Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and by James Daschuk

By James Daschuk

In arresting, yet harrowing, prose, James Daschuk examines the jobs that outdated international illnesses, weather, and, so much disturbingly, Canadian politics—the politics of ethnocide—played within the deaths and subjugation of millions of aboriginal humans within the awareness of Sir John A. Macdonald's "National Dream".

It used to be a dream that got here at nice cost: the current disparity in wellbeing and fitness and monetary overall healthiness among First countries and non-Native populations, and the lingering racism and false impression that permeates the nationwide realization to today. Clearing the Plains is a travel de strength that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a different declare to humanity in its therapy of indigenous peoples. Daschuk indicates how infectious sickness and state-supported hunger mixed to create a creeping, relentless disaster that persists to the current day. The prose is gripping, the research is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader shocked and disturbed. For days after interpreting it, i used to be not able to shake a profound feel of sorrow. this can be fearless, evidence-driven background at its most interesting. " Elizabeth A. Fenn, writer of Pox Americana

Literary Awards
Canadian Aboriginal historical past e-book Prize (2014)
Canadian ancient organization Clio Prize for The Prairies (2014)
Sir John A. Macdonald Prize (2014)

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Additional info for Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life

Sample text

Over a twenty-year period beginning in 1754, the company sent employees inland on over fifty missions to secure trade. After 1760, the French loss of Quebec even brought a few years of unopposed monopoly to the HBC, but the reprieve would be short lived. Soon the new English-speaking merchant class in Montreal despatched canoes west, initiating a new era of European expansion and heightened competition for the western trade. In securing food and furs for the newcomers, Cree and Assiniboine middlemen were critical to the success of the expanding trade.

Many were despatched to posts closer to the plains and its dependable supply of bison meat. 29 Food scarcity in the muskrat country of the parkland–boreal forest ecotone led many indigenous communities to move west in search of meat for trade. 30 The advance of Canadians to the rich beaver country of the Athabasca greatly increased the demand for meat produced on the plains. 31 As Canadians penetrated the northern interior, they consolidated their control of the parkland meat trade. 32 His description of the Assiniboine economy foreshadowed the dominant economic strategy on the plains for the next century.

47 In Saskatchewan, Samuel Acoose, whose son was a world-famous runner, ran down a deer from Moose Mountain to the Qu’Appelle Valley in the early twentieth century. Although prehistoric people on the Canadian plains avoided many of the hardships of their woodland neighbours, they were not entirely immune from disease. 48 Because TB is a disease triggered by poverty and malnutrition, those who relied on the herds were less prone to it than their counterparts in the woodlands, who were experiencing severe privation.

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