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Canadian Historical Review, Volume 96, Issue 2 / June 2015

Canadian Historical Review  


This issue contains:

Peter Cook 


As recent scholarship has recognized, kinship is at the heart of Indigenous visions of law and alliance. This article explores an important shift in the kin metaphors used in intercultural alliances and treaty making in seventeenth-century eastern Canada. At the beginning of this period, Indigenous peoples and French colonizers described their relationship as an alliance of brothers. By the end of the century, the governor in Quebec was ritually addressed as a father by First Nations allied to the French. This new metaphor would outlive the French regime and endure for another two centuries as a key symbol in British-Indigenous relations. Scholars have generally attributed the paternal status of French (and, later, British) royal representatives in the alliance to the insistence of patriarchally minded Europeans, but, in fact, the notion of French fatherhood originated with Mohawk and Onondaga leaders as early as the 1640s as a corollary of their efforts to establish an alliance with the French. Only later was the new kin metaphor embraced by King Louis XIV's colonial representatives as an expression of absolutist power, subject to the approval of Indigenous nations who held their own opinions about the obligations of fathers toward their children. Continue Reading...


Defenders of Empire or Agents of Ruin? Hebridean Scot Colonies In British Columbia in the 1920s 

Timothy S. Forest 

In 1924, the government of British Columbia submitted to the British authorities a proposal that aimed to resettle what it hoped would be thousands of Scottish crofters from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to work in its fisheries, taking advantage of funding made available by the recently passed Empire Settlement Act (ESA) of 1922. Ostensibly, the province endeavoured to provide a better life for a loyal, yet long-suffering, "British" population, to improve the filial imperial ties that were starting to fray following the First World War, to provide the fishing industry with "white" "British" workers to displace its largely Asian workforce, and to introduce a "martial race" to defend its shores. Yet, this scheme was abandoned in late 1925. In private, officials in Canada doubted that the Hebrideans could ever be rehabilitated, as the scheme and the ESA envisioned. Employers saw the Hebrideans as effete and lazy rather than as ready-made militiamen and continued to employ the Asians who they saw as superior workers. Labourers feared that the Hebrideans would undercut their wages and lower their elevated status as "white" and "British," one that they and the province had carefully cultivated since its foundation. Lastly, the liminal status of the Hebridean Scots reflected and was part of the broader ambivalence of Canada's place in the evolving British Empire/Commonwealth of the 1920s, one that embraced the imperial tie yet also oftentimes sought greater autonomy from it. Continue Reading...   

Opp James 


In 1965, the Hudson's Bay Company (hbc) unveiled "the Bay/la Baie" as the primary corporate identifier for its urban retail stores in Canada. At the same time, the company was also preparing to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 1970. Rather than viewing the "modern" Bay in opposition to the historical name, this article argues that competing regional historical sensibilities were central to the redesign of the company's corporate image. Following the company's merger with the Montreal-based Morgan's department stores in 1960, the hbc found itself navigating the historical attachments of its western base, the nationalist aspirations of Quebec, and the indifference of metropolitan Ontario. By drawing together corporate discussions around design, typeface, marketing, historical displays, and a commemorative film produced by Christopher Chapman, this article explores the image worlds assembled by the hbc to bridge multiple identities. It also analyzes how historical consciousness itself became an object of study for the company in trying to understand and predict consumer behaviour. The tensions and debates around corporate identity and the 1970 tercentenary point to the significance of visual aesthetics in the evocation and erasure of particular histories in the 1960s. Continue Reading...    


A Life in History/La vie d'historien   

Twists, Turning Points, and Tall Shoulders: Studying Canada and Feminist Family Histories

Bettina Bradbury


In this article, Bettina Bradbury reflects on how she became a feminist family historian in Canada. She relates the historical twists that led her to leave New Zealand with a Bachelor of Arts in English and sociology, undertake a Master of Arts in history at Simon Fraser, and then complete a Doctor of Philosophy in history at Concordia University. She attributes her contributions to history and women's studies to the importance of feminist mentors and pioneers and links her changing interests as a historian to the epistemological shifts of the last three decades and to turning points in her own life. Continue Reading...




Patrice Dutil and Roger Hall / Sarah Katherine Gibson and Arthur Milnes Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies / Canada Transformed: The Speeches of Sir John A. Macdonald: A Bicentennial Celebration, reviewed by Christopher Moore.

Janet Ajzenstat, Discovering Confederation: A Canadian's Story, reviewed by Ged Martin.


Timothy J. Pearson, Becoming Holy in Early Canada, reviewed by Mary Dunn.





Hans V. Hansen, Riel's Defence: Perspectives on His Speechesreviewed by Kelly Saunders.




Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, Historical GIS Research in Canada, reviewed by Ken Sylvester.



Nina Reid-Maroney, The Reverend Jennie Johnson and African Canadian History, 1868-1967, reviewed by Barrington Walker.


Denyse Baillargeon, A Brief History of Women in Quebec, reviewed by Gail Cuthbert Brandt.



Gordon L. Heath, Canadian Churches and the First World War, reviewed by Alana McCord.