The Indian Commissioners: Agents of the State and Indian Policy in Canada’s Prairie West, 1873-1932.


From the Author's Preface, Pages x-xi:

"Each chapter is designed to stand alone as an episode of history of the Indian Department – the careers of the subject commissioner giving it structural definition. Yet there is a clear continuity from chapter to chapter in that commissioners, while sometimes dealing with unique events, all functioned within the same political bureaucratic framework. The congruence of some of the careers examined means that a modicum of repetition is unavoidable in this approach. Reed, for instance, served as Dewdney’s assistant commissioner, while Forget worked under Laird and Dewdney in the North-West council and under Reed in the commissioner’s office. Laird provides a further complication in that he is actually the subject of two chapters, holding office first from 1876-1879 and alter from 1898-1909. My intent it not to have the last word on the Indian Department and its operations in the chosen time and place. I would be content to throw some light on the manner in which it conducted its affairs and to put flesh on the bones of individuals who often make but fleeting appearances on the pages of history books. I am revisiting some earlier research here, reworking and reinterpreting it in the light of the substantial body of scholarship in the field produced during the past two decades. " (x-xi).

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Publication Information

Titley, E. Brian. The Indian Commissioners: Agents of the State and Indian Policy in Canada's Prairie West, 1873-1932. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2009.


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