Clearing the Plains (Paperback)
Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life
ISBN: 978-0-88977-340-0
Year: 2014
Pages: 334
Binding: Paperback

click here for the study guide

click here for the sources

$27.95

"A tour de force." -Elizabeth A. Fenn

"Required reading for all Canadians." -Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood

Named a "Book of the Year" by the Globe & Mail, Quill & Quire, the Writers' Trust, and booksellers across Canada, Clearing the Plains reveals how Sir John A. Macdonald used a policy of starvation against Aboriginal people in pursuit of his "National Dream."

"Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. James Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest." -Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana

Sparking debate about genocide in Canada, the Globe & Mail stated Clearing the Plains should "make us question what it means to be Canadian."

 CONTENTS

Acknowledgements.....................................................................................vii

Introduction....................................................................................................ix

CHAPTER 1. Indigenous Health, Environment, and Disease before Europeans...........1

CHAPTER 2. The Early Fur Trade: Territorial Dislocation and Disease...........................11

CHAPTER 3. Early Competition and the Extension of Trade and Disease, 1740-82....27

CHAPTER 4. Despair and Death during the Fur Trade Wars, 1783-1821......................41

CHAPTER 5. Expansion of Settlement and Erosion of Health during the HBC Monopoly, 1821-69........................................................................................................................................59

CHAPTER 6. Canada, the Northwest, and the Treaty Period, 1869-76............................79

CHAPTER 7. Treaties, Famine, and Epidemic Transition on the Plains, 1877-82........99

CHAPTER 8. Dominion Adminstration of Relief, 1883-85.................................................127

CHAPTER 9. The Nadir of Indigenous Health, 1886-91....................................................159

CONCLUSION.............................................................................................................................181

Maps.............................................................................................................................................187

Notes............................................................................................................................................195

Bibliography................................................................................................................................251

Index.............................................................................................................................................305

 

 

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Daschuk, James W. (James William), 1961-

Clearing the Plains : disease, politics of starvation, and  the loss of Aboriginal life / James Daschuk.

(Canadian Plains studies, 0317-6290 ; 65)

Includes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-0-88977-296-0 (bound).--ISBN 978-0-88977-340-0 (pbk.)
ISBN 9780889772977 (pdf).--ISBN 978-0-88977-246-5 (ebook)

1. Indians of North America--Canada, Western--History.  2. Indians of North America--Diseases--Canada, Western--History.  3. Indians of North America--Health and hygiene--Canada, Western--History.  4. Indians  of North America--Government policy--Canada--History.  5. Canada, Western--Colonization--Health aspects--History.  6. Canada, Western--Ethnic relations--History.  I. Title.  II. Series: Canadian plains studies ; 65

E78.C2D36 2013          971.2'00497          C2013-901819-0          C2013-901820-4

James Daschuk

James Daschuk has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Manitoba. He is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina and a researcher with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit.
Gregory Beatty, Prairie Dog/Planet S
Stefani Langenegger, CBC Radio
"Daschuk demonstrates government policies were clearly directed toward removal of First Nations peoples from the Plains by whatever means necessary....Clearing the Plains is a thought-provoking monograph well worth the attention of historians and lay audiences interested in setting the record straight."
Russell S Kirby, Great Plains Quarterly

Isn't it ironic? 

James Daschuk's Sir John A. Macdonald Prize win has stirred up some discussion.

Daschuk also won the Clio Prize and the Canadian Historical Association’s Aboriginal History Book Prize.

Listen to the Canada's History Magazine interview.

Read NDP MP releases song about John A. Macdonald's treatment of Aboriginal People in the Globe and Mail.

Read  "First Nations history should make us questions what is means to be Canadian" review of Clearing the Plains in the Globe and Mail.

Read  "Ethnic Cleansing, Canadian Style," a review of Clearing the Plains in the Literary Review of Canada.

Listen to the As it Happens interview.

Stephen Maher on why it's "getting harder to ignore Canada's genocide of aboriginal people."

Jim Miles on systems of apartheid within Canada and elsewhere.

Read the Leader-Post article on the dark side of Sir John A.

Listen to Daschuk on CBC's The Current discussing his new book, Clearing the Plains.

Read Daschuk's "When Canada Used Hunger to Clear the West" op-ed from the Globe and Mail.

The University of Regina Press and James Daschuk won six top prizes at the Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Media Release

Table of Contents (PDF)

Sell Sheet (PDF)

High Resolution Cover (JPEG)

High Resolution Author Photo (JPEG)

The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.