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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A Legacy of Exploitation

Early Capitalism in the Red River Colony, 1763–1821

An exhaustive uncovering of the history of exploitation in Canada’s Red River Colony.

As a settler-colonialist project par excellence, the Red River Colony was the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first planned settlement. A Legacy of Exploitation unveils the history of this development, whose design was to vilify Indigenous peoples’ “troublesome” autonomy and better control the labor of Indigenous producers. Susan Dianne Brophy upends standard historical portrayals by foregrounding Indigenous peoples’ independence as a driving force of change.

A Legacy of Exploitation offers a critical, comprehensive account of legal, economic, and geopolitical relations to show how autonomy can become distorted as complicity in processes of dispossession. Ultimately, this book challenges enduring, yet misleading, national fantasies about Canada as a nation of bold adventurers.

296 pages | 8 halftones, 1 map | 6 x 9 | © 2022

History: General History

Native American Studies


A Legacy of Exploitation is highly significant, even crucial. This excellent intervention into fur trade studies, British colonial history, and the history of the establishment of the Red River Colony will change how I write and teach.”

Carolyn Podruchny, York University

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