In what is now western Canada, humans have long used wildlife in order to survive their surroundings, better understand their natural world, and form aspects of their identity. George Colpitts's Game in the Garden identifies the imaginative use of wild animals in early western society to explore a previously neglected avenue of social history.Native peoples and newcomers shared the use of wild animals, a practice that helped to determine social relations between them. In later settlement periods, controversy about subsistence hunting and local conservation association campaigns divided communities, creating discord among Native peoples, immigrants, farmers, and urban dwellers. Colpitts examines grassroots conservation activities and identifies early slaughter rituals, iconographic traditions, and subsistence strategies that have endured well into the interwar years of the twentieth century. Game in the Garden clearly demonstrates how western attitudes to wild animals changed according to subsistence and economic needs -- through the fur trade, game and sport hunting, and farming -- and how wildlife helped to shape the social relationships of people in western Canada. It is a thought-provoking work that will appeal to environmental historians, Native studies specialists, conservationists, and nature enthusiasts.
George Colpitts has his doctorate in history from the University of Alberta. He lives in Hull, Quebec.
Illustrations and Tables Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Amerindians, Voyageurs, and the Animal Exchange in the Western Fur Trade 2 The Territorial Period, Game Crisis, and the Western Domestication Movement 3 From Meat to Sport Hunting 4 Boosters, Wildlife, and Western Myths of Superabundance 5 Pioneer Society and Fish and Game Protection Conclusion Appendix: Independent Conservation Associations in Western Canada Notes Selected Bibliography Index