North Island College Fall 2018

Meeting Time: M, W: 10:00-11:20 am

Meeting Place:  DIS 205; A Wing, 221; Central Wing, 210; Mount Waddington Campus, 101

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office: Village G6

Office Hours:  T-Th, 2:30-4:00 pm (or by appointment)

Office Phone:  334-5000, Extension 4024

Home Phone250-336-0238 

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

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.

Bev Sellars.  They Called Me Number One: Secrets And Survival At An Indian Residential School.  Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2013.

Optional Textbook ***  The NIC Library does have an on-line edition of Daniel Francis, Far West: The Story Of British Columbia.  Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 2010.  The book is designed for young readers, but Francis is a fine historian, and you may find this volume helps to provide a framework that may be missing if you rely upon lectures and the web-site alone.

 If you would like such a more in-depth text for your own collection, 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.  See also Abebooks.

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.  See also Abebooks.

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

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.  See also Abebooks.

Learning Outcomes

1.  Describe British Columbia's geography and some of the effects its location and difficult terrain have had on its history.

2.  Analyze the history of indigenous people in the province, beginning with their first contact with Europeans.

3.  Detail the principal reasons why European men and women came to British Columbia.

4.  Analyze the development and consequences of staple dependency.

5.  Explain many British Columbians' assumption that good economic times last forever.

6.  Account for the province's weak political party tradition and its tendency toward political polarization.

7.  Determine the influence of proximity to the United States.

8.  Account for British Columbia's long-lived British ethos.

9.  Explain British Columbians' ambivalence toward Canada as a whole.

10.  Evaluate the province's sharp urban-rural dichotomy.

1.  Account for Vancouver's dominance of the province.

12.  Assess women's contribution to provincial life.

13.  Explain the role of class antagonism and confrontation in provincial life.

14.  Trace British Columbia's long-standing history of racial and ethnic discrimination.

15.  Assess the influence of sex and gender, race and ethnicity, and class on the province's development.

16.  Comment on British Columbia's distinctiveness as a Canadian province.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1

Wednesday, September 5

a) Introduction

b)  Introduce Mapping Vancouver Island Assignment

c)  B.C. History Timeline

Class Resource:

B. C. History Timeline

Week 2

Monday, September 10

a) Discussion: Whaler's Shrine Of Yuquot

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

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Whalers' Shrine Of Yuquot Discussion Topic

Wednesday, September 12

a)  Discussion: Prehistory As History

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

Outline -- We Have Always Been Here

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.

Ann Finkbeiner, "The Great Quake And The Great Drowning," Hakai Magazine (September 14, 2015).

Week 3

Monday, September 17

a)  Discussion:  Narrative Of John Jewitt

b)  Possible Video Clip:  Jewitt's Captivity and Rescue, Episode 1, "Canada: A People's History"

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

Outline -- Collision Of Empires

Reading Assignment:

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

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

Wednesday, September 19

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

Outline -- Beyond The Mountains

Optional Viewing:

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

Week 4

Monday, September 24

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

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

Reading Assignment:

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

Wawmeesh Hamilton, "One Town, Two Worlds: Reconciliation In Port Alberni," CBC News, January 20, 2018.

Wednesday, September 26

a)  Discussion:  Mapping Vancouver Island

b)  Introduce Klatsassin And Chilcotin War Of 1864 Assignment

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

Outline -- Seven Shillings A Year Colony

***Mapping Vancouver Island Assignment Due

Week 5

Monday, October 1

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

Wednesday, October 3

a) Lecture: Gold Rush Colonies, 1858-1871

Outline -- Gold Rush Colonies

Week 6

Monday, October 10


Wednesday, February 8

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

Research Assignment:

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

Reading Assignment:

Arno Kopecky, "Title Fight -- The Tsilhqot'in Nation Got Its Land Back; Canada Will Never Be The Same," Walrus (July 22, 2015).

Week 7

Monday, October 15

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

Wednesday, October 17

a)  Discussion:  Remembering The Komagata Maru And Sikh History

b)  Introduce Places Assignment

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Remembering The Komagata Maru Discussion Topic

Optional Listening:

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

Week 8

Monday, October 22

a)  Lecture: Making Native Space -- Colonialism, Resistance And Reserves In British Columbia (1)

***Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 Essay or Remembering The Komagata Maru Essay Due

Wednesday, October 24

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

Week 9

Monday, October 29

a)  Lecture: Making Native Space -- Colonialism, Resistance And Reserves In British Columbia (2)

Wednesday, October 31

a)  Lecture: A White Man's Province? -- British Columbia Politicians And Chinese And Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1949 (1)

Reading Assignment:

Browse in the Chinese Canadians In The News Discussion Topic

Optional Viewing:

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

Week 10

Monday, November 5

a)  Discussion: Japanese Canadian Internment

b)  Lecture: A White Man's Province? -- British Columbia Politicians And Chinese And Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1949 (2)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Japanese Canadian Internment Discussion Topic

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.

Wednesday, November 7

a)  Discussion:  Places Assignment Workshop

b)  Introduce Connections Assignment

c)  Introduce Local Communities Mini-Presentation

Week 11  

Monday, November 12


Wednesday, November 14

a) Guest Lecture:  The We Wai Kai Nation

***Places Assignment Due

Week 12

Monday, November 19

a)  Guest Lecture:  The Residential School System

Wednesday, November 21

a)  Course Check-In

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

Week 13

Monday, November26

a)  Discussion:  History Of Vancouver In The News

b)  Lecture:  BC And The Great War

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in History Of Vancouver In The News Discussion Topic

Wednesday, November 28

a)  Local Communities Check-In

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


Week 14

Monday, December 3

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

b)  Discussion:  They Called Me Number One

c)  Local Communities Workshop

Reading Assignment:

Bev Sellars, They Called Me Number One: Secrets And Survival At An Indian Residential School.  Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2013.

Wednesday, December 5

a)  Local Communities Mini-Presentations and Discussion

***Connections Powerpoint Due Wednesday, December 12


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 (22%)

You will design a map of Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands which will include many place names of towns and geographic features with accompanying information about the origins of those names.

c)  Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 (22%)

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.

g)  Class Participation (10%)

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 90% 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.

Related Policy

Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct (3-06)

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy (3-34)

Evaluation of Student Performance Policy (3-33)

Student Complaint Resolution Policy (3-31)

Student Appeals Policy (3-30)

Instructional Accommodation and Access Services for Students with Disabilities (3-17)

Course Outline Policy (3-35)

Grading System (4-41)

Welcome To The Course




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