August Header for Upcoming Publications, featuring book covers

Welcome back to our monthly series, “Upcoming Publications in Canadian History,” where I’ve compiled information on all the upcoming releases for the following month in the field of Canadian history from every Canadian academic press, all in one place. This includes releases in both English and French. To see the previous months’ releases, click here.


***Please note that the cover images and book blurbs are used with permission from the publishers.***

N.B. This list only includes new releases, not rereleases in different formats.


July 28

Edward Jones-Imhotep, The Unreliable Nation: Hostile Nature and Technological Failure in the Cold War, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017)

The Unreliable Nation

Throughout the modern period, nations defined themselves through the relationship between nature and machines. Many cast themselves as a triumph of technology over the forces of climate, geography, and environment. Some, however, crafted a powerful alternative identity: they defined themselves not through the triumph of machines over nature, but through technological failures and the distinctive natural orders that caused them. In  The Unreliable Nation, Edward Jones-Imhotep examines one instance in this larger history: the Cold War–era project to extend reliable radio communications to the remote and strategically sensitive Canadian North. He argues that, particularly at moments when countries viewed themselves as marginal or threatened, the identity of the modern nation emerged as a scientifically articulated relationship between distinctive natural phenomena and the problematic behaviors of complex groups of machines.

Drawing on previously unpublished archival documents and recently declassified materials, Jones-Imhotep shows how Canadian defense scientists elaborated a distinctive “Northern” natural order of violent ionospheric storms and auroral displays, and linked it to a “machinic order” of severe and widespread radio disruptions throughout the country. Tracking their efforts through scientific images, experimental satellites, clandestine maps, and machine architectures, he argues that these scientists naturalized Canada’s technological vulnerabilities as part of a program to reimagine the postwar nation. The real and potential failures of machines came to define Canada, its hostile Northern nature, its cultural anxieties, and its geo-political vulnerabilities during the early Cold War. Jones-Imhotep’s study illustrates the surprising role of technological failures in shaping contemporary understandings of both nature and nation.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


August 1

Jennifer S.H. Brown, An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land: Unfinished Conversations (Edmonton: AU Press, 2017).

Unfinished Conversations

In 1670, the ancient homeland of the Cree and Ojibwe people of Hudson Bay became known to the English entrepreneurs of the Hudson’s Bay Company as Rupert’s Land, after the founder and absentee landlord, Prince Rupert. For four decades, Jennifer S. H. Brown has examined the complex relationships that developed among the newcomers and the Algonquian communities—who hosted and tolerated the fur traders—and later, the missionaries, anthropologists, and others who found their way into Indigenous lives and territories. The eighteen essays gathered in this book explore Brown’s investigations into the surprising range of interactions among Indigenous people and newcomers as they met or observed one another from a distance, and as they competed, compromised, and rejected or adapted to change.

While diverse in their subject matter, the essays have thematic unity in their focus on the old HBC territory and its peoples from the 1600s to the present. More than an anthology, the chapters of An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land provide examples of Brown’s exceptional skill in the close study of texts, including oral documents, images, artifacts, and other cultural expressions. The volume as a whole represents the scholarly evolution of one of the leading ethnohistorians in Canada and the United States.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on’s+Land%3A+Unfinished+Conversations


Meghan Fitzpatrick, Invisible Scars: Mental Trauma and the Korean War (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

Invisible Scars

Invisible Scars provides the first extended exploration of Commonwealth Division psychiatry during the Korean War and the psychiatric-care systems in place for the thousands of soldiers who fought in that conflict. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that although Commonwealth forces were generally successful in returning psychologically traumatized servicemen to duty, they failed to compensate or support in a meaningful way veterans returning to civilian life. Moreover, ignorance at home contributed to widespread misunderstanding of their condition. This book offers an intimate look into the history of psychological trauma. In addition, it engages with current disability, pensions, and compensation issues that remain hotly contested.

