North Island College Fall 2020

Delivery Format: Digital Learning Unscheduled (We will not meet as a group via videoconferencing.  You will be expected to spend an average of 6+ hours a week on the course yourself.)

DatesSeptember 9 - December 13

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office Phone:  334-5000, Extension 4024

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.

Book For You To Purchase

Douglas Cole.  Captured Heritage: The Scramble For Northwest Coast Artifacts.  Vancouver: UBC, 1995.  There is only one required book for this course.  We will be using it for an assignment in the middle of the course, and you should purchase it at the beginning of the semester.  Captured Heritage is available for purchase at the NIC Bookstore or can be ordered directly from UBC Press at the link above.

A Note On Textbooks I have decided not to have one core textbook as the focus for our readings.  Instead, we will be reading a wide variety of on-line materials.  I have integarated NIC Library's on-line edition of Daniel Francis, Far West: The Story Of British Columbia  (Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 2010) into our syllabus The book is designed for young readers, but Francis is a good historian, and his simple chapters will help to provide a framework for your understanding of the larger contours of B.C. History.

 If you would like such a more in-depth college-level text for your own collection, I recommend one or more of the following:

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.

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.

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.

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

11.  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  (September 9-13): Course Introduction

Orientation  Week 1

Discussion Forum

Spanish Flu In British Columbia (1918-19)

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Spanish Flu In British Columbia (1918-19) Discussion Topic

J. B. MacKinnon, "The Whale Dying On The Mountain: As The Comox Glacier Disappears So Does Part Of The Local Culture," Hakai Magazine (February 16, 2016).

"B.C. Historical Timeline," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Week 2  (September 14-20): Prehistory As History

Orientation For Week 2

Discussion Forum

Prehistory As History

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Prehistory As History Scavenger Hunt Discussion Topic.  Take some notes on this material to start your Note-Taking Assignment.  Briefly describe one interesting item that you found from this exercise as well as one interesting item you found in your Orientation To The HIS 225 Web-Site Scavenger Hunt in the second Discussion Forum on the NIC HIS 225 Blackboard site.

Fen Montaigne, "The Fertile Shore," Smithsonian (January 2020).

Looking Ahead

Week 3  (September 21-27): The Place Where The Winds Blow From All Directions

Orientation For Week 3

Discussion Forum


Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in the Yuquot/Friendly Cove Discussion Topic

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 1: The Original People," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 2: The Arrival Of The Traders," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Listening And Viewing

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

Optional Extras

Tristin Hopper, "Everyone Was Dead: When Europeans First Came To B.C., They Stepped Into The Aftermath Of A Holocaust," National Post, February 21, 2017.

Claudia Cornwall, "The Suicide Bomber Of Clayoquot Sound, Revived," Tyee (March 14, 2008).

***Sunday, September 27:  Instructor Check-In On First Half Notes-in-Progress (You should be off to a good start on the First Half Note-Taking Assignment  and have made a Notes-in-Progress submission or submissions by this date.  You will not receive a grade for these submissions but I will check in to see how you are doing on the assignment.  You should submit individual Notes-in-Progress at least once every couple of weeks and then merge these together into one Word or PDF file for your completed First Half Notes )

Looking Ahead

Week 4  (September 28 - October 4): Naming And Representing The Past

Orientation For Week 4

Discussion Forum

Signs Of The Times -- Naming And Representing The Past

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.

Listening And Viewing

"The Edge Of The World: B.C.'s Early Years," (50 mins.)

Optional Extras

Timothy J. Stanley, "Commemorating John A. MacDonald: Collective Remembering And The Structure Of Settler Colonialism In British Columbia," B.C. Studies (Winter 2019): 89-113.

Week 5  (October 5-11):  Mapping Vancouver Island

Orientation For Week 5

Discussion Forum

Mapping Vancouver Island

Reading Assignment

Richard Mackie, "The Colonization Of Vancouver Island, 1849-1858," BC Studies, 96 (Winter 1992-93): 3-40.

