bibliography: We, They, and Us history

Reading Field: Pre- and Post-Confederation Canadian History, with a focus on Regionalism, Nationalism, and Identity — as they had been described in Canadian historiography (which has had a distinct brand of ‘nation building’ rhetoric embedded in it by the organizational framework traditionally adhered to). The material was read for my Ph.D. program’s oral examination, Memorial University NL, 2005. The list presented here doubles as an index of posted Canadian history reading field notes (compiled in 2004), with links.

At the time of seeking the approval of the advisory committee for the list, I justified the content by arguing

“National unity and identity have figured as themes in Canadian historiography from its inception. This field considers how pluralism at the individual and community level has presented a challenge to historians seeking to interpret and articulate regional and national contests according to an organized framework. Differing approaches to describing the relation of citizens to cultural, material, and political circumstances provide a representational cross-section of varying perspectives.”

The Pre- and Post-Confederation Canadian History reading list, though officially meant to show I had read enough to teach a course in Canadian history, also served as background reading, for formulating arguments in “Interpreting Identity: A Case Study of Semantic Paradox in Red River Historiography, Part I” (continued in  Part II , Part III, Part IV, Part 5). My goal in the essay and my difficulty while writing and defending my doctoral dissertation, “Northern Arc: The Significance of Shipping and Seafarers of Hudson Bay, 1508–1920,” was in proving that Métis history, the focus of my Ph.D. study and subsequent work, could be positioned entirely within Canadian history, because it was fundamental to that history and not merely an interesting ‘ethnic’ sidebar to Canadian history. (I was granted a degree, but was not particularly successful in convincing anybody who reviewed my work back then that Métis matters mattered much historically, and though I have kept working at it, do not anticipate much success in having my perspective become mainstream in Canadian historiography any time soon).

The list presented here periodically expands — arbitrarily and idiosyncratically. If I happen to come across an online text that for some reason resonates with some point about Canadian historiography that I have developed some internal dialogue about, or that I think might come in handy some day while discussing Canadian historiography,  I might store it  here.

Primary Sources

Jones, Peter. Nugumouinun Genunugumouat igiu Anishinabeg Anumiajig. Boston: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1836. [Early Canadiana Online, ].

Trumbull, J. Hammond. On Algonkin Names for Man. S.l. : s.n., 1871?. [Early Canadiana Online, ].

Secondary Sources


Abel, Kerry, and Ken S. Coates, eds. Northern visions: new perspectives on the North in Canadian history. Peterborough, ON.: Broadview Press, 2001.

Acheson, T.W. Saint John: The making of a colonial urban community. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985. [39th Text]

Behiels, Michael D., ed. Quebec since 1945: Selected Readings. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987. [16th Text]

Bercuson, David Jay, ed. Canada and the Burden of Unity. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1986.

Bernier, Serge, and John Macfarlane, eds. Canada, 1900-1950: Un pays prend sa place/A Country Comes of Age. Ottawa: Organisation pour l’histoire du Canada/Organization for the History of Canada, 2003. [34th Text]

Binnema, Theodore. Common and Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwestern Plains. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. [Google Books, preview,]. [1st Text]

Bothwell, Robert. Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1995. [17th Text]

Buckner, Phillip A. Transition to Responsible Government: British Policy in British North America, 1815-1850. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 1985. [19th Text]

Bumsted, J.M. Land, settlement, and politics on eighteenth-century Prince Edward Island. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 1987. [38th Text]

Careless, J.M.S. Frontier and Metropolis: Regions, Cities, and Identities in Canada before 1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987. [23d Text]

Creighton, Donald. The Empire of the St. Lawrence: A study in commerce and politics. 1937. Revised, with new introduction by Christopher Moore. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. [22d Text]

Curtis, Bruce. The Politics of Population: State Formation, Statistics, and the Census of Canada, 1840-1875. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001. [21st Text]

Dechêne, Louise. Habitants and Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Montreal. Translated by Liana Vardi. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992. [10th Text]

Dickason, Olive P.  The Myth of the Savage and the Beginnings of French Colonialism in the Americas. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1984.

Finkel, Alvin. The Social Credit Phenomenon in Alberta. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.

Forbes, Ernest R. The Maritime Rights Movement, 1919-1927: A study in Canadian regionalism. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1979. [41st Text]

Friesen, Gerald. Citizens and nation: An essay on history, communication, and Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.

