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ISBN: 9781551524252

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The Imaginary Indian

The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture

First published in 1992, The Imaginary Indian is a revealing history of the "Indian" image mythologized by popular Canadian culture since 1850, propagating stereotypes that exist to this day. Images of First Nations people have always been fundamental to Canadian culture. From the paintings and photographs of the 19th century to the Mounted Police sagas and the spectacle of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show; from the performances of Pauline Johnson, Grey Owl, and Buffalo Long Lance to the media images of Oka and the Vancouver Winter Olympics―the Imaginary Indian is ever with us, oscillating throughout our history from friend to foe, from Noble Savage to bloodthirsty warrior, from debased alcoholic to wise elder, from monosyllabic "squaw" to eloquent princess, from enemy of progress to protector of the environment. The Imaginary Indian has been, and continues to be―as Daniel Francis reveals in this book―just about anything the non-Native culture has wanted it to be; and the contradictory stories non-Natives tell about Imaginary Indians are really stories about themselves and the uncertainties that make up their cultural heritage. This is not a book about Native people; it is the story of the images projected upon Native people―and the desperate uses to which they are put. This new edition, published almost twenty years after the book’s first release, includes a new preface and afterword by the author.

Contributors

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.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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Randy Fred debunks the concept of “Indians” and claims that Native people live within a world of imagery that isn’t their own. Daniel Frances further explores the myth that is … 43 $4.30

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The author opens part I of the book with a critique of one of the most famous Canadian themed paintings—The Death of Wolfe by Benjamin West and calls it a lie. 25 $2.50

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This chapter calls out the 18th and 19th artists like Paul Kane, Edward Curtis, and others for taking the Indian image and manipulating and displaying in any way they wanted. The image-makers … 50 $5.00

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In this chapter, the author dispassionately examines the early “image makers”—the writers who travelled through Native nations to give first-hand account of the Native Peoples. … 39 $3.90

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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 … 45 $4.50

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Non-Native Canadians came to know the Indian: in books, in public performance, at country fairs, in museums and schoolrooms, at summer camp and in the movies. There were very few places, in fact, … 24 $2.40

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Movies, shows and theatre invariably situate Indians in the past, usually on the western frontier. The result is that Indians in the movies seem marginal to modern life. Sympathetic regret or … 45 $4.50

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Non-native Canadians have always formed their impressions of the Indian without much reference to actual Native people, and especially without hearing what Native people might have to say about … 58 $5.80

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In the world of childhood, there were two Indians. One was the Indian of campouts and woodcraft lore and wilderness adventure, presented by Ernest Thompson Seton. The other was the schoolbook … 50 $5.00

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Citing the example of General Motors and their Pontiac cars produced since 1925, the author explains the final stage in the creation of the Imaginary Indian. Not only are Indian images used to … 24 $2.40

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Many aspects of Native culture have been appropriated over the years and turned into commodities to help sell products in the marketplace. Each time they respond to a sales pitch which features … 41 $4.10

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Images have consequences in the real world: ideas have results. The Imaginary Indian does not exist in a void. In their relations with Native people over the years, non-Native Canadians have put … 25 $2.50

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For many decades, government Indian policy was premised on an image of the Indian as inferior. Officials repeatedly described Indians as children. Like children, Indians could not be given full … 48 $4.80

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Non-Natives have a long history of romanticizing Indians, discovering in their character and culture many fi ne qualities we think are lacking in our own. From the Noble Savage of years ago to … 28 $2.80

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Daniel Francis brings the readers up to date with the developments in the white-Aboriginal relations in the thirty years since he first penned this book in 1991. 34 $3.40