***Saturday, October 10: Mapping Vancouver Island Assignment Due

Week 6  (October 12-18):  Gold Rush Era And The Birth Of A Province, 1858-71

Orientation For Week 6

Discussion Forum

Gold Rush Era And The Birth Of A Province, 1858-71

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Gold Rush And The Birth Of A Province, 1858-71 Discussion Topic

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 3: Gold Rush," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 4: Joining Canada," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Daniel Marshall, "War In The New El Dorado And The Birth Of British Columbia, Part 1," Orca, October 12, 2019.

Daniel Marshall, "War In The New El Dorado And The Birth Of British Columbia, Part 2," Orca, October 12, 2019.

Listening And Viewing

"CanyonWar" (53 mins.)

Optional Extras

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

Looking Ahead

Week 7  (October 19-25):  History Of Victoria

Orientation For Week 7

Discussion Forum

History Of Victoria Discussion Forum

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in History Of Victoria Discussion Forum

Listening And Viewing

"Secret Victoria: Rush To Freedom," Storyhive, September 3, 2019 (17 mins.)

***Friday, October 23: First Half Notes Due

Looking Ahead

Week 8  (October 26 - November 1): Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864

Orientation For Week 8

Discussion Forum

Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 Workshop

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in the Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 Assignment and Discussion Topic.

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

Week 9  (November 2-8):  Captured Heritage

Orientation For Week 9

Discussion Forum

Captured Heritage: The Scramble For Northwest Coast Artifacts

Reading Assignment

Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble For Northwest Coast Artifacts (Vancouver: UBC, 1985).

Listening And Viewing

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

Optional Extras

John Sutton Lutz, "How The Totem Pole Became A Symbol Of Canada," Tyee (November 2018).

Week 10  (November 9-15):  South Asian History And The Komagata Maru

Orientation For Week 10

Discussion Forum

Remembering The Komagata Maru

Reading Assignment

Read the Remembering The Komagata Maru Mini-Essay instructions

Browse extensively in the Remembering The Komagata Maru Discussion Topic (This is intended as the main resource for the mini-essay)

Browse extensively in the South Asians And B.C. History Discussion Topic

Listening And Viewing

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

Sample at least one episode from the superb podcast:  This fantastically interesting and in-depth exploration of B.C.'s early twentieth-century South Asian history is hosted by Naveen Girn, Milan Singh and Paneet Singh.

Week 11  (November 16-22):  Ginger Goodwin And B.C. Labour History 

Orientation For Week 11

Discussion Forum

Ginger Goodwin And B.C. Labour History

Reading Assignment

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 5: Resources And The Economy," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Goodwin's Way" (2015, 56 mins.)

***Optional Extras

Video: "Hayashi Studio," Storyhive, July 15, 2019 (25 mins.)

Browse  in the Ginger Goodwin Discussion Topic

***Sunday, November 22:  Instructor Check-In On Second Half Notes-in-Progress ( You will not receive a grade for whatever Second Half Notes-in-Progress you have submitted but I will check in to see how you are doing on the assignment at this time).

Week 12  (November 23-29):  Vancouver History In The News

Orientation For Week 12

Discussion Forum

Vancouver History In The News

Reading Assignment

Browse in the Vancouver History In The News Discussion Topic

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 6: Growth And War," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 7: Hard Times And War," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

***Friday, November 27: Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 or Remembering Komagata Maru Assignment Due

Looking Ahead

Week 13  (November 30 - December 6):  Japanese Canadian Internment

Orientation For Week 13

Discussion Forum

Discussion: Japanese Canadian Internment

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in the Japanese Canadian Internment Discussion Topic

Matthew O'Mara, "Nikkei Stories: Gordon McLennan And Greg Masuda's New Project Speaks To JC History," Nikkei Voice (January 27, 2015).

Listening And Viewing

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.

Optional Extras

Video: "Obachan's Garden," NFB (2001, 94 mins.)



Week 14  (December 7-13):  Wrapping Up And Looking Ahead

Orientation For The Week

Discussion Forum

Tofino And Clayoquot Sound

Reading Assignment

Read at least one chapter of Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy, Tofino And Clayoquot Sound: A History (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2015).  Further instructions and questions to consider are posted on the Tofino And Clayoquot Sound Discussion Topic page.

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 8: Boom Times," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

Daniel Francis, "Chapter 9: Modern Times," Far West: The Story Of British Columbia (Madeira Park: Harbour, 2010).

***Friday, December 11: Second Half Notes Due


Letter Of Introduction


Mapping Vancouver Island


First Half Notes


Klatsassin or Komagata Maru Essay


Second Half Notes


Class Participation


a)  Letter Of Introduction (1%)

Write a short letter of introduction to me at the beginning of the semester.  This should be at least one hundred words in length and is designed to give me a beginning idea of who you are and how I might best serve you as a teacher, and to provide me with an opening snapshot of the class as a whole. You need not use the following questions as direct cues but they may be helpful.  Who are you?  Where are you from?  How might you begin to describe your community and what life is like there if you've come to NIC from far away?  What are your interests?  Why are you taking this course?  What are your thoughts and reflections as you begin this particular course?  Are there topics associated with the course that you know will be of potential interest? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions?  This is an assignment I ask of students in each of my classes.  If you are enrolled in more than one class with me this semester, a single letter of introduction will suffice, but perhaps mention something about each of the courses.  If you have taken a class with me before, please update what you sent me before and send me a new letter of introduction.  Submit your Letter of Introduction to me through the Blackboard Learn site ( https://learn.nic.bc.ca).

b)  Mapping Vancouver Island (21%)

You will learn about B.C. History through researching the origins of  place names of different towns and geographic features.  The completed project will take the form of a Powerpoint presentation outlining the history of the various place names.  I hope that your research will serve as a gateway into exploring the broad sweep of our local history; will further familiarize you with the geography of Vancouver Island and its surrounding islands; and will encourage discussion about the meaning and power associated with naming and mapping.

c)  First Half Notes (20%)

You should take notes on the weekly Reading, Viewing, and Listening assignments and then submit these regularly through the Blackboard Learn site ( https://learn.nic.bc.ca).  You are not expected to take notes on every syllabus item, but you should clearly demonstrate that you are spending extensive time absorbing new knowledge.

The assignment calls upon you to engage with the material as you highlight the main points.  There may be times when you take some wording directly from a source.  I am asking you to take notes rather than to push into your own analysis.  However, you still need to adopt an active role here, and significant cutting-and-pasting is entirely inappropriate, as is relying upon summaries of documentaries.  I expect you to watch and listen to the documentaries yourself.  If you do want to offer some of your own written commentary upon particular items, that's great.  Do this by dividing that particular source review into two categories  -- one labeled "Notes" at the top of the page and then one labeled "Commentary" beneath it.  If you do add commentary on some items, I recommend always completing your notes first and then using these to help frame your own ideas.

This assignment is designed to be coordinated with the Discussion Forums.  Once you complete your notes for a particular Discussion Topic, you may have some ideas as to what to contribute by way of analysis and commentary to the class Discussion Forum on Blackboard.

My expectation is that you should be spending a minimum of 6 hours a week working on HIS 225.  I want to see that reflected in your notes.  Do also think about how best to make this assignment work for you.  For example, slow down and take particularly extensive notes on topics that capture your interest.  It's also fully appropriate to take very detailed notes while working on the Klatsassin or Komagata Maru assignment and to then hand these in separate from your completed mini-essay.  And there are many materials on my web-site that are not integrated into the core curriculum.  It is fully appropriate to do extensive browsing in these materials and/or engage in some of your own independent research about topics of particular interest and then include these as part of the Note-Taking assignment.  A few of you might even find a book of interest through the Bibliography that is included as part of the web-site, and then include some notes on that reading.

I will grade your notes at the half-way mark and at the end of the course.  You should submit both your First Half Notes and Second Half Notes as complete Word or PDF files through the Blackboard site so that I can conveniently access these.

I am also asking you to submit your in-process First Half Notes at the end of the third week of the semester and your in-process Second Half Notes at the eleven-week mark of the term.  You are welcome to submit your Notes-in-Progress more than once in each half of the semester.   These in-process notes will not be graded but I would like to monitor how you're doing. Please do your best to keep your notes organized, both for my sake and for your own.  You should keep these Notes-in-Progress and then re-submit them as part of your complete First Half and Second Half Note packages.  You should clearly label each particular item that you summarize through your note-taking.

