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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Battle Grounds

The Canadian Military and Aboriginal Lands

Base closures, use of airspace for weapons testing and low-level flying, environmental awareness, and Aboriginal land claims have focused attention in recent years on the use of Native lands for military training. But is the military’s interest in Aboriginal lands new? Battle Grounds analyzes a century of government–Aboriginal interaction and negotiation to explore how the Canadian military came to use Aboriginal lands for training. It examines what the process reveals about the larger and evolving relationship between governments and Aboriginal communities and how increasing Aboriginal assertiveness and activism have affected the issue.

Table of Contents



1 A Road to Nowhere? The Search for Sites in British Columbia, 1907-30

2 Governmental Uncertainty: The Militia and the Sarcee Reserve, 1908-39

3 “Pay No Attention to Sero”: Imperial Flying Training at Tyendinaga, 1917-18

4 The Thin Edge of a Wedge? The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and Aboriginal Lands, 1940-45

5 Combined Operation: Creating Camp Ipperwash, 1942-45

6 The Cold War at Cold Lake: The Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range, 1951-65

7 Into the Driver’s Seat? The Department of National Defence and the Sarcee Band, 1945-82

8 Renegotiating Relationships: Competing Claims in the 1970s and 1980s

9 Closing Out the Century Reflections



Selected Bibliography


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