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At The Edge Of Canada: Indigenous Research

Today our guest is set­tler schol­ar Dr. Coll Thrush, Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of His­to­ry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia. We dis­cuss his lat­est book pub­lished via Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press, Indige­nous Lon­don: Native Trav­ellers at the Heart of Empire. Fol­low­ing from his first book, Native Seat­tle, work that looks at his­to­ries of inter­ac­tions and inter­sec­tion in the upper north­west of the Unit­ed States, Col­l’s newest book digs into impor­tant vis­its by Indige­nous folks from across the world to the metro­pole of Lon­don, Eng­land. An ambi­tious project to say the least, as much for how many impor­tant vis­its there have been through­out the ages but also in how lit­tle pos­i­tive and strength-based, skill-cen­tered archival mate­r­i­al there is to work from when writ­ing about Indige­nous trav­ellers. Yet, Coll not only finds amaz­ing sto­ries about Maori rug­by play­ers or Joseph Tyen­d­i­na­ga attend­ing a courtier mas­quer­ade ball, he also insists Indige­nous pres­ence, char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and inter­na­tion­al bril­liance into the colo­nial his­to­ry mak­ing appar­tus. We talk Indige­nous his­to­ry as a dis­ci­pline, our favourite sto­ries, we nar­row down how Charles Dick­ens’ racism seems to be genet­ic, and we dish about how amaz­ing these first trans-Atlantic Indige­nous trav­ellers real­l­ly were.