The Clio Prizes
Ronald Rudin, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
Ronald Rudin’s exceptional narrative skills draw the reader into the story of the largest forced removal of people – and one of the last – to create a national park. Most of the 1200 people removed to create Kouchibouguac National Park in northeastern New Brunswick were Acadian, and resistance to this ‘second deportation’ was strong and dynamic. In addition to his extensive archival work, Rudin conducted dozens of interviews to illuminate the community networks and sustainable livelihoods that were displaced by federal and provincial governments who mistook economic pluralism for abject poverty. Kouchibouguac is a significant study of the hubris of the interventionist state.
Sean Mills, A Place in the Sun. Haiti, Haitians, and the Remaking of Quebec. Montréal/Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.
A Place in the Sun stands out as an original work with a true transnational perspective. This history of the relation between Haitians and Québécois is a historiographic milestone because it brings a new approach to the study of ethnic communities. The author does not stop at the causes of immigration, the number of migrants and the formation of institutions by the immigrant community. While demonstrating an exceptional mastery of historical and historiographical contexts, he succeeds in integrating representations, intellectual trends and popular movements, all while respecting individuals and groups, regardless of race, gender or class. Sean Mills easily presents a complex history and tells a captivating account through a well woven narrative. Through the finesse of his analysis and the power of storytelling, we can feel a Haitian community’s life and its ties with Québec society.
Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank, The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour. UBC Press, 2016.
Through extensive research and convincing analysis, The People and the Bay is a finely nuanced study of Hamiltonians’ complicated relationship with their harbour over the past two centuries. With firm roots in environmental and social history, Bouchier and Cruickshank explore the shifting ways that Hamiltonians came to understand their relationship with the waterfront and to negotiate and often to contest the manner in which it would be engaged, exploited, and managed. The authors have provided historians concerned with issues such as the shifting patterns of work and play, the impact of industrialization, and the management of environmental concerns, a valuable resource for years to come.
Sarah Carter, Imperial Plots: Women, Land, and the Spadework of British Colonialism on the Canadian Prairies. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.
Putting Indigenous and settler women farmers at the centre of the history of homesteading, Sarah Carter’s Imperial Plots compels us to reconsider the economic development of the prairie west. Beginning with Indigenous Plains women agriculturalists, Carter explains how gendered and racialized ideas excluded these first farmers from holding property. British women who campaigned for the right to own land in their own names were no less implicated than settler men in the dispossession of Indigenous territories. Entrenched ideas about male property ownership thwarted campaigns to change homestead laws and women who purchased land struggled for recognition, respect, and survival as farmers. Weaving together the histories of colonialism, imperialism, and gender relations, Carter puts homesteading history into its larger transnational context. This book helps us understand why women still struggle to be recognized as farmers. The survival of Indigenous farming techniques demonstrates the continuing importance of women’s agricultural work.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Jennifer S.H. Brown
The Clio Prairie Committee is pleased to honour Dr. Jennifer Brown with this Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Winnipeg, Member of the Royal Society of Canada, Canada Research Chair (Tier I) from 2004 – 2011, Professor Brown has made outstanding contributions to our knowledge of Rupert’s Land and offered scholars significant insights into our knowledge of the Prairie West. Her path-breaking work on fur trade families brought women to the centre of our understanding of the fur trade society. She is the author and editor of fourteen books that have advanced our knowledge of Métis society and Indigenous-settler relations. She served as the Director of The Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies for fifteen years, where she fostered relationships among researchers, archivists, and those interested in the history of the peoples of the Hudson’s Bay watershed. Her exceptional record of publication and her commitment to engaging the public in the continuing relevancy of the history of the Prairie West make her a worthy recipient of this award.
Aaron Chapman, The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.
Aaron Chapman’s Last Gang in Town explores a dramatic chapter in the history of Vancouver. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the notorious Clark Park Gang created havoc across the city. By means of scrupulous archival research and extensive interviews with gang alumni and former VPD members, Chapman pulls back the blinds on life in East Van at a time when it was heavily blue-collar and poor. As histories of the 1960s and ‘70s multiply, Chapman offers original and even-handed insights into aspects of youth, crime, and policing that might otherwise escape scrutiny.
Lifetime Achievement Award
For thirty-seven years until his retirement in 2011, Dan Savard curated the Royal British Columbia Museum’s photographic collection – an assemblage of tintypes, stereographs, glass negatives, lantern slides, picture postcards, modern transparencies, amateur snapshots, and professional photographs and film. He infused historical and ethnographic depth into the collection and shared his knowledge generously with scholars, students, and others over the years. He gained a public profile through lively public lectures on hidden facets of the collection. For Savard, photographic materials are rich and exciting sources of insight on the physical and cultural landscape, insight that is often missing in textual sources. He spent his life studying the region’s historiography as a way to better understand the photographs, photographers, and the early photographic technology, along with its transport (in backpacks, saddlebags, and in stagecoach holds). Savard’s book, Images from the Likeness House (2010), explored the relationships between photographers and the Indigenous peoples of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska between 1860 and 1930 was awarded the Roderick Haig-Brown Book Prize in 2011.
The prize was not attributed this year