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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Anthropologists have traditionally studied Europe’s “others” and the marginalized and excluded within Europe’s and North America’s boundaries. This book turns the anthropologist’s spyglass in the opposite direction: on the law, the institution that quintessentially embodies and reproduces Western power.
The Pleasure of the Crown offers a comprehensive look at how Canadian, particularly British Columbian, society “reveals itself” through its courtroom performances in Aboriginal title litigation. Rather than asking what cultural beliefs and practices First Nations draw on to support their appeals for legal recognition of Aboriginal title, Culhane asks what assumptions, beliefs, and cultural values the Crown relies on to assert and defend their claims to hold legitimate sovereignty and jurisdiction over lands and resources in B.C. What empirical evidence does the Crown present to bolster its arguments? What can thus be learned by anthropologists and the public at large about the historical and contemporary culture of the powerful?
Focusing in particular on the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en case, the book traces the trial of Delgamuukw. v. Regina from its first hearing during 1987 and 1991 to its successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which issued a landmark ruling on the case on December 11, 1997.
ISBN 13: 9780889223158 | ISBN 10: 889223157
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 416 pages
$34.95 CAN / $29.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: SOC002010
QUOTES OF NOTE
Explores fundamental questions…The Pleasure of the Crown is a book that everyone interested in ‘justice for all’ will want to read.
— Vancouver Sun
About the ContributorsDara Culhane
Dara Culhane’s first book, An Error in Judgement, probes the controversial 1979 death of a First Nations child who died of an undiagnosed ruptured appendix in Alert Bay, B.C. She continued her work with The Pleasure of the Crown, which offers an in-depth analysis of Aboriginal title litigation in British Columbia and examines the cultural values and biases of the courts from an anthropologist’s point of view.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.