My research interests deal with Indigenous peoples and colonialism on the Northwest Coast in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. I have particular interests in women's history, oral history, social movements, environmental justice, and the political implications of cultural representation.
I am a senior fellow in the Successful Societies research group, funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. This group is engaged in a long-term, interdisciplinary study of inequality, its causes and implications.
I recently completed a collaborative book manuscript, co-written with a Sliammon Elder and her grand-daughter. The book is a first-person, "told-to" narrative of Sliammon teachings and her own life experiences. I am now engaged with the next phrase of this SSHRC-funded project which, in partnership with a Mellon Foundation-funded UBC Press project, entails the development of a digital, multi-media companion book intended for use as curriculum in elementary and high schools.
I am simultaneously working on a study of two late-twentieth-century relocations of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation on Vancouver Island. This work considers the impact of these moves on the physical and social health of the community, and provides a window onto the twentieth-century transformations that have characterized many Indigenous peoples along the coast and throughout British Columbia. An essay based on this research appeared in the April 2018 issue of Comparative Studies in Society and History.
Recently, I also wrote this piece in The Tyee about the ways in which colonial assumptions about European superiority and normativity still lurk in our textbooks, our everyday speech, and beyond.
In this innovative history, Paige Raibmon examines the political ramifications of ideas about "real Indians." Focusing on the Northwest Coast in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, she describes how government officials, missionaries, anthropologists, reformers, settlers, and tourists developed definitions of Indian authenticity based on such binaries as Indian versus White, traditional versus modern, and uncivilized versus...
This course is a broad overview of the histories of Indigenous peoples and settler colonialism in what became Canada and the United States, from before first contacts with non-Indigenous peoples to the near future. We will pay special attention of the diversity of communities and individuals what came to be categorized as “Indian”; to the diversity of non-Indigenous communities, individuals, and colonialisms; to the historical agency of Indigenous peoples; and to the ways in which our present circumstances have been shaped by the past. Themes and topics will include ecological encounters between continents and peoples, economic and religious exchanges, policy and law, the social construction of race and other identities, the place of Indigenous peoples in the culture and politics of colonialism, and Indigenous strategies of resistance, accommodation, and survival. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of “Native issues” such as residential schools, treaties and land claims, and environmental justice, and how these issues affect all of us who call this continent home.