Formats available: Hardcover, Kindle

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


August 9

Claire Campbell, Nature, Place, and Story: Rethinking Historic Sites in Canada (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).

Nature, Place and Story

National historic sites commemorate decisive moments in the making of Canada. But seen through an environmental lens, these sites become artifacts of a bigger story: the occupation and transformation of nature into nation. In an age of pressing discussions about environmental sustainability, there is a growing need to know more about the history of our relationship with the natural world and what lessons these places of public history, regional identity, and national narrative can teach us.

Nature, Place, and Story provides new interpretations for five of Canada’s largest and most iconic historic sites (two of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites): L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland; Grand Pré, Nova Scotia; Fort William, Ontario; the Forks of the Red River, Manitoba; and the Bar U Ranch, Alberta. At each location, Claire Campbell rewrites public history as environmental history, revealing the country’s debt to the power and fragility of the natural world, and the relevance of the past to understanding climate change, agricultural sustainability, wilderness protection, urban reclamation, and fossil fuel extraction. From the medieval Atlantic to modern ranchlands, environmental history speaks directly to contemporary questions about the health of Canada’s habitat.

Bringing together public and environmental history in an entirely new way, Nature, Place, and Story is a lively and ambitious call for a fresh perspective on natural heritage.

Formats available: Kindle, Hardcover

Publisher’s link:–place–and-story-products-9780773551251.php

Buy it on


August 21

Jason Blake and Andrew C. Holman, eds. The Same but Different: Hockey in Canada (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).

The Same but Different

From coast to coast, hockey is played, watched, loved, and detested, but it means something different in Quebec. Although much of English Canada believes that hockey is a fanatically followed social unifier in the French-speaking province, in reality it has always been politicized, divided, and troubled by religion, class, gender, and language. In The Same but Different, writers from inside and outside Quebec assess the game’s history and culture in the province from the nineteenth century to the present. This volume surveys the past and present uses of hockey and how it has been represented in literature, drama, television, and autobiography. While the legendary Montreal Canadiens loom throughout the book’s chapters, the collection also discusses Quebecers’ favourite sport beyond the team’s shadow. Employing a broad range of approaches including study of gender, memory, and culture, the authors examine how hockey has become a lightning rod for discussions about Québécois identity. Hockey reveals much about Quebec and its relationship with the rest of Canada. The Same but Different brings new insights into the celebrated game as a site for community engagement, social conflict, and national expression

Formats available: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle

Publisher’s link:–the-products-9780773550551.php

Buy it on


August 23

Robert McGill, War is Here: The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).

War is Here

Canada did not fight in the Vietnam War, but the conflict seized the Canadian imagination with an energy that has persisted. In War Is Here Robert McGill explains how the war contributed to a golden age for writing in Canada. As authors addressed the conflict, they helped to construct an enduring myth of Canada as liberal, hospitable, and humanitarian. For many writers, the war was one that Canadians could and should fight against, if not in person, then on the page. In this pioneering account of war-related Canadian literature McGill observes how celebrated books of the era channel Vietnam, sometimes in subtle but pervasive ways. He examines authors’ attempts to educate their readers about American imperialism and Canadian complicity, and he discusses how writers repeatedly used language evoking militarism and violence – from the figure of the United States as a rapist to the notion of Canada as a “peaceable kingdom” – in order to make Canadians feel more intensely about their country. McGill also addresses the recent spate of prize-winning Canadian novels about the war that have renewed Vietnam’s resonance in the wake of twenty-first century conflicts involving America. War Is Here vividly revisits a galvanizing time in world history and Canadian life, offering vital insights into the Vietnam War’s influence on how people think about Canada, its place in the world, and the power of the written word to make a difference.

Formats available: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 1

Patrick M. Dennis, Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

Reluctant Warriors

Reluctant Warriors is the first in-depth examination of the pivotal role played by Canadian conscripts in the final campaign of the Great War. During the “Hundred Days” of the First World War, over 30 percent of conscripts who served in the Canadian Corps became casualties. Yet, they were generally considered slackers, shirkers, or malingerers for not having volunteered to fight of their own accord.

