves are part of this process. Although conceived by indigenous peoples on the plains as a means of survival in the midst of a rapidly changing world, for the Dominion the treaties were a means to contend with indigenous peoples who were perceived as obstacles to settlement.
The review is entitled "Ethnic Cleansing. Canadian Style," but Woolford suggests Daschuk offers a more nuanced and subtle analysis.

University of Regina Press is a recent imprint, built on the backlist of the Canadian Plains Research Centre Press. (CPRC itself, based at the university, still survives.) The press's announcement of its launch is, unfortunately, undated.
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