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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The First Nations of British Columbia, Third Edition

An Anthropological Overview

The First Nations of British Columbia, now in its third edition, is a concise and accessible overview of BC’s First Nations peoples, cultures, and issues. Robert J. Muckle familiarizes readers with the history, diversity, and complexity of First Nations to provide a context for contemporary concerns and initiatives. This latest edition of the classic work has been fully revised, with new chapters added and previous ones rewritten, arguments reframed in light of current developments, and resources brought right up to date. The First Nations of British Columbia is an indispensable resource for teachers and students and an excellent introduction for anyone interested in BC First Nations.

184 pages

Table of Contents


Part 1: Introducing First Nations, Popular Perceptions, and the Anthropological Perspective

Popular Perceptions

Through the Lens of Anthropology

Overview of Chapters

Recommended Readings and Resources

Part 2: Defining and Situating First Nations Today

Understanding Labels: First Nations, Aboriginal, Indian, and More

Population, Reserves, Settlements, and Lands

Bands, Ethnic Groups, Tribal Councils, and Other Affiliations

Situating BC First Nations within Canada, in North America, and around the World

Recommended Readings and Resources

Part 3: Archaeology and First Nations

First Nations and Archaeological Perceptions of the Past

The Nature of Archaeological Research in British Columbia

Early Migrations through British Columbia

Here to Stay

Settling Down

Prominent Sites

Tracing Ancestry

Recommended Readings and Resources

Part 4: Languages, Population Estimates, and Traditional Lifeways

Traditional Culture Areas of British Columbia



Settlement Patterns



Social Organization

Myths, Spirits, and Shamans

Health and Healing


The Potlatch and Other Important Ceremonies

Trade, Slavery, and Warfare

Recommended Readings and Resources

Part 5: From the Late 1700s through the Twentieth Century

Population Loss

The Impact of the Fur Trade

The Impact of the Gold Rushes

The Impact of Non-Indigenous Settlement

Missionaries and Residential Schools

First Nations and Wage Labour

Government Relations with First Nations

Assertions of Aboriginal Rights

Negotiations in the Late 1900s

Anthropology in the Late

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