Challenging long-standing myths about conscripts, Patrick Dennis examines whether these men arrived at the right moment, and in sufficient numbers, to make any significant difference to the success of the Canadian Corps. He examines the conscripts themselves, their journey to war, the battles in which they fought, and their largely undocumented but often remarkable sacrifices and heroism. Apart from chronicling the seminal events that created the need for compulsory military service, he also focuses on the commanders who employed these conscripts and how their decision making was affected by a steady flow of reinforcements.

Reluctant Warriors sheds new light on the success of the Military Service Act and provides fresh evidence that conscripts were good soldiers who fought valiantly and made a crucial contribution to the success of the Canadian Corps in 1918.

Reluctant Warriors will be of interest to scholars, students, and readers interested in the First World War in general, and conscription in particular.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Geoffrey Hayes, Crerar’s Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer 1939-1945 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

Crerar's Lieutenants

At the height of the war in 1943, the future head of the First Canadian Army, General Harry Crerar, penned a long memorandum in which he noted that there was still much confusion as to “what constitutes an ‘Officer.’” His words reflected the army’s preoccupation with creating an ideal officer who would not only satisfy the immediate demands of war but also conform to pervasive, little-discussed notions of social class and masculinity.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and exploring the issue of leadership through new lenses, this book looks at how the army selected and trained its junior officers after 1939 to embody the new ideal. It finds that these young men – through the mentors they copied, the correspondence they left, even the songs they sang – practised a “temperate heroism” that distinguished them from the idealized, heroic visions of officership from the First World War, and also from British and even German representations of wartime officership.

Fascinating and highly original, Crerar’s Lieutenantssheds new light on the challenges many junior officers faced during the Second World War – not only on the battlefield but from Canadians’ often conflicted views about social class and gender.

This work is primarily directed at scholars and students of Canadian history, military history, and gender history (especially masculinity studies). Because of its subject matter and the author’s engaging writing style, it’s likely to also attract general readers.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on’s+Lieutenants


Richard Johnston, The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

Canadian Party System

The Canadian party system is a deviant case among the Anglo-American democracies. It has too many parties, it is susceptible to staggering swings from election to election, and its provincial and federal branches often seem unrelated. Unruly and inscrutable, it is a system that defies logic and classification – until now.

In this political science tour de force, Richard Johnston makes sense of the Canadian party system. With a keen eye for history and deft use of recently developed analytic tools, he articulates a series of propositions underpinning the system. Chief among them was domination by the centrist Liberals, stemming from their grip on Quebec, which blocked both the Conservatives and the NDP. As Johnston shows, the Conservative Party could win only with short-lived coalitions of francophobes and nationalist francophones, often built by soaking up populist tension. Moving beyond the national realm, he also takes a close look at the stunning discontinuity between federal and provincial arenas, another peculiarity of the Canadian system.

For its combination of historical breadth and data-intensive rigour, The Canadian Party System is a rare achievement. Its findings shed light on the main puzzles of the Canadian case, while contesting the received wisdom of the comparative study of parties, elections, and electoral systems elsewhere.

This book is for scholars, researchers, and students in Canadian party politics and comparative politics.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 9

Janis Thiessen, Snacks: A Canadian Food History (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2017).


“Snacks” is a history of Canadian snack foods, of the independent producers and workers who make them, and of the consumers who can’t put them down.

Janis Thiessen profiles several iconic Canadian snack food companies, including Old Dutch Potato Chips, Hawkins Cheezies, and chocolate maker Ganong. These companies have developed in distinctive ways, reflecting the unique stories of their founders and their intense connection to specific locations.

