Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life
In arresting, but harrowing, prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics--the politics of ethnocide--played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of aboriginal people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald's "National Dream."
It was a dream that came at great expense: the present disparity in health and economic well-being between First Nations and non-Native populations, and the lingering racism and misunderstanding that permeates the national consciousness to this day.
"Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest." -Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana
"Required reading for all Canadians." -Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood
"Clearly written, deeply researched, and properly contextualized history...Essential reading for everyone interested in the history of indigenous North America." -J.R. McNeill, author of Mosquito Empires
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CHAPTER1 Indigenous Health Environment and Disease before Europeans
Territorial Dislocation and Disease
Early Competition and the Extension of Trade and Disease 174082
Despair and Death during the Fur Trade Wars 17831821
Expansion of Settlement and Erosion of Health during the HBC Monopoly 182169 159
Canada the Northwest and the Treaty Period 186976
Treaties Famine and Epidemic Transition on the Plains 187782
Dominion Administration of Relief 188385
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aboriginal Alberta Anishinabe Assiniboine Athabasca band Battleford Beaver bison Blackfoot Boreal Forest Calgary century Chief Chipewyan communities conﬂict Cumberland House Cypress Hills Dakota David death decade Dempsey disease dominion Dunneza economic Edgar Dewdney edited Edmonton Ethnohistory European famine ﬁle ﬁrst ﬂour Fur Trade Hackett HBCA History ofthe Hudson House Hudson’s Bay Company hunger Iames Ianuary Ibid Indian Affairs Indian Agent infection inﬂuence Iohn Journal Lake Macdonald Mackenzie Manitoba Press McDougall Medicine that Walks Métis microﬁlm Missouri Montreal mortality Nations Native Niitsitapi North American North-West Mounted Police Northern Plains Northwest ofCanada ofﬁcials Ojibwa Ottawa outbreak Papers Paul Hackett Plains Cree Prairie Forum Qu’Appelle Red River Regina region Remarkable Sickness reported reserve population Rupert’s Land Saskatchewan Herald Saskatchewan River signiﬁcant Sioux smallpox Smallpox Epidemic Society spread Studies Subarctic territory Toronto Press treaty tuberculosis University of Manitoba Western Canada Winnipeg winter York Factory