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Canada's First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times

Olive Dickason

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ISBN 10: 0771028008 / ISBN 13: 9780771028007
Published by McClelland & Stewart, 1992
Used Condition: Fair
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Canada's First Nations: A History of ...

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Publication Date: 1992

Book Condition: Fair

Edition: 0th Edition.

About this title


From the point of view of Canada's native peoples, this country has 57 founding nations, not just two. Canada's First Nations is an exploration of the experience of these peoples from their first appearance among the giant mammals that once roamed the land to their confrontations with contemporary Canada. Aboriginal peoples have displayed both ingenuity and flexibility in their survival techniques. Their achievements in technology (the toggling harpoon, the canoe), and in the plant sciences (the development of maize, their herbal lore), have come to benefit the world. Their cooperation and assistance was essential for the European exploration and settlement of what is now Canada: the value of this aid in economic terms alone has never been assessed. Relying on archaeological, artistic, and linguistic evidence, Dickason explores Amerindian cultural traditions and values that were influential in developing the country's national and international personality. The book speculates that the rapid spread of aboriginal settlement throughout North and South America and the richness of culture must have been the result of complex trade patterns which included the capability to cross oceans. In the historic period, it is evident that far from being simply overwhelmed, Amerindians often adapted to colonial pressures in their own ways, sometimes mustering for wars in which their guerilla-like tactics were both original and often ferociously effective, but more often diplomatically playing off opposing French, English or American forces. But this is not a history of impersonal forces. It is the record of such people as Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Tecumseh, Abe Okpik, Elijah Harper, Poundmaker, and Big Bear. While the history of Canada's native peoples is also the history of the exploitation of the North American continent, it also reveals the recreation of the native community in the fight for land claims, self-government, and recognition of aboriginal rights.

About the Author:

Olive Patricia Dickason, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Alberta.

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