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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Canoe Nation

Nature, Race, and the Making of a Canadian Icon

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Canoe Nation

Nature, Race, and the Making of a Canadian Icon

More than an ancient means of transportation and trade, the canoe has come to be a symbol of Canada itself. In Canoe Nation, Bruce Erickson argues that the canoe’s sentimental power has come about through a set of narratives that attempt to legitimize a particular vision of Canada that overvalues the nation’s connection to nature. From Alexander Mackenzie to Grey Owl to Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the canoe authenticates Canada’s reputation as a tolerant, environmentalist nation, even when there is abundant evidence to the contrary. Ultimately, the stories we tell about the canoe need to be understood as moments in the ever-contested field of cultural politics.


252 pages


Table of Contents

Preface: Canoeing Matters

Introduction: Canoes and the Nature of Canada

1 Pedagogical Canoes: “Forced Intimacy,” Suffering, and Remembering National History

2 I Fish, Therefore I Am: Recreational Canoeing and Wilderness Travel at the Turn of the Century

3 Regimes of Whiteness: Wilderness and the Production of Abstract Space from Seton to Grey Owl

4 Recreational Nationalism: Canoeing as Political Activism

Conclusion: Future Politics and the Production of the Nation

Notes

References

Index

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