Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in by Douglas C. Harris

By Douglas C. Harris

An engrossing historical past, Fish, legislation, and Colonialism recounts the human clash over fish and fishing in British Columbia and of ways that clash was once formed by means of legislations.

Pacific salmon fisheries, owned and controlled by way of Aboriginal peoples, have been remodeled within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries via advertisement and activity fisheries sponsored via the Canadian nation and its legislations. via distinct case stories of the conflicts over fish weirs at the Cowichan and Babine rivers, Douglas Harris describes the evolving felony gear that dispossessed Aboriginal peoples in their fisheries. development upon topics built in literatures on nation legislations and native customized, and legislation and colonialism, he examines the contested nature of the colonial come across at the scale of a river. In doing so, Harris unearths the numerous divisions either inside and among executive departments, neighborhood settler societies, and Aboriginal communities.

Drawing on govt files, statute books, case studies, newspapers, missionary papers and a secondary anthropological literature to discover the roots of the ongoing clash over the salmon fishery, Harris has produced an excellent, and well timed, felony and historic learn of legislation as contested terrain within the criminal trap of Aboriginal salmon fisheries in British Columbia.

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Extra info for Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in British Columbia

Sample text

120 When serious disputes arose in this regulatory vacuum, the protagonists resorted to threats and then to the local courts to resolve their differences. 121 The cannery operators expressed similar sentiments. 122 Provincial officials blamed the Native fisheries for the perceived crisis. 123 Anderson, however, recommended that Fisheries exempt Native people from the Fisheries Act. To enforce the law that, among other things, prohibited nets in non-tidal waters would eliminate much of the Native fishery.

They don't hog one rock. 29 The residence-group sites were most often associated with the proximate village whose members had defined access to sites along the adjacent stretch of river. '31 Her study of the correlation between conflict and salmon on the interior plateau of British Columbia suggests that relative scarcity and abundance of salmon produced trade and, in some cases, conflict between local groups, and she refutes generalizations that emphasize communitarian principles and open-access resources.

By mid-century, some boundary between the two was required. In 1849, Vancouver Island became a proprietary colony open for settlement under the direction of the HBC. The prospectus announced that the tidal fishery should be accessible to all British subjects: 'every freeholder will enjoy the right of fishing all sorts of fish on the seas, bays, and inlets of, or surrounding, the said Island/78 The public, at least those holding property, would enjoy their right to fish. James Douglas, the HBC's chief trader and future governor of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, remarked on Valuable fisheries which will become a source of boundless wealth/79 but he also recognized the need to protect Native fisheries.

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