Granatstein, J.L. Canada, 1957-1967:  The Years of Uncertainty and Innovation. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1986. [36th Text]

Greer, Allan. Peasant, lord, and merchant: Rural society in three Quebec parishes, 1740-1840. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985. [Google Books, preview:]. [12th Text]

Greer, Allan, and Ian Radforth, eds. Colonial Leviathan: State Formation in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. [27th Text]

Griffiths N.E.S. The contexts of Acadian history, 1686-1784. Montreal and Kingston: Centre for Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992. [37th Text]

Gwyn, Julian. Excessive expectations: Maritime commerce and the economic development of Nova Scotia, 1740-1870. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998.

Harris, Cole. The Resettlement of British Columbia: Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997.

Hechter, Michael. Internal Colonialism:  The Celtic Fringe in British National Development 1536-1966. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.

Hillmer, Norman, Bohdan Kordan, and Lubomyr Luciuk, eds. On guard for Thee: War, Ethnicity and the Canadian State, 1939-1945. Ottawa: Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War, 1988. [33d Text]

Jasen, Patricia. Wild Things: Nature, Culture, and Tourism in Ontario, 1790-1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995. [30th Text]

Laycock, David H. Populism and Democratic Thought in the Canadian Prairies, 1910-1945. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990.

Leslie, John, and Ron Maguire, eds., with Robert G. Moore. The Historical Development of the Indian Act. 2d ed. Ottawa: Treaties and Historical Research Centre, Policy, Planning and Research Branch, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1978. [3d Text]

Levitt, Joseph. Henri Bourassa and the Golden Calf: The Social Program of the Nationalists of Quebec (1900-1914). Ottawa: Les Editions de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1969. [15th Text]

Litt, Paul. The Muses, the Masses, and the Massey Commission. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. [35th Text]

Lower, Arthur R.M. Great Britain‘s Woodyard: British America and the Timber Trade, 1763-1867. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1973. [40th Text]

McLaren, Angus. Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885-1945. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990. [32d Text]

McRoberts, Kenneth. Misconceiving Canada: The Struggle for National Unity. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1997. [18th Text]

Matthews, Keith. Lectures on the history of Newfoundland, 1500-1830. St. John’s, NL.: Breakwater Books, 1988.

Miquelon, Dale. Society and Conquest: The Debate on the Bourgeoisie and Social Change in French Canada, 1700-1850. Vancouver: Copp Clark, 1977. [13th Text]

Morrison, William R. Showing the Flag: The Mounted Police and Canadian Sovereignty in the North, 1894-1925. University of British Columbia Press, 1985.

Morton, W.L. The critical years: The union of British North America, 1857-1873. Canadian Centenary Series. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964. [24th Text]

Moyles, R.G., and Doug Owram. Imperial Dreams and Colonial Realities, British views of Canada, 1880-1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988. [28th Text]

Neary Peter. Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929-1949. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, c1988.

Ouellet, Fernand. Le Bas-Canada, 1791-1840: Changements Structuraux et Crise. Ottawa: Éditions de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1976; English translation by Patricia Claxton published as Lower Canada, 1791-1840: Social Change and Nationalism, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1983.

Ouellet, Fernand, trans. Jacques A. Barbier, ed. Economy, Class, and Nation in Quebec: Interpretive Essays. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991. [11th Text]

Owram, Doug. Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Image of the West, 1856-1900. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.

Paquet, Gilles, and Jean-Pierre Wallot. Lower Canada at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century: Restructuring and Modernization. Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1988.

Peers, Laura.  The Ojibwa of Western Canada, 1780 to 1870. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1994. [Google Books, preview,]. [2d Text]

Read, Colin Frederick. The Rising in Western Upper Canada, 1837-8: The Duncombe Revolt and after. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. [20th Text]

Roy, Patricia E. A White Man’s Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1914. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1989.

St. Germain, Jill. Indian Treaty-Making Policy in the United States and Canada, 1867-1877. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2001. [4th Text]

Stevenson, Garth. Ex Uno Plures: Federal-Provincial Relations in Canada, 1867-1896. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1993. [26th Text]

Thompson, John Herd, and Allen Seager. Canada, 1922-1939: Decades of Discord. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985. [31d Text]

Trudel, Marcel. The Beginnings of New France, 1524-1663. Translated by Patricia Claxton. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973. [9th Text]

Underhill, Frank H. The Image of Confederation. Toronto: CBC Publications, 1964. [29th Text]

Warner, Donald F. The Idea of Continental Union: Agitation for Annexation of Canada to the United States, 1849-1893. Lexington: Mississippi Valley Historical Association and the University of Kentucky Press, 1960. [25th Text]

Wood, Patricia Katharine. Nationalism from the Margins: Italians in Alberta and British Columbia. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.

