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Title: A river worshipped, a river wronged : the history of the St. Mary's River, and its people, from its formation to industrialization (15,000 ybp. - present)
Author: Elder, Colin
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 9961
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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For roughly 15,000 years, the area of the St. Mary's River known as Baawitigong (rapids) has been home to the Anishinaabeg, whose identity and lifeways are inextricably linked to the river. The area became an important location for the first Indigenous populations on the Great Lakes, the Copper People, during the Seven Fires migrations, and later became a capital of the modern Niswi-mishkodewin (Three Fires Confederacy). Its location in the centre of the continent also made the St. Mary's River a target of colonial expansion, and thus made Baawitigong (a.k.a. Bawating, Baawitig or Pawating) a strategic location of Indigenous resistance against imperial forces from the seventeenth century until the present. This makes the River an ideal case study with which to understand the impacts of colonization. Colonial populations did not have the same relationship with the river as the Anishinaabeg had; the Colonists did not view the river as a living force, but instead as an impediment to their westward migration and a bank of natural resources to be exploited. Rather than looking to the Natural Baseline of the river to inform their lifeways, the Colonists worked to alter the river for their own purposes. In the early-nineteenth century, legislated land use and industrialization were destructive to the environment and the health of the river, its flora, fauna, and people. By the twentieth century, both the Natural Baseline of the St. Mary's River, and the Anishinaabeg's lifeways, were threatened by these colonial land use patterns. Both would become further threatened into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, demonstrating the link between Anishinaabeg people and this region. Within this history, is also the story of hope and resistance to these colonial land uses, which may provide a model for North American society, legal structures, and land use patterns moving forward.
Supervisor: Jones, Karen ; Marsh, Ben Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain