Paige Raibmon


Paige Raibmon is a historian of Indigenous peoples on the Northwest Coast.  Her work has focused on the 19th and 20th centuries.  She has an enduring interest in the relationship between the material conditions of life for Indigenous peoples and the cultural frameworks deployed by settler society. Her first book, (Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter from the Late-Nineteenth Century Northwest Coast, Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), was a study of Indigenous people’s encounters, struggles, and negotiations with colonial categories of authenticity, and the implications of these encounters for authorizing settler’s usurpation of Indigenous territories.  She is currently completing a collaborative book manuscript, co-written with a Tla’amin Elder and her grand-daughter. The book is a first-person, “told-to” narrative of Tla’amin teachings and her own life experiences living on the land for most of her childhood, and engaging with the colonial state (as a parent, social worker, band councillor, and volunteer in healing centres) an adult and Elder.  This project includes the development of an on-line, open access, digital archive that interconnects the English and Sliammon transcripts of the Elder’s accounts with the narrative presented in the book. She is also working on a long-term study of two late-twentieth-century relocations of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation on Vancouver Island. This work considers the impact of these moves on the physical and social health of the community, and provides a window onto the twentieth-century transformations that have characterized many Aboriginal communities along the coast and throughout British Columbia.

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