Woodcock, George. British Columbia: A History of a Province. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1990.

Zaslow, Morris. The Opening of the Canadian North, 1870-1914. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971.


Bouchard, Gerard. “Une Nation, Deux Cultures,” and “Culture instituante, culture instituée: une repère pour l’étude du changement culturel.” In La Construction d’une culture: le Québec et l’Amerique française. Edited by Gerard Bouchard with Yvan Lamonde. 3-47, 251-305. Sainte-Foy: Laval University Press, 1993. [14th Text]

Coates, Ken. Review of Common and Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwestern Plains, by Theodore Binnema.  Oregon Historical Quarterly 104, no. 2 (Summer 2003),

Cottrell, Michael. “‘To be Useful to the Whiteman and the Indian and the Country at Large’: Constantine Scollen, Missionary-Priest, and Native-White Relations in the West, 1862-1885.” Historical Studies: Canadian Catholic Historical Association 66 (2000): 56-73. [8th Text]

Krasowski, Sheldon. “Images of treaty negotiations, annuity payments and Treaty Days – Treaties 1 to 10.” Native Studies Review 13, No. 1 (2000): 97-112. [6th Text]

Lewis, Frank, and Marvin McInnis. “The Efficiency of the French-Canadian Farmer in the Nineteenth Century. The Journal of Economic History 40, no. 3 (Sep. 1980): 497-514.

McNeil, Kent. “Sovereignty and the Aboriginal Nations of Rupert’s Land.” Manitoba History 37 (1999): 2-8. [5th Text]

Ray, Arthur J. “Constructing and Reconstructing Native History: A Comparative Look at the Impact of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Claims in North America and Australia.” Native Studies Review 16, No. 1 (2005): 15-39. [7th Text]

Robson, Robert. Review of The Ojibwa of Western Canada, 1780 to 1870, by Laura Peers. Manitoba History,

Smith, Donald B. “Jones, Peter.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online,

Web Log Posts

Scriver, Mary. “‘Common and Contested Ground,’ by Ted Binnema.” Prairie Mary (Tuesday, 7 June, 2005),


Web Pages

Canada. “Cede, Yield, and Surrender: A History of Indian Treaties in Canada,” Parts 1-10. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada website, .

Canada. “Historical Indian Treaties.” The Atlas of Canada, Natural Resources Canada website,

Canada. “Frequently Asked Questions: Is a copy of the original Indian Act of 1876 available, and what about later amendments to the Act?” Aboriginal Resources and Services, Library and Archives Canada website (last modified: 26 January 2009),

Canada. “The Indian Act (PRB 99-23-E),” prepared by Mary C. Hurley, Law and Government Division, Parliamentary Research Branch, Government of Canada website, (4 October, 1999),

I Portal. “Indian Act.” Indigenous Studies Portal Research Tool website, University of Saskatchewan,

‘logos.hfd’, customer review of Peasant, lord, and merchant: Rural society in three Quebec parishes, 1740-1840, by Allan Greer, (19 December 2008).

University of Manitoba Press. Web page for The Ojibwa of Western Canada, 1780 to 1870,  by Laura Peers. University of Manitoba Press Native Studies Books,


Stephen Charles Eno, “Commonly Used Words, Phrases, and Symbols in French Canadian Genealogical Sources,” Énaud\Hénault dit Canada and Allied Families website (1996-2005)

National Aboriginal Document Database,


link to bibliography 2: Knowing Social History

link to bibliography 3: getting at identity in the Canadian context

link to bibliography 4: Icy Seas History


2 Responses to bibliography: We, They, and Us history

  1. thackrk says:

    holy moly! after years of research finding every paternal relative back to 1700’s from Thomas, Sinclair, Bunn….wow fabulous references

    • red says:

      Paternal. Yes, that’s the problem. Where is information about the First Nations women?

      For a native women’s perspective of colonialism, see the work of Cherry Smiley. Online at Feminist Current and YouTube. Site Admins?

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