Challenging myths about a peaceful west and prairie exceptionalism, the book explores the substance of prairie legal history and the degree to which the region's mentality is rooted in the historical experience of distinctive prairie peoples. The ways in which prairie peoples perceived themselves and their relationships to a wider world were directly framed by notions of law and legal remedy shaped by the course and themes of prairie history. Legal history is not just about black letter law. It is also deeply concerned with the ways in which people affect and are affected by the law in their daily lives. By examining how central and important the law has been to individuals, communities, and societies in the Canadian Prairies, this book makes an original contribution.
Louis A. Knafla is professor emeritus of history at the University of Calgary. Jonathan Swainger is associate professor of history at the University of Northern British Columbia and co-editor, with Constance Backhouse, of People and Place: Historical Influences on Legal Culture, also published by UBC Press.
Illustrations Preface 1. Introduction: Laws and Societies in the Anglo-Canadian North-West Frontiers and Prairie Provinces, 1670-1940 / Louis A. Knafla Part One: First Nations and First Peoples 2. Law and Necessity in Western Rupert's Land and Beyond, 1670-1870 / Hamar Foster 3. "There Seemed to be No Recognized Law": Canadian Law and the Prairie First Nations / Sidney L. Harring 4. The Exclusionary Effect of Colonial Law: Indigenous Peoples and English Law in Western Canada, 1670-1870 / Russell C. Smandych 5. Discipline and Discretion in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Hudson's Bay Company Private Justice System / Paul C. Nigol Part Two: Adaptations to Modernity 6. Policing Two Imperial Frontiers: The Royal Irish Constabulary and the North-West Mounted Police / Greg Marquis 7. The Common Law and Justices of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories: The First Generation, 1887-1907 / Roderick G. Martin 8. The Implications of a Provincial Police Force in Alberta and Saskatchewan / Zhiqiu Lin and Augustine Brannigan 9. The Development of Prairie Canada's Water Law, 1870-1940 / Tristan M. Goodman 10. Monopolies and State Regulation: The Calgary Power Company, Utilities, and the Alberta Public Utilities Board, 1910-30 / Janice Erion 11. The Law and Public Nudity: Prairie and West Coast Reactions to the Sons of Freedom, 1929-1932 / John McLaren Acknowledgments Contributors General Index Index of Cases Index of Ordinances, Proclamations, and Statutes
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