Nature, Race, and the Making of a Canadian Icon
More than an ancient means of transportation and trade, the canoe has come to be a symbol of Canada itself. In Canoe Nation, Bruce Erickson argues that the canoe's sentimental power has come about through a set of narratives that attempt to legitimize a particular vision of Canada that overvalues the nation's connection to nature. From Alexander Mackenzie to Grey Owl to Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the canoe authenticates Canada's reputation as a tolerant, environmentalist nation, even when there is abundant evidence to the contrary. Ultimately, the stories we tell about the canoe need to be understood as moments in the ever-contested field of cultural politics.
- Published: May 2014
- Subject Listing: Environmental History, Canadian History
- Bibliographic information: 252 pp., 11 illus., 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: Usa Only
- Distributed for: UBC Press
Bruce Erickson is an assistant professor in theDepartment of Geography at York University in Toronto.
Preface: Canoeing Matters
Introduction: Canoes and the Nature of Canada
1. Pedagogical Canoes: "Forced Intimacy," Suffering, and Remembering National History
2. I Fish, Therefore I Am: Recreational Canoeing and Wilderness Travel at the Turn of the Century
3. Regimes of Whiteness: Wilderness and the Production of Abstract Space from Seton to Grey Owl
4. Recreational Nationalism: Canoeing as Political Activism
Conclusion: Future Politics and the Production of the Nation