Spring 2023 - HIST 436 D100

British Columbia (4)

Class Number: 4850

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Thu, 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.


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.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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