Download Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in by Douglas C. Harris PDF

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By Douglas C. Harris

An engrossing historical past, Fish, legislations, and Colonialism recounts the human clash over fish and fishing in British Columbia and of the way that clash used to be formed by way of legislation.

Pacific salmon fisheries, owned and controlled by way of Aboriginal peoples, have been remodeled within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries via advertisement and game fisheries sponsored via the Canadian nation and its legislations. via specific case stories of the conflicts over fish weirs at the Cowichan and Babine rivers, Douglas Harris describes the evolving felony gear that dispossessed Aboriginal peoples in their fisheries. development upon issues built in literatures on country legislations and native customized, and legislation and colonialism, he examines the contested nature of the colonial come upon at the scale of a river. In doing so, Harris unearths the various divisions either inside of and among govt departments, neighborhood settler societies, and Aboriginal communities.

Drawing on govt files, statute books, case experiences, newspapers, missionary papers and a secondary anthropological literature to discover the roots of the ongoing clash over the salmon fishery, Harris has produced a very good, and well timed, felony and ancient learn of legislation as contested terrain within the criminal seize of Aboriginal salmon fisheries in British Columbia.

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Extra resources for Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in British Columbia

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The dismantling of the weir before the end of the salmon run perplexed the observers; it appeared an unnecessary step given that the river's current during the winter rains would have destroyed the structure. 39 'We cannot be sure,' wrote anthropologists Michael J. '40 An ethnographic manuscript by Alexander Caufield Anderson, a trader with the HBC from 1832 to 1858 and later the first Dominion Inspector of Fisheries in British Columbia, supports this view. Anderson described some of the Native fishing technology on the Fraser, including a variety of fish weirs.

Title was vested in an individual who had the authority to exclude members of the local group, but ownership more commonly implied the right to manage a fishery by allocating the resource among the local group and those who through kinship connections had claims of access. The owner assumed 20 Fish, Law, and Colonialism the role of steward, ensuring that all members of the group were provided for and that the fishery remained healthy for future generations. Those outside the local or family group were excluded, but those within, although needing to ask permission from the person who owned the resource, had access.

The HBC refused to sell him barrels, and enforced its exclusive right to trade with Natives to prevent Cooper from opening a competing busi- Legal Capture 27 ness. 52 This activity, however minimal in the 1850s, did not operate in a legal vacuum. Native fisheries laws remained in place, but the common law also informed earlier settler activity. The Common Law of Fisheries Langevin's sweeping statement in 1872 about the absence of law ignored the common law, but the common law had not ignored fisheries.

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