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A Concise History of Canada's First Nations Paperback – May 6 2010
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From the Publisher
20 maps, 52 photos, 55 boxes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Olive Patricia Dickason, professor emeritus, University of Alberta, and adjunct professor of history, University of Ottawa, is the author of several books, including The Myth of the Savage (1984, 1997) and The Law of Nations and the New World, with L.C. Green (1989). Dr Dickason is a Member of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Aboriginal Life Achievement Award, Canadian Native Arts Foundation. Through her distinguished career she has remained proud of her Metis heritage. William Newbigging is an associate professor and head of the history department at Algoma University. He has taught Aboriginal history for nearly 10 years. Dr Newbigging also makes a point of regularly attending Aboriginal learning conferences and Native studies workshops in order to learn more about the needs of Aboriginal students. He has recently finished his first book, History of French-Ottawa Alliance, to be published with University of Nebraska Press.
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Dickason excels at presenting the big picture, especially in the period up until about 1850. She does not focus on the details of individual battles or treaties, but discusses trends and analyzes patterns. That wider perspective breaks down a bit as the book gets closer to the present day, with greater emphasis on individual events and people.
Because of this analytical approach, the book does not follow chronology strictly. For example, Chapter 14 begins with Native resistance and its successes in the 1960s and 1970s before looking further back at a League of Nations case in the 1920s. After that, the chapter whipsaws forward again to century's end. I prefer this kind of history, where themes dominate sequence, but others might not.
Though fairly long itself, this book is a condensation of Dickason's longer history (which I haven't read). Calder was in charge of cutting the book down, rewriting sections as needed to make the condensation work. She has succeeded - - this book feels as if it was written this way, not adapted or condensed from a longer work. It feels thorough, though not exhaustive.
I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could; it misses out on 5 stars by not having that extra something that would appeal to people who aren't already interested in these topics. All in all, it's a very good book to have on your shelf if you are interested in aboriginal history in North America, Canadian history, or the intersection between them.