CARLSON, Keith Thor




Author Tags: First Nations, Place Names

An historian for the Stó:lo First Nation since 1992, Keith Thor Carlson edited You Are Asked to Witness: The Stó:lo in Canada’s Pacific Coast History (1997) to inform Xwelitem society — mainstream society — about the history and culture of the Stó:lo people who live along the lower Fraser River watershed. Stó:lo means river. Well-illustrated, smartly designed and clearly written, it is easily one of the best works of its kind, ideal for both educational purposes and for the general reader. Keith Thor Carlson first worked for the Stó:lo after acquiring his Master's degree from University of Victoria with a thesis on decolonization in the Philippines, published by University of the Philippines Press in 1995.

In 2002, Carlson received the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, along with his co-authors Colin Duffield, Albert (Sonny) McHalsie, Jan Perrier, Leeanna Lynn Rhodes, David M. Schaepe and David Smith for A Stó:lo–Coast Salish Historical Atlas (2001). With 100 maps, 200 photos and a 15,000-year timeline, the atlas provides a comprehensive overview of the “River People” whose lives have been so affected by the spread of Vancouver along the Fraser River. Social, linguistic and scientific articles range from the changing role of Aboriginal law to the effects of clear-cut logging. Photographs and testimonies pertaining to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Boarding School reveal the impact of residential schools and their “lingering, injurious legacies of abuse.” The 11" x 14" atlas has more than 720 Halq’emeylem place names and covers everything from smallpox in 1782 to population projections to the year 2010.

Along with Albert "Sonny" McHalsie, Carlson also wrote I am Stó:lo : Katherine Explores Her Heritage (1998) in which a grade six Stó:lo girl from the Lower Fraser Valley explores her Aboriginal identity through the teachings of elders and her family. With photos by Gary Fiegehen, the grade four level text, with a teacher’s guide, is being adopted for use by several school districts in the Fraser Valley area.

In The Power of Place, the Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism (U. of Toronto Press, 2010) there is a focus on the relationship between the identity among the Stó:lo nation and their history between 1780 and 1906 this book combines a long historical view with a micro-ethnohistorical lens to examine Coast Salish identity formation. Carlson conclusively makes the argument that while colonialism may have changed the events in Stó:lo histories it did not damage the Stó:lo historical consciousness and could not destroy the foundations of Stó:lo identities.

As an assistant professor in the Department of History at University of Saskatchewan, Carlson co-edited ‘Call Me Hank’: A Stólo Man’s Reflections on Logging, Living, and Growing Old with Kristina Fagan. [See Pennier entry]

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Power of Place, the Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism
A Sto:lo-Coast Salish Historical Atlas
You Are Asked to Witness: The Sto:lo in Canada's Pacific Coast History

BOOKS:

Carlson, Keith Thor (editor). You Are Asked to Witness: The Stó:lo in Canada’s Pacific Coast History (Chilliwack: Stó:lo Heritage Trust, 1997).

Carlson, Keith Thor & Albert “Sonny” McHalsie. I am Stó:lo : Katherine Explores her Heritage (Stó:lo Heritage Trust, Sardis, 1998).

Carlson, Keith Thor & others (editors). A Stó:lo–Coast Salish Historical Atlas (Douglas & McIntyre / Stó:lo Heritage Trust, 2001; D&M 2006).

The Power of Place, the Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism (U. of Toronto Press, 2010)

ALSO:

Pennier, Henry. ‘Call Me Hank’: A Stólo Man’s Reflections on Logging, Living, and Growing Old (UTP $24.95), edited Keith Thor Carlson and Kristina Fagan.

[BCBW 2016] "Anthropology" "First Nations" "Place Names" "Classic"