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Read More From Jim Mc Dowell

Brabant, who was trained in Belgium, devoted much of his life to converting Aboriginals to Catholicism. This inevitably brought him into conflict with Native leaders defending their traditional culture and religion.


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McDowell was seeking to write an unvarnished biography, and the book does not come across as an unbalanced critique. He writes that Brabant, who arrived on Vancouver Island as young priest in and stayed for thirty years, felt called to save people he believed to be sinful and destined for eternal damnation.

Tawinisam, meanwhile, is just as driven to save his people from the alien values of an encroaching civilization.

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Well-written, insightful, and sprinkled throughout with period photographs, this book should be a must-read for Canadians seeking to understand issues that remain very much alive today. Father August Brabant was the first Roman Catholic missionary to live and work among aboriginal people on the west coast of Vancouver Island during the colonial period.

He endured long periods of isolation, built a number of log churches and undertook extraordinarily difficult trips along the west coast in dugout canoes. His thirty-three-year-long effort to transform Nuu-chah-nulth culture gives us a provocative case study of the dynamics that shaped, and continue to define, the settler-colonial relationship between indigenous peoples and the state in Canada.

Father August Brabant

Convinced he had a mission to save the indigenous people from being themselves, the zealous priest strove to instill alien spiritual beliefs. He served as a willing instrument for imposing colonial power by introducing new forms of justice, commerce, dress, housing, personal identity, and—most devastating of all—schooling.

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As the father of British Columbia's first residential school, Brabant precipitated the single institution that proved most destructive to the people he set out to rescue. Over the course of the twentieth century, massive social, economic, cultural, and political transformations occurred in Canada, almost all of which benefitted rapidly growing urban areas.


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It focuses on the friction that can develop between enthusiastic amateur collectors She is the author of Revivals and Roller Rinks: Religion, Leisure and Identity in Late Nineteenth Century Small Town Ontario, has published a range of articles on gender and the social history of religion, and is completing a manuscript for UBC Press on religion and irreligion in late nineteenth and early twentieth century British Columbia.

Larry McCann, a long-time student of Canadian suburbanization and a dedicated teacher, is a Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Victoria. She grew up in coastal Nova Scotia and has had the good fortune to work in coastal communities in British Columbia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

https://niecludetlise.ml His research and writing focus on the history of immigration, race, and inequality in twentieth century North America. Skip to content Search for:. Index Bibliography.