Price Paid – Bev Sellars

Price Paid - Bev Sellars

Bev Sellars’ overview of West Coast colonization should be required reading in every Canadian high school. Drawing on her background as a law student, band council chief, BC Treaty Commission negotiator, and a member of a community impacted by over a century of racist paternalism, she has written a brilliant introduction to West Coast indigenous history. If you’ve ever stumbled on a … Read More

Gold Rush Queen – Thora Kerr Illing

During my research for the BC Folk Song Project, I’ve come across the formidable Nellie Cashman a few times. When I came across her detailed biography on the ferry, I’d already written Whoah, Nellie. The song is based on her daring trip up the frozen Stikine River in the dead of winter to rescue a party of stranded miners from the menace of scurvy. That … Read More

Quarantined – Peter Johnson

Life and Death at William Head Station, 1872-1959 Peter Johnson explores nearly a century of infectious disease management (and mismanagement) in Victoria. His insightful account provides background and context for the rampant outbreak of smallpox that wiped out a third of the indigenous population on Vancouver Island. I respect the fact that Johnson doesn’t sugar coat or whitewash the fact that … Read More