The John Bullen Prize
Nicholas Paul May, Feasting on the AAm of Heaven: the Christianization of the Nisga’a 1860-1920. University of Toronto – History Department.
Through a novel approach, Nicholas Paul May’s insightful thesis examines the adoption and appropriation of Christianity by the Nisga’a people of British Columbia between 1860 and 1920. Rather than describing the process in the context of “colonizer / colonized”, May instead relates the Nisga’a’s resistance to their Christianization and the details of their adjustments to the new religion. The history of the Nisga’a is reconstituted in a clear and concise style. Based on a critical and nuanced reading of the rich archives of Canadian and British missionary societies and on the testimonials of Nisga’a leaders, this work makes a significant contribution to the study of Christianity in the Americas and the history of Aboriginal people in Canada in particular.