Canada is a bounded land – a nation situated between rock and cold to the north and a border to the south. Cole Harris traces how society was reorganized – for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike – when Europeans resettled this distinctive land. Through a series of vignettes that focus on people's experiences on the ground, he exposes the underlying architecture of colonialism, from first contacts, to the immigrant experience in early Canada, to the dispossession of First Nations. In the process, he unearths fresh insights on the influence of Indigenous peoples and argues that Canada's boundedness is ultimately drawing it toward its Indigenous roots.
Part 1: Early Encounters
The Fraser Canyon Encountered
Imagining and Claiming the Land
Voices of Smallpox around the Strait of Georgia
Part 2: Early Settlements
Acadia: Settling the Marshlands
Of Poverty and Helplessness in Petite-Nation
The Settlement of Mono Township
Part 3: The Architecture of Settlement
European Beginnings in the Northwest Atlantic
The Overseas Simplification of Europe
Creating Place in Early Canada
Part 4: Reconfiguring British Columbia
The Making of the Lower Mainland
The Struggle with Distance
Part 5: Theorizing Settler Colonialism
Making an Immigrant Society
How Did Colonialism Dispossess?
Postscript: The Boundaries of Settler Colonialism
Notes and Further Readings; Index
Cole Harris, for years a student of immigrant societies in early Canada and of their relations with Indigenous peoples, is the editor of the first volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada (1987) and the author, among other works, of Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia (2002) and The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation (2008). The winner of many academic awards, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a professor emeritus of historical geography at the University of British Columbia.
A Bounded Land is a guided tour through the work of a brilliant, insightful, and compassionate mind and body of work.
~James Murton, The Canadian Historical Review
This is the most informative, penetrating and best-written account that I have read on the topic.
~Jim Reynolds, The Advocate
A Bounded Land brings new dimensions and reflections to the work of Cole Harris as a scholar. The themes turn on settlement, colonization, dispossession, re-settlement, and the concluding theme throws light on Indigenous displacement and theories of empire and decolonization.
~Barry Gough, The Ormsby Review
Cole Harris has produced an eloquent compilation of work on settler colonialism in Canada.
~Ken Favrholdt, Kamloops, BC, BC Studies, Issue 209
There is a lot packed into this book ... [It] highlights the theoretical and practical policies that underwrote colonialism. In doing so, it helps to explain how the history of dispossession became inseparable from the rise of nation-states such as Canada.
~Benjamin Hoy, The Canadian Journal of History
It is to Harris’s credit that the innovative assembly of spatial and social vignettes in A Bounded Land prompts our reflection on Indigenous and settler relations in colonial Canada.
~Grace Keng, Pennsylvania State University, University of Toronto Quarterly
Overall, this book is not only a fitting capstone to an extroardinary career, but also an excellent primer for understanding Canada's settler colonial past.
~Ryan Hall, Colgate University, Pacific Historical Review