These stories of salty or sweet confections also reveal a history that is at odds with popular notions of “junk food.” Through extensive oral history and archival research, Thiessen uncovers the roots of our deep loyalties to different snack foods, what it means to be an independent snack food producer, and the often-quirky ways snacks have been created and marketed.

Clearly written, extensively illustrated, and lavish with detail about some of Canadians’ favorite snacks, this is a lively and entertaining look at food and labour history.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Flora Beardy and Robert Coutts, eds., Voices from Hudson Bay: Cree Stories from York Factory, 2nd edition (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).

Voices from Hudson's Bay

In Voices from Hudson Bay Cree elders recall the daily lives and experiences of the men and women who lived and worked at the Hudson’s Bay Company post at York Factory in Manitoba. Their stories, their memories of family, community, and daily life, define their past and provide insights into a way of life that has largely disappeared in northern Canada. The era the elders describe, from the end of World War I to the closing of York Factory in 1957, saw dramatic changes – both positive and negative – to Indigenous life in the North. The extension of Treaty 5 in 1910 to include members of the York Factory band, the arrival of police and government agents, and the shifting economy of the fur trade are all discussed. Despite these upheavals, the elders’ accounts demonstrate the continuity of northern life in the twentieth century, from the persistence of traditional ways to the ongoing role of community and kinship ties. Perceptions of Cree life have been shaped largely by non-Native accounts that offered limited views of Indigenous history and recorded little beyond the social and economic interaction that was part of life in the fur trade. The stories in this collection provide Cree perspectives on northern life and history, and represent a legacy bequeathed to a younger generation of Indigenous people. This second edition includes updates to the original text and a new preface

Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 12

Éric Bédard,  Survivance: Histoire et mémoire du XIXe siècle canadien-français (Montreal: Boréal, 2017).

Eric Bedard Survivance
Durant les années et les décennies qui ont suivi l’échec du mouvement patriote et l’adoption de l’Acte d’Union, aucun chef canadien-français ne s’est levé un matin pour annoncer les débuts de « l’hiver de la survivance », selon l’expression de Fernand Dumont. Malgré les villages brûlés et l’exil des principaux dirigeants du parti Patriote, malgré les procès truqués et les pendaisons injustifiées, la vie quotidienne de ce peuple de plus de 600 000 âmes reprenait son cours.
Ce n’est que beaucoup plus tard qu’historiens et intellectuels auront recours au concept de survivance pour résumer plus d’un siècle d’histoire. Or, si pour Lionel Groulx la survivance était en tout point admirable, car elle témoignait d’un entêtement, d’une volonté tenace de durer, certains intellectuels issus de la Révolution tranquille reprendront le concept, souvent dans le but de déprécier les acteurs et les intellectuels canadiens-français du XIXe siècle.
Mais cette survivance, de quoi est-elle faite ? Comment se manifeste-t-elle concrètement?
Dans cet essai, qu’on peut lire comme une suite des Réformistes (Boréal, 2009), Éric Bédard propose quatre jalons de la survivance. D’abord, on produit un récit sur soi : pour survivre, il fallait se raconter. Ensuite, on combat l’infériorité économique des Canadiens français – véritable obsession pour une partie de l’élite. Puis, on éclipse la question du régime, c’est-à-dire le type d’institutions qui régit la société autant que la décision d’exercer son droit à l’autodétermination. Enfin, on fait la promotion d’un messianisme compensatoire, de cette idée selon laquelle les Canadiens français sont investis d’une « vocation spirituelle » en Amérique.
Se réfugier dans l’imaginaire ou n’accorder d’importance qu’aux « vraies affaires », ne pas s’autoriser à mettre en cause le régime qui nous régit mais se croire plus vertueux que les autres, n’est-ce pas un peu ce à quoi ressemble le Québec d’aujourd’hui ? se demande Éric Bédard. Assistons-nous, depuis 1995, au retour de la survivance ?

