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The Reluctant Land

Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation

by (author) Cole Harris

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2009
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2008
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2009
    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, K.D. Srivastava Prize for Excellence in Scholarly Publishing, University of British Columbia

Editorial Reviews

Trial lawyers attending on Aboriginal claims will find this text usefully covers the history from 1500 forward, showing the changes from an Indigenous populated land to one organized on European terms.

The Barrister, Issue No.89

This is a welcome antidote to the simplistic renderings of early Canadian history we are exposed to in high school social studies courses, political speeches and CBC mini-series. […] Harris has crafted a deeply insightful account of the history of what would become Canada. […] The Reluctant Land will be used in historical geography courses for many years to come – but it’s more than that, because Harris set himself the task of writing a scholarly book accessible to the general reader. […] Encountering The Reluctant Land is like listening to a series of articulate public lectures, organized on a regional basis, allowing for an exploration of each part of the country, in turn.

BC Bookworld, Vol.23, No.1, Spring 2009