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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A Legacy of Exploitation

Early Capitalism in the Red River Colony, 1763–1821

Uncovers the history of exploitation in Canada’s Red River Colony.

It is unlikely that buyers of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s iconic multistripe point blanket these days reflect on the historically exploitative relationship between the company and Indigenous producers. This critical re-evaluation of the company’s first planned settlement at Red River uncovers that history. As a settler-colonialist project par excellence, the Red River Colony was designed to undercut Indigenous peoples’ “troublesome” autonomy and better control their labor. Susan Dianne Brophy upends standard historical portrayals by foregrounding Indigenous peoples’ autonomy as a driving force of change. A Legacy of Exploitation offers a 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

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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