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on  n/a

September 15

Rachael Johnstone, After Morgentaler: The Politics of Abortion in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

After Morgentaler

The landmark decision R. v. Morgentaler (1988) struck down Canada’s abortion law and is widely believed to have established a right to abortion. Although the decision removed one legal barrier, its actual impact is much less decisive, and women’s access to abortion in Canada remains uneven and at risk of being curtailed.

In After Morgentaler, Rachael Johnstone examines the state of abortion access in Canada today, maps its historical development since 1988, and argues that substantive access is essential to full citizenship for women. When the Morgentaler decision recast abortion as a health care issue, jurisdiction over the procedure shifted to the provinces, each of which chose to regulate access differently. Johnstone presents three provincial case studies – Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick – to demonstrate the role of both state and non-state actors in shaping access across the country. Informed by the current frameworks employed by reproductive-rights advocates in Canada, this book affirms the need to recognize abortion as an issue fundamentally tied to women’s equality, while stressing the continued utility of rights claims as a means to improve access.

This timely, comprehensive account yields new insights into the legacy of Morgentaler in contemporary Canada.

This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of women and politics; gender and public policy; women’s health and reproductive politics, and Canadian women’s history.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Asa McKercher and Galen Roger Perras, eds., Mike’s World: Lester B. Pearson and Canadian External Affairs (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).

Mike's World

Although fifty years have passed since Lester Pearson stepped down as prime minister, he still influences debates about Canada’s role in the world. Known as “Mike” to his friends, he has been credited with charting a “Pearsonian” course in which Canada took on a global role as a helpful fixer seeking to mediate disputes and promote international cooperation, a development that led to him winning a Nobel Prize. It is therefore surprising that this much vaunted reputation is increasingly subject to criticism.

Mike’s World explores the myths surrounding Pearsonianism to explain why he remains such a touchstone for understanding Canadian foreign policy. In it, leading and emerging scholars dig deeply into Pearson’s diplomatic and political career, especially during the 1960s and his time as prime minister. Topics range from peacekeeping and Arctic sovereignty to environmental diplomacy and human rights policy. Chapters also explore Canada’s relations with South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. They show that competing forces of idealism and pragmatism were key drivers of Pearsonian foreign policy, and how global events often influenced politics and society within Canada itself.

Situating Pearson within his times and as a lens through which to analyze Canadians’ views of global affairs, this nuanced collection wrestles with the contradictions of Pearson and Pearsonianism and, ultimately, with the resulting myths surrounding Canada’s role in the world.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Canadian history, political science, and international relations. Accessibly written, it will appeal also to a more general audience.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Lindsey Sharman, The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Joane Cardinal-Schubert (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2017).

Writing on the Wall

The Writing on the Wall tells the story of artist, curator, writer and activist Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert, RCA. Although never claiming to be political and rejecting a feminist label, Cardinal-Schubert’s work recognizes that the personal lived life of an Indigenous Canadian woman has social and political ramifications. During her time in the physical realm, Cardinal-Schubert supported and mentored those who struggled with the legacies of colonial histories and educated those who were unaware of how this system affected them. Here, her work leads the conversation and continues to reach and speak to those on all sides of a colonial history simultaneously. The essays included oscillate between, story-telling, art historical analysis of art works, personal narratives, academic readings of the artist’s work, anecdotes and remembrances-embracing the places where the personal, the political, and the artistic meet.

Formats available: Paperback, PDF, Kindle, mobi

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Rachel Bryant, The Homing Place: Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2017).

The Homing Place

Rachel Bryant in The Homing Place calls for a process of listening to the stories that Indigenous peoples have been telling about this continent since before the arrival of European settlers centuries ago. In doing so, Bryant performs this process herself, creating a model for listening and incorporating Indigenous stories, and deferring to Indigenous knowledge structures to demonstrate how those structures can transform settler understandings of history and place.

