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Making Native Space

Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia

by (author) Cole Harris

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2003
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2003
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price

Where to buy it

About the author

Cole Harris is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of several books, including Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia (UBC Press, 2002), which was nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, and The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation (UBC Press, 2008), which won the Srivastava Prize for Excellence in Scholarly Publishing. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. He lives in Vancouver, BC. To this day Harris and his family maintain a summer home on property originally staked out by his grandfather.

Cole Harris' profile page


  • Winner, Clio Award (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Association
  • Winner, Massey Medal, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
  • Winner, Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association
  • Winner, Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association
  • Winner, Clio Award (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Association
  • Short-listed, Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Book Prize, British Columbia Book Awards

Editorial Reviews

Outstanding ... invites us to rethink, and remap, literally and figuratively, the boundaries and paths that can guide us to a brighter future.

American Indian Quarterly, Summer & Fall 2005, Vol. 29, Nos. 3 and 4

This is a wonderful, timely, thoughtful, and gracefully written book. It makes a highly significant contribution, both to scholarship and to public policy.

Hamar Foster, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, author of English Law, British Columbia: Establishing Legal Institutions West of the Rockies and The White Man’s Law in the Far West: Establishing Legal Institutions in British Columbia

Cole Harris’s latest book is a well crafted, handsomely produced historical geography ... It is rich in terms of its colonial discourse analysis, its comparative insight and its engagement with the politics of postcolonialism.

Area, Vol. 35, Issue 3, September 2003

As the first comprehensive account of the reserve system in British Columbia, the book is an important contribution to regional history, the history of aboriginal-white relations, and colonialism. Perhaps most unexpectedly, because it puts aboriginal-white relations in the context of the federal-provincial wrangling that has shaped the Canadian political landscape since 1867, it also manages to breathe new life into an old historical chestnut.

American Historical Review, April 2003

This is an important book for historians, geographers, lawyers, government officials, and scholars of Aboriginal studies. But it deserves to reach a wider audience because it speaks to fundamental issues of Canada’s founding, namely, the dispossession of the original peoples living here ... Harris has given us a remarkable book, a genealogy, in the Foucauldian sense, of reserve policy and the land question in BC today.

University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2004/05

Along with its encyclopaedic account of the white geographies and mentalities that dominated British Columbia through the 1800s and 1900s, Making Native Space is also a compelling saga of Aboriginal management and resistance.

Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 18, No. 1

Cole Harris has written the definitive history of the Aboriginal struggle for recognition and justice in British Columbia. Future generations of British Columbians, Aboriginal and otherwise, will thank him for this remarkable story.

Neil J. Sterritt, Gitksan Nation, co-author of Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed