The shortlisted titles for the 2015 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:
Jean Barman, French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women in the Making of the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2014.
Centering on the French Canadian presence in the Pacific Coast’s post-contact, fur trade-based life, paying detailed attention to the fashion in which that presence was strengthened and sustained by connections with indigenous women and the family formations those connections produced, and placing strong stress on the Pacific Northwest’s pre-international boundary context in which these interrelationships took form.
Strongly grounded in little-consulted archival sources, possessing a critically important orientation towards both individual histories and the history of groups, and marked by an incisive orchestration of its notation and themes, it stands as a major transmitter of new information as well as a powerfully-structured agent of new ways of seeing the significance of the French Canadians in the making of British Columbia.
Richard Beamish and Gordon Macfarlane, editors. The Sea Among Us: the Amazing Strait of Georgia. Harbour Publishing, 2014.
Investigating a complex, many-layered ecological system, bringing that system’s geology, marine life, plant formations, animal species, and human populations sharply into perspective, and combining rigorously arrived-at research outcomes with an embracing overall scheme, this book offers its readers an exemplary partnering of concentrated analysis and broad, general view.
Richly illustrated, complementing its expository strength with a brilliantly informative selection of graphs, tables, and maps, and marked by a crisp, pleasing layout and an attractive, appealing design, it adds significant visual appeal to its clear narrative strength. Pairing lucid exposition with an assured, capacious, reach, it epitomizes collaborative, public-oriented scholarship at that scholarship’s best.
Nancy J. Turner. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnohistory and the Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
Focussed on the wide array of plant varieties in British Columbia, examining the place and significance these had in indigenous culture, and notably attentive to the medicinal and nutritive purposes such biota served, this book gives intricate forms of understanding rigorous explication and sharp, intelligible form.
Illuminating complex knowledge systems, deepening comprehension of the classificatory principles associated with them, and showing how notions of nature’s wholeness were constructed and refined, it especially sets out indigenous thinking’s sense of humanity’s interdependence with the world in which human beings live.
Exemplary in its handling of archaeological materials, deploying strong ethnographic technique, drawing on enviable measures of botanical data and expertise, and scrupulous in its handling of indigenous informants’ testimony and thought, it constitutes compelling confirmation of the scale and importance of a career’s seminal work.