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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Becoming Native in a Foreign Land

Sport, Visual Culture, and Identity in Montreal, 1840-85

How did British colonists in Victorian Montreal come to think of themselves as “native Canadian”? This richly illustrated work reveals that colonists adopted, then appropriated, Aboriginal and French Canadian activities such as hunting, lacrosse, snowshoeing, and tobogganing. In the process, they constructed visual icons that were recognized at home and abroad as distinctly “Canadian.” This new Canadian nationality mimicked indigenous characteristics but ultimately rejected indigenous players, and championed the interests of white, middle-class, Protestant males who used their newly acquired identity to dominate the political realm. English Canadian identity was not formed solely by emulating what was British; this book shows that it gained ground by usurping what was indigenous in a foreign land.

390 pages

Table of Contents



1 “Brave North Western Voyageurs”: Snowshoeing in Montreal

2 “Men of the North”: Canadian Sport Hunting

3 “The National Game of Canada”: Lacrosse

4 “Our Winter Sports”: The Montreal Winter Carnivals

5 “No Tin Soldiers”: Canada’s First War





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