Although I prefer types notes, I am o.k. with handwritten Notes or a combination of handwritten and typed Notes as long as you can present these to me in a single file in easily accessible and legible form.  Although I will not be available to pick up any Notes-In-Progress in person, I will be available on-campus in the Comox Valley on Friday, October 23 to accept your First Half Notes from any local students who have opted to hand-write their notes.

d)  Klatsassin And The Chilcotin War Of 1864 or Remembering The Komagata Maru (23%)

You will be asked to write a short paper about either the Tsilhqot'in War of 1864 or about the Komagata Maru.  The former will be based upon the Canadian Mysteries primary sources archives about that conflict.  The latter will ask you to explore the legacies and collective memories associated with the Canadian government's 1914 forced removal of Indian immigrants attempting to gain access to Vancouver by sea.  Each of these topics will also serve as the focus for a week of full class research and discussion.

e)  Second Half Notes (20%)

The Second Half Notes will take the same form and have the same purpose as the First Half Notes.  As with the First Half Notes, you should submit Notes-in-Progress to Blackboard at least once before submitting your complete Second Half Notes as one file.

f)  Class Participation (15%)

The Class Participation grade will be based upon your contributions to the weekly Blackboard Learn Discussion Forums ( https://learn.nic.bc.ca).  These are designed as places in which to share your analysis of and commentary upon the core curricular materials with your classmates.  Discussion Forums are identified in the Syllabus but then you will need to log onto the Blackboard site to offer your thoughts about the different topics.  I will post questions but you are welcome to create additional threads.  Any student who has superb First and Second Half notes and at least a solid contribution to the Discussion Forums will receive a Class Participation grade no lower than the average of their First Half and Second Half Note grades.

Submitting Assignments

All assignments should be submitted through the HIS 225 Blackboard site.  There are many students in this course.  Please do you best to submit your assignments in an organized manner and with clear file labels.  You should include your first name and the assignment identifier in each file name.  I recommend the following titles, using my first name as an example:

Letter Of Introduction: DanIntro

Mapping Assignment: DanMapping

Klatsassin Essay: DanKlatsassin

Komagata Maru Essay: DanKomagata

First Half Notes: DanFirst225

Second Half Notes: DanSecond225

Notes-In-Progress: Notes1Dan, Notes2Dan, Notes3Dan, Notes4Dan, etc.

Late Policy

The curriculum for this course is organized on a week-by-week basis, in which most assignments are cumulative and on-going.  Discussion amongst students is also dependent upon classmates keeping current with their studies.  Due dates should be noted and met.  It is assumed that each student will regularly be devoting sx hours+ per week to the course.  Late assignments are also often an extra burden from an instructor standpoint.  However, I appreciate that there may be occasions where a very few extra days to polish an assignment in the midst of competing deadlines can be helpful, and thus I deliberately assume a good-faith effort on the part of students to meet the due dates and provide a small cushion of flexibility without any academic penalty.

As a general rule, no assignment will be accepted more than two weeks late and no end-of-the-semester assignment will be accepted more than one week late.  Discussion Forum contributions should ideally be made the week of the discussion itself and will be considered late if made more than two weeks after we have moved to a new topic.  Your ability to maintain this schedule will have a major impact upon your Class Participation Grade.

A Note On Plagiarism

Everything that you hand in should be your original work unless otherwise indicated.  Violations of this policy may result in being reported to the Academic Integrity Committee and in failing an assignment or the course in its entirety.  Please talk to me if you have any uncertainty  about what is permitted here.  I want to help you to get as much out of this course as possible but, for this to happen, you need to put forth strong and honest effort.

Related Policy

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

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

Student Appeals Policy (3-30)

Student Complaint Resolution Policy (3-31)

Evaluation of Student Performance Policy (3-33)

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy (3-34)

Course Outline Policy (3-35)

Academic Standing and Progression (3-37)

Grading System (4-14)

Welcome To The Course




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