Thursday, October 05, 2017

Book Notes: Smith on Hall on Alberta Treaties

I was corresponding with Don Smith -- that's Professor Emeritus Donald B. Smith, University of Calgary -- and he recommended D.J. Hall's recent history From Treaties to Reserves to me. At my urging, he then provided this brief "book note" about it for this blog:
From Treaties to Reserves: The Federal Government and Native Peoples in Territorial Alberta, 1870-1905. D.J. Hall. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016. Pp. 504, $110.00 cloth, $34.95 paper

A number of excellent studies exist already on the numbered treaties on the prairies. Books on Treaties Six (1876) and Seven (1877) in what is now Saskatchewan and Alberta, include: Richard Price’s edited work, The Spirit of the Alberta Indian Treaties (1979, 1999); Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council with Walter Hildebrandt, Sarah Carter, and Dorothy First Rider’s The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 (1996); Harold Cardinal and Walter Hildebrandt, Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan (2000); Arthur J. Ray, Jim Miller, and Frank Tough, Bounty and Benevolence. A History of the Saskatchewan Treaties (2000), and Hugh A. Dempsey’s The Great Blackfoot Treaties (2015). Professor Hall’s From Treaties to Reserves now joins these important volumes. Professor Hall, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Alberta, focuses on the Dominion government's perception of its relationship with the First Nations in Alberta from 1870 to 1905. The veteran Canadian political historian is totally at ease with the contemporary parliamentary debates, federal sessional papers and pertinent manuscript sources. He has written a strong coherent account of the federal government’s Indian policies in the immediate post-treaty period in the North West to the year Saskatchewan and Alberta both became provinces.
Thank you, Don Smith. (His comprehensive review of the book will appear in the Canadian Historical Review in March 2018.)

(Historians' brief recommendations, along these lines, of worthwhile new works in Canadian History are always welcome. Emailing info at right)

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