North Island College Fall 2017

Meeting Time: Fri. 10:00 am - 12:50 pm

Meeting Place:  DIS 205, CEN 210, CWG 211

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office: Village G6

Office Hours:  T - Th 1:00 - 2:00 pm (or by appointment)

Office Phone:  334-5000, Extension 4024

Home Phone250-336-0238 

Web- Site for Course: http://www.misterdann.com/ 

E-Mail: dan.hinmansmith@nic.bc.ca

Course Description

The History of British Columbia is a course that explores the social, political, cultural and economic development of Canada's western-most province.  We will trace the story of B.C. from before James Cook's arrival in Nootka Sound to the present.  Prominent themes will include the history of First Nations and their relations with the European newcomers; the importance of a resource-based economy to explaining the patterns of the B.C. past; the province's ambivalence towards the national centre; and the development of a multi-ethnic society.  The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to become active historians themselves, and thus to develop their research, writing and analytical skills.  Instruction will combine seminar discussion, slide show lectures and documentary video.


John Jewitt.  White Slaves Of Maquinna: John R. Jewitt's Narrative Of Capture And Confinement At Nootka.  Heritage House: 2010.

Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy.  Tofino And Clayoquot Sound: A History.  Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour, 2014.

John Vaillant.  Golden Spruce: A True Story Of Myth, Madness And Greed.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.

Optional Textbook:  I have decided not to have a required textbook in HIS 225.  If you would like such a text for your own reference, I recommend one or more of the following:

Terry Reksten.  Illustrated History Of British Columbia.  Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2001: A well-done coffee-table history that combines useful text and wonderful images.  Provides a basic outline for the province's past.

Jean Barman.  West Beyond The West: A History Of British Columbia.  Toronto: Toronto, 2007:  The standard text for most survey courses in B.C. History.  Highly informative and rich in detail, but somewhat lacking in overall context.

Patricia E. Roy and John Herd Thompson.  British Columbia: Land Of Promises.  Toronto: Oxford, 2005:  A concise and analytical academic overview.

Margaret Ormsby.  British Columbia: A History.  Toronto: Macmillan, 1958:  This text was written to commemorate the province's mid-century centennial.  Although it is dated in some ways, it remains a milestone in provincial historical scholarship and is well worth reading.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1

Friday, September 8

a) Introduction

b)  Video: "Stolen Spirits Of Haida Gwaii" (2004, 74 mins.)

Week 2

Friday, September 15

a)  Discussion: Prehistory As History

b)  Introduce Mapping Vancouver Island Mini-Assignment

c)  Introduce Klatsassin And Chilcotin War Of 1864 Assignment

d) Video: "The Washing Of Tears" (1994, 54 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Browse in the Prehistory As History Discussion Topic and come to class prepared to report on some of the materials you found for your Scavenger Hunt.

Week 3

Friday, September 22

a)  Lecture: "We Have Always Been Here": The Indigenous Peoples Of British Columbia

b)  Introduce Museum Visits

c)  Discussion:  Narrative Of John Jewitt

d) Discussion: Whaler's Shrine Of Yuquot

e)  Lecture:  Collision Of Empires In Northwest America -- The Skin Trade Comes To Eden, 1778-1843

Reading Assignment:

John Jewitt, White Slaves of Maquinna: John R. Jewitt's Narrative of Capture and Confinement at Nootka.  Heritage House: 2010.

Browse extensively in  Whalers' Shrine Of Yuquot Discussion Topic

Optional A Journal Kept At Nootka Sound, (1807) --  The published version of Jewitt's original journal.

Week 4

Friday, September 29

a)  Lecture:  Beyond The Mountains -- The British Fur Trade On The Pacific, 1793-1846

b)  Discussion:  Mapping Vancouver Island

c)  Lecture:  The Seven Shillings A Year Colony -- Fort Victoria And Vancouver Island, 1842-1858

***Mapping Vancouver Island Mini-Assignment Due

Week 5

Friday, October 6

a)  Discussion:  Signs Of The Times -- Naming And Representing The Past

b) Discussion: Virtual Archives Visit

c) Lecture: Gold Rush Colonies, 1858-1871

d)  Video:  "Wilds To Riches" (2013, 44 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Signs Of The Times -- Naming And Representing The Past Discussion Topic

Follow the instructions outlined for the Virtual Archives Visit mini-exercise

Optional Viewing Assignment:

"Edge Of The World: B.C.'s Early Years"

Week 6

Friday, October 13

a)  Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 Workshop and Discussion

b)  Lecture:  Castles From Coal:  The History Of Coal Mining On Vancouver Island, 1858-1918

Research Assignment:

Come prepared for intensive discussion based upon the the Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 assignment.

Week 7

Friday, October 20

a)  Lecture: Making Native Space -- Colonialism, Resistance And Reserves In British Columbia

b)  Klatsassin Slides and Check-In

c)  Video:  "Goodwin's Way" (2016, 56 mins.)

***Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 Essay Due

Week 8

Friday, October 27

a)  Introduce Places Assignment

b)  Discussion: Nikkei Stories and Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project

c)  Lecture: A White Man's Province? -- British Columbia Politicians And Chinese And Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1949

d)  Video:  "Hatsumi" (2012, 54 mins.)

Viewing Assignment:

Watch several of Greg Masuda short video vignettes of Nikkei Stories Of Powell Street and Nikkei Stories Of Steveston.  There are approximately 25 of these 4-minute videos in total.

Reading Assignment:

Browse in the Chinese Canadian Artifacts Web-site

Optional Viewing Assignment:

"Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story" (NFB, 2003, 50 mins.)

"In The Shadow Of Gold Mountain" (NFB, 2004, 43 mins.)

Week 9

Friday, November 3

a)  Discussion: Japanese Canadian Internment

b)  Discussion:  Remembering The Komagata Maru

c)  Video: "Continuous Journey" (2004, 88 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Japanese Canadian Internment Discussion Topic

Browse extensively in Remembering The Komagata Maru Discussion Topic

Optional Listening Assignment:

"Voyage Of The 'Undesirables': Remembering The Komagata Maru," Ideas, CBC, September 29, 2014.

Week 10

Friday, November 10

***No Class: Reading Break

Week 11  

Friday, November 17

a)  Discussion:  The Places Assignment

b)  Finish Video: "Continuous Journey" (2004, 88 mins.)

***Places Assignment Due

Week 12

Friday, November 24

a)  Video: "Winds Of Heaven" (2011, 87 mins.)

Week 13

Friday, December 1

a)  Places Slideshow

b)  Connections Workshop

c)  Discussion: Tofino and Clayoquot Sound and/or Golden Spruce

d)  Lecture:  BC And The Great War

e) [If Time]:  "Copyright Leonard Frank" (A Scattering Of Seeds, Episode 30, 24 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy, Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History.  Harbour: 2014  ( I recommend that you skip Chapters 10-11 [pp. 183-240] if you get that far into the book)

John Vaillant, Golden Spruce: A True Story Of Myth, Madness And Greed.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2005

Week 14

Friday, December 8

a)  Connections: Student Powerpoint Mini-Presentations

The final draft of the Connections Powerpoint is due on Friday, December 15.


Letter Of Introduction


Mapping Vancouver Island


Klatsassin And Chilcotin War Of 1864 Essay


Places Assignment


Connections Powerpoint


Class Participation


a)  Letter Of Introduction (1%)

Write two or three informal paragraphs for the second class of the semester to introduce yourself to me.  You need not use the following questions as direct cues.  Who are you?  Where are you from?  What are your interests?  Why are you taking this course?  What are your thoughts and reflections as you begin?  Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions?

b)  Mapping Vancouver Island (18%)

You will complete a research project that explores the origins of the place names associated with Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands.

c)  Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 (21%)

You will be asked to write a short paper based upon the Canadian Mysteries primary sources archive about the Chilcotin War of 1864.

d)  Places Assignment (25%)

This research exercise will push you to research the history surrounding various monuments and notable sites throughout the province.

e)  Connections Powerpoint (20%)

Throughout the semester, you will not just be reading about B.C. History but  attempting to connect to it in other ways as well.  These ways can include, though need not be limited to, viewing old photographs, dabbling in some local history, exploring family history, and visiting local places where the ghosts of the past may be present.  The Connections Powerpoint will offer a review of your own efforts to establish bridges to the B.C. past.  Rather than take the form of an essay, however, you will instead be asked to compose an annotated photographic collage of sorts with 30+ slides and accompanying commentary in a Powerpoint presentation.

f)  Class Participation (15%)

The class participation grade will be based upon attendance; pre-class preparation; and the willingness to contribute thoughtfully to full-class and small-group discussion.  Although attendance is not required, I will take roll, and those who are not in class regularly will receive a poor grade for this component of the course.  I would like to encourage a classroom environment in which all are eager to share their ideas and in which lectures are accompanied by thoughtful dialogue.

Assigning class participation grades can be quite arbitrary.  When I assign participation grades at the end of the semester, I place each student in one of three following categories:

1)  Regular class attendance and excellent class participation.

2)  Regular class attendance and  fully satisfactory class participation.

3)  Irregular class attendance and preparation.

Those in Category 1 receive top participation grades.  Those in Category 3 receive poor participation grades.  Those in Category 2 are most likely to receive no specific participation grade but rather have the 80% total for their written work pro-rated to a 100% scale (in some cases the participation component may help a Category 2 student's final grade but in no instance will it lower the final grade).  Thus,  shy students are not penalized for class participation so long that they attend faithfully and I need only to distinguish between strong, satisfactory and weak participation rather than attempt to make fine distinctions.

A Note On Plagiarism

Everything that you hand in should be your original work unless otherwise indicated.  Violations of this policy may result in failing an assignment or the course in its entirety.  Please talk to me if you have any uncertainty  about what is permitted here.

Welcome To The Course




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