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ISBN: 9781551524252-04

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Red Coats and Redskins.

From: The Imaginary Indian


The romance of the Mountie Police comes dressed as an adventure story, an adventure in nation-building, but it is far more than that. Like all treasured national stories, myths if you prefer, it validates and affirms important cultural values; in this case, the primacy of law and the subservience of the individual to social order. These Euro-Canadian cultural values are necessarily not shared by the Indians, who nevertheless play many roles in the romance: they obstruct the spread of civilization; they provide a reason to feel superior to the Americans; they provide an excuse to feel good about British justice. But they never play themselves. They have no reality. They are imaginary.



Daniel Francis

Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also a regular columnist in Geist magazine, and was shortlisted for Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2010. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.