Spring 2022 - HIST 436 D100

British Columbia (4)

Class Number: 4642

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 101 and 102W.



Selected problems in the social, cultural, economic and political development of British Columbia.


This seminar critically examines the relationships humans have forged between themselves and with the lands and waters of what is today British Columbia from time immemorial to the recent past. Our particular focus will be on the pervasive and ongoing effects of colonialism in shaping the historical relationships of this place since the mid nineteenth century. We will explore how different actors have attempted to organize the peoples of this province—both human and non-human, following the understanding of many Indigenous Peoples of this place—into social hierarchies of value and meaning. Of equal interest will be the myriad ways that the resulting systems of domination, exploitation, and inequality have been challenged, modified, and diversely lived. While special attention will be given to the experiences of Indigenous peoples, the original inhabitants of this land, we will also consider how colonial structures and ways of thinking have shaped and been shaped by other dynamics in this province such as gender, environment, class, economy, race, and region.

Held in the wake of last summer’s tragic discovery of evidence of approximately 200 unmarked burials near the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and amid growing calls for decolonization in a province erected largely upon unceded Indigenous lands, this seminar aims to contribute to current debates around colonialism and its legacies in British Columbia by creating a time and space to reflect upon how the past has informed our present, and to imagine possible futures.


The course requirements of History 436 will help you achieve the educational goals of undergraduate courses in the Department of History. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand, explain, analyze, and connect a range of key events and processes in British Columbian history;
  • Demonstrate developed or refined skills in historical research, interpretation, writing, and communication, including the effective use and synthesis of primary and secondary sources, and the ability to develop clear, critical, historically grounded and well-supported arguments;
  • Apply the above knowledge, understanding, and skills to new contexts (academic and otherwise);
  • Reflect thoughtfully and concretely on what is at stake in British Columbian history, and how we tell it in the present.


  • Seminar participation 25%
  • Introduction of a weekly reading 5%
  • Primary source analysis 25%
  • Prospectus 5%
  • Final paper 40%



Required readings will be made available on Canvas.


Roy, Patricia E., and John Herd Thompson. British Columbia: Land of Promises. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.