The study addresses two closely related questions: (1) How and why did settlers and their descendants assume a semblance of indigeneity on territories that already had Indigenous populations? and (2) How can this phenomenon of assumed indigeneity be challenged and ultimately transcended, at least in an intellectual sense, by settler descendants?

In each chapter, Bryant foregrounds the active ways in which we engage with literature and communities, producing greater awareness of the effects of our activities as readers and writers, as Indigenous peoples and settlers, and as those who make policy and those on whom it has the greatest impact. Elucidating the effects of failure to engage with Indigenous historical, social, and cultural contexts and frameworks, Bryant shows how such failure limits meaningful understanding of Indigenous and settler literatures and history in North America as a whole, and prevents a nuanced understanding of contemporary policy and the vital issues that First Nations are currently raising, concerning not only Indigenous rights, lives, and land but also the effects colonization continues to have on the global community.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 22

Erika Dyck and Alexander Deighton, Managing Madness: Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2017).

Managing Madness

The Saskatchewan Mental Hospital at Weyburn has played a significant role in the history of psychiatric services, mental health research, and providing care in the community. Its history provides a window to the changing nature of mental health services over the 20th century.

Built in 1921, Saskatchewan Mental Hospital was considered the last asylum in North America and the largest facility of its kind in the British Commonwealth. A decade later the Canadian Committee for Mental Hygiene cited it as one of the worst facilities in the country, largely due to extreme overcrowding. In the 1950s the Saskatchewan Mental Hospital again attracted international attention for engaging in controversial therapeutic interventions, including treatments using LSD.

In the 1960s, sweeping healthcare reforms took hold in the province and mental health institutions underwent dramatic changes as they began transferring patients into communities. As the patient and staff population shrunk, the once palatial building fell into disrepair, the asylum’s expansive farmland went out of cultivation, and mental health services folded into a complicated web of social and correctional services.
Managing Madness examines an institution that housed people we struggle to understand, help, or even try to change.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 26

Colleen Skidmore, Searching for Mary Schäffer: Women Wilderness Photography (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2017).

Searching for Mary Schaffer

Mary Schäffer was a photographer, writer, and cartographer from Philadelphia, well known for her work in the Canadian Rockies at the turn of the twentieth century. Colleen Skidmore’s engrossing study asks new questions, tells new stories, and introduces women and men with whom Schäffer interacted and collaborated. It argues for new ways of thinking about the significance and impact of Schäffer’s work on historical and contemporary conceptions of women’s experiences in histories and societies in which gender is fundamental to the distribution of power. Scholars and readers of women’s photography and writing histories, as well as wilderness and mountain studies, will make new discoveries in Searching for Mary Schäffer.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it onäffer-Wilderness-Photography/dp/177212298X/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502221575&sr=1-5&keywords=Searching+for+Mary+Schäffer


September 29

Deborah McPhail, Contours of the Nation: Making Obesity and Imagining Canada, 1945-1970, (Toronto: UTP, 2017).

Contours of the Nation

The obesity epidemic that is said to plague nations around the world, including Canada, is not solely a medical condition to be managed. In Canada, the discourse on obesity emerged during a time of social upheaval in the postwar period.

Contours of the Nation is the first book which historically explores obesity in Canada from a critical perspective. Deborah McPhail demonstrates how obesity as a problem was affixed to particular populations in order to separate true Canadians from others. She reveals how the articulation of obesity contributed to the Canadian colonial project in the North; where Indigenous peoples were viewed as modern Canadians due to their obesity, thereby negating any special claims to northern lands. Contours of the Nation successfully demonstrates how histories can trace the actual materialization of bodies through relations of power, particularly those pertaining to race, gender, and nation.

Formats available: Paperback, Hardcover

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


September 30

Marianne Ignace and Ronald E. Ignace, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 re Stsq’ey’s-kucw (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).

Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws

Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws is a journey through the 10,000-year history of the Interior Plateau nation in British Columbia. Told through the lens of past and present Indigenous storytellers, this volume detail how a homeland has shaped Secwépemc existence while the Secwépemc have in turn shaped their homeland. Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt, compellingly weave together Secwépemc narratives about ancestors’ deeds. They demonstrate how these stories are the manifestation of Indigenous laws (stsq’ey’) for social and moral conduct among humans and all sentient beings on the land, and for social and political relations within the nation and with outsiders. Breathing new life into stories about past transformations, the authors place these narratives in dialogue with written historical sources and knowledge from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, earth science, and ethnobiology. In addition to a wealth of detail about Secwépemc land stewardship, the social and political order, and spiritual concepts and relations embedded in the Indigenous language, the book shows how between the mid-1800s and 1920s the Secwépemc people resisted devastating oppression and the theft of their land, and fought to retain political autonomy while tenaciously maintaining a connection with their homeland, ancestors, and laws. An exemplary work in collaboration, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws points to the ways in which Indigenous laws and traditions can guide present and future social and political process among the Secwépemc and with settler society

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link:–pemc-people–land–and-laws-products-9780773551305.php

Buy it onépemc-People-Land-Laws-Stsqeys-kucw/dp/0773551301/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502224578&sr=1-2


Habeeb Salloum, Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homstead: Recipes from a Syrian Pioneer (Regina: University of Regina Press, 2017).

Arab Cooking

In the 1920s, Habeeb Salloum’s parents left behind the orchards and vineyards of French-occupied Syria to seek a new life on the windswept, drought-stricken Canadian prairies. With recollections that show the grit and improvisation of early Syrian pioneers, Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homesteaddemonstrates Salloum’s love of traditional Arab cuisine. By growing “exotic” crops brought from their country of origin–such as lentils, chickpeas, and bulgur–the Salloums survived the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s, and helped change the landscape of Canadian farming.

Over 200 recipes–from dumplings and lentil pies to zucchini mint soup–in this updated classic will provide today’s foodies and urban farmers with dishes that are not only delicious, but also climate-friendly and gentle on your wallet!

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on



François Labonté, Robert Nelson dit le Diable. Face-à-face entre les Britanniques et les forces rebelles réfugiées aux États-Unis (1838 – 1839) (Laval: PUL, 2017).

Robert Nelson dit le Diable

En 1837, après la résistance des patriotes dans le Bas-Canada et la tentative de renversement du gouvernement britannique dans le Haut-Canada, la plupart des chefs ont trouvé refuge aux États-Unis d’Amérique.

En 1838, le temps est venu de chasser les Britanniques hors de l’Amérique. Les chefs n’ont pas tous la même idée sur le déploiement et l’utilisation des ressources mises à leur disposition. Tandis que William Lyon Mackenzie, le rebelle, se concentre sur les vertus de la publication de son journal, William Bill Johnston, le pirate, n’hésite pas à faire alliance avec d’anciens généraux américains. Les chefs patriotes du Bas-Canada, privés des services de Wolfred Nelson, emprisonné à Montréal, sont partagés entre la position de Louis-Joseph Papineau, le politicien, et celle de Robert Nelson, le descendant de loyalistes, qui ne jure que par une force militaire appuyée par un mouvement massif de la population pour renverser le pouvoir britannique.

Mais c’est sans compter la réaction de Londres qui dépêche lord Durham, un gouverneur investi de pouvoirs dictatoriaux pour non seulement ramener la paix au pays, mais pour faire enquête sur la situation politique et économique. Sa mission? Trouver le remède aux maux qui gangrènent les colonies de l’Amérique du Nord britannique.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it onà-face-Britanniques/dp/2763734472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502230041&sr=8-1&keywords=Robert+Nelson+dit+le+Diable


Better Late Than Never


May 16

Jim Ellis, ed. Calgary: City of Animals (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2017).

