North Island College Winter 2017

Meeting Time: M, W: 2:30 - 3:50 pm

Meeting Place:  Tyee 205

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office: Village G6

Office Hours:  Mon. 11:30 - 12:50 pm; Wed. 1:00 - 2:00 pm

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.

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

Joy Kogawa.  Gently To Nagasaki.  Caitlin Press: 2016.

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 either of the following --

Jean Barman.  West Beyond The West: A History Of British Columbia.  Toronto: Toronto, 2007.

Patricia E. Roy and John Herd Thompson.  British Columbia: Land Of Promises.  Toronto: Oxford, 2005.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1

Wednesday, January 4

a) Introduction

Week 2

Monday, January 9

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, January 11

a)  Discussion: Prehistory As History

b)  Introduce Mapping Vancouver Island Mini-Assignment

c)  Lecture: "We Have Always Been Here": The Aboriginal Peoples Of British Columbia

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

Monday, January 16

a)  Discussion:  Narrative Of John Jewitt

b)  Introduce Klatsassin And Chilcotin War Of 1864 Assignment

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

Reading Assignment:

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

Wednesday, January 18

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

Optional Viewing Assignment:

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

Week 4

Monday, January 23

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

Reading Assignment:

Graham Brazier, "How The Queen's Law Came To Cowichan," Beaver, 81 (December 2001-January 2002).

Richard Mackie, "The Colonization Of Vancouver Island," BC Studies, 961 (Winter 1992-93): 3-40.

Wednesday, January 25

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

Week 5

Monday, January 30

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

Reading Assignment:

Deborah Franklin, "Boar War," Smithsonian Magazine (June 2005).

Wednesday, February 1

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.

Week 6

Monday, February 6

a) Lecture:  Gold Rush Colonies (I)

Wednesday, February 8

a) Lecture:  Gold Rush Colonies (II)

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

***Family Day And Reading Break, February 13-17

Week 7

Monday, February 20

a)  Introduce Places Assignment

b)  Introduce Museum Visits

c)  Introduce Mapping Vancouver Island Mini-Assignment

d)  Discussion: Tofino and Clayoquot Sound

Reading Assignment:

Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy, Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History.  Harbour: 2014.

Wednesday, February 22

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

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

Week 8

Monday, February 27

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

Wednesday, March 1

Class Cancelled

Week 9

Monday, March 6

a)  Discussion:  Remembering The Komagata Maru

b)  Lecture:  BC And The Great War

Reading Assignment:

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.

Wednesday, March 8

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

b)  Discussion: Saint Michael's (Alert Bay) And Alberni Residential Schools

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Saint Michael's (Alert Bay) And Alberni Residential Schools Discussion Topic

Week 10

Monday, March 13

a)  Discussion:  Museum Visit Reports

b)  Discussion:  The Places Assignment

***Places Assignment Due

Wednesday, March 15

a)  Discussion:  Cumberland Museum Photos And Asian-Canadian History

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

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Cumberland Museum Photos And Asian-Canadian History Discussion Topic

Week 11  

Monday, March 20

a)  Lecture: A White Man's Province? -- British Columbia Politicians And Chinese And Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1945

Optional Reading Assignment:

Joy Kogawa, Gently To Nagasaki.  Caitlin Press: 2016.

Optional Viewing Assignment:

"Minoru: Memory Of Exile" (NFB, 1992, 19 mins.)

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

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

Wednesday, March 22

a)  Discussion:  Mapping Vancouver Island

b)  Video: "Catch The Westbound Train" (2013, 26 mins.)

c)  Mini-Lecture:  Centennials

***Mapping Vancouver Island Mini-Assignment Due

Week 12

Monday, March 27

a)  Lecture:  The Politics Of Polarization: B.C. Politics Since 1945

b)  Mini-Lecture:  "Don't Make A Wave": Of Greenpeace, Clayoquot Sound, And Environmentalism In British Columbia From World War II To The Present

Listening Assignment:

"Moby Doll," Ideas, CBC, April 8, 2014.

Wednesday, March 29

a)  Discussion: Golden Spruce

b)  Video: Hadwin's Judgment" (2015, 87 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

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

Week 13

Monday, April 3

a)  Connections: Student Powerpoint Mini-Presentations

Wednesday, April 5

a)  Lecture:  The History Of The Comox Valley And Campbell River

The final draft of the Connections Powerpoint and any other remaining assignments are due on Thursday, April 13.


Letter Of Introduction


Klatsassin And Chilcotin War Of 1864 Essay


Places Assignment


Mapping Vancouver Island


Jewitt Seminar Note


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)  Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 (20%)

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

c)  Places Assignment (25%)

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

d)  Mapping Vancouver Island (15%)

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.

e)  Jewitt Seminar Note (5%)

I've decided to scale back this component of the course to just the one commentary upon the Narrative of John Jewitt rather than the originally advertised three seminar notes.  You should write a reading response of 1-to-2 pages that offers your analysis of this early nineteenth-century autobiographical account.

Rather than being graded on a letter scale, the seminar note will be evaluated on a check, check-plus, and check-minus basis:

Check: A fully satisfactory seminar note (7.7/10, B)

Check-Plus: A strong note that offers particularly good analysis and/or a well-developed commentary upon the text (9.2/10, A)

Check-Minus: A weak seminar note that does not successfully engage with the reading (6.2, C)

Particularly outstanding seminar notes may receive a Check-Plus-Plus (10.0/10, A+)

f)  Connections Powerpoint (19%)

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 (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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