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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Lessons in Legitimacy

Colonialism, Capitalism, and the Rise of State Schooling in British Columbia

An examination of how early state schooling in British Columbia taught students the legitimacy of settler capitalism.

Between 1849 and 1930, government-assisted schooling in what is now British Columbia supported the development of a capitalist settler society. Lessons in Legitimacy examines state schooling for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples—public schools, Indian Day Schools, and Indian Residential Schools—in one analytical frame. Schooling for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and youth functioned in distinct yet complementary ways, teaching students lessons in legitimacy that normalized settler capitalism and the making of British Columbia. Church and state officials administered different school systems that trained Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to take up and accept unequal roles in the emerging social order. Combining insights from history, Indigenous studies, historical materialism, and political economy, this important study reveals how an understanding of the historical uses of schooling can inform contemporary discussions about the role of education in reconciliation and improving Indigenous–settler relations.

294 pages | 30 color plates, 4 maps | 6 x 9

Education: Comparative Education, Education--Economics, Law, Politics

History: General History


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