Calgary City of Animals

How have our interactions with animals shaped Calgary? What can we do to ensure that humans and animals in the city continue to co-exist, and even flourish together? This wide-ranging book explores the ways that animals inhabit our city, our lives and our imaginations. Essays from animal historians, wildlife specialists, artists and writers address key issues such as human-wildlife interactions, livestock in the city, and animal performers at the Calgary Stampede. Contributions from some of Calgary’s iconic arts institutions, including One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, and the Glenbow Museum, demonstrate how animals continue to be a source of inspiration and exploration for fashion, art, dance, and theatre. The full-colour volume is beautifully illustrated throughout with archival images, wildlife photography, documentary and production stills, and original artwork.

Formats available: Paperback, Kindle, Free PDF, mobi

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


May 26

Andrew Taylor, edited by Daniel Heidt and P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Two Years Below the Horn: Operation Tabarin, Field Science, and Antarctic Sovereignty, 1944-1946 (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2017).

Two Years Below the Horn

In “Two Years Below the Horn,” engineer Andrew Taylor vividly recounts his experiences and accomplishments during Operation Tabarin, a landmark British expedition to Antarctica to establish sovereignty and conduct science during the Second World War. When mental strain led the operation’s first commander to resign, Taylor—a military engineer with extensive prewar surveying experience—became the first and only Canadian to lead an Antarctic expedition. As commander of the operation, Taylor oversaw construction of the first permanent base on the Antarctic continent at Hope Bay. From there, he led four-man teams on two epic sledging journeys around James Ross Island,overcoming arduous conditions and correcting cartographic mistakes made by previous explorers. The editors’ detailed afterword draws on Taylor’s extensive personal papers to highlight Taylor’s achievements and document his significant contributions to polar science.

This book will appeal to readers interested in the history of polar exploration, science, and sovereignty. It also sheds light on the little known contribution of a Canadian to a distant theatre of the Second World War. The wartime service of Major Taylor reveals important new details about a groundbreaking operation that laid the foundation for the British Antarctic Survey and marked a critical moment in the transition from the heroic to the modern scientific era in polar exploration

Formats available: Paperback, PDF, Kindle

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


Sophie McCall, Deanna Reder, David Gaetner, and Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, eds. , Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2017).

Read, Listen, Tell

“Don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.” —Thomas King, in this volume

Read, Listen, Tell brings together an extraordinary range of Indigenous stories from across Turtle Island (North America). From short fiction to as-told-to narratives, from illustrated stories to personal essays, these stories celebrate the strength of heritage and the liveliness of innovation. Ranging in tone from humorous to defiant to triumphant, the stories explore core concepts in Indigenous literary expression, such as the relations between land, language, and community, the variety of narrative forms, and the continuities between oral and written forms of expression. Rich in insight and bold in execution, the stories proclaim the diversity, vitality, and depth of Indigenous writing.

Building on two decades of scholarly work to centre Indigenous knowledges and perspectives, the book transforms literary method while respecting and honouring Indigenous histories and peoples of these lands. It includes stories by acclaimed writerslike Thomas King, Sherman Alexie, Paula Gunn Allen, and Eden Robinson, a new generation of emergent writers, and writers and storytellers who have often been excluded from the canon, such as French- and Spanish-language Indigenous authors, Indigenous authors from Mexico, Chicana/o authors, Indigenous-language authors, works in translation, and “lost“ or underappreciated texts.

In a place and time when Indigenous people often have to contend with representations that marginalize or devalue their intellectual and cultural heritage, this collection is a testament to Indigenous resilience and creativity. It shows that the ways in which we read, listen, and tell play key roles in how we establish relationships with one another, and how we might share knowledges across cultures, languages, and social spaces.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link:

Buy it on


And that is what happens when I miss a month; everything gets published! As usual, I’d love to hear if there are there any books in particular that you are looking forward to? Did I miss anything? I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you did, please consider sharing it social media platform of your choice. And don’t get to check back on Sunday for our regular Canadian history roundup! See you then!

Liked this post? Please take a second to support Unwritten Histories on Patreon!