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Author: Robert J. Muckle
In British Columbia there is general agreement that 'First Nations' refers to groups of people who can trace their ancestry to the populations which occupied the land prior to the arrival of Europeans and Americans in the late 1700s.
The First Nations of British Columbia presents a concise and accessible overview of First Nations' peoples, cultures, and issues in the province. Its primary purpose is to provide an understanding of today's pertinent concerns and initiatives by familiarizing readers with the history, diversity, and complexity of First Nations. It does so from an anthropological perspective from which crucial archaeological ethnographic, historic, and legal-political issues are explored.
This wide-ranging book begins with a description of the first Nations today, including information on populations, settlements, territories, bands, and other affiliations. The following sections focus on prehistory, traditional lifeways and cultural change over the past few hundred years. The impact of the fur trade, gold rushes, European and American settlement, missionaries, residential schools, and governments are all covered. Assertions of aboriginal rights and the current treaty negotiation process are also discussed. The First Nations of British Columbia is an indispensable resource for both educators and students, and an excellent introduction for anyone interested in the peoples and issues of B.C.'s First Nations.