Vol. 38, No. 2 (2010)
Publication Date: 2010-05-05
Number of articles: 7
This article uses settler colonialism as a specific analytic frame through which to understand the historical forces in the formation of settler cities as urbanizing polities. Arguing that we must pay attention to the intertwined histories of immigration and colonization, the author traces the symbolic and economic functions and origins of the settler-colonial city to reveal its political imperatives, the expropriation of Indigenous land, and the dispossession, removal, sequestration, and transformation of Indigenous peoples. Taking as a case study the city of Victoria, BC, and its Lekwungen people throughout the nineteenth century, the author charts the shift from a mixed and fluid mercantilist society to an increasingly racialized and segregated settler-colonial polity. This transition reveals how bodies and urbanizing spaces are reordered and remade, and how Indigenous peoples come to be produced and marked by political categories borne of the racialized practices of an urbanizing settler colonialism, which complement the powerful forces of settler ethnogenesis and colonial modernity.
In 1884, during a week-long commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Toronto's incorporation in 1834, tens of thousands celebrated Toronto's history and its relation to British colonialism and imperialism. The author's analysis of the historical tableaux in the first day's parade and speeches by Daniel Wilson, president of University College, and Chief Samson Green of the Tyendinaga Mohawks reveals divergent approaches to commemoration as "politics by other means": on one hand, the erasure of the area's Indigenous past and the celebration of its European future, on the other, an idealized view of the past of Indigenous–settler partnership that ignores the role of local settlers in the dispossession of the Mississaugas. The 1884 commemoration marks the transition from the founding of the settlement in 1793 to its incorporation in 1834 as the city's "founding moment" and marker of the assumed "indigeneity" of settler-immigrants. The deed acquired from the Mississaugas in the Toronto Purchase of 1787 is deemed irrelevant, while the 1834 Act of Incorporation becomes the symbolic deed to Toronto's modernity.
During the winter of 1843, over one thousand Irish migrant labourers hired to work on the expansion of the Lachine Canal near Montreal struck for higher wages. In the months that followed, they employed a range of public spectacles including nocturnal processions, charivaris, riots, and parades to intimidate their economic rivals and lobby for support from the broader community. These crowd events played a pivotal role in the way that elites were re-conceptualizing the city, citizenship, and their own authority at the dawn of a period that would see Montreal transformed by mass immigration and the entrenchment of a capitalist economy. They also offer some insight into what the city meant to the striking canal workers as an engine of exploitation as well as a site of refuge and resistance.
This article examines a critique of the "diasporic nationalism" affecting the Irish in Canada through the lens of Toronto, a key destination for Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century. Situated in the period of the third home rule bill and the articulation of opinion about it in Toronto (1910–1914), the article concentrates on the city's media and particularly the visual content of cartoons published in the strongly pro-empire Evening Telegram. The author demonstrates how a familiar repertoire of Irish symbols and myths was grafted onto the bodies of Toronto's "Irish" and/or "Ulster" personalities, connecting them with events on the other side of the Atlantic. These satirical representations also informed readings of Irishness in Toronto. They suggest that while a nationalist "green" identity had acquired a respectable and largely middle-class character among Catholics of Irish birth and ancestry in the early twentieth century, there were still forces at work that resisted placement of the latter group on a footing equal to the city's Protestant majority.
The Canada-wide celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation was intended to promote the idea of a "new nationality" based on the linguistic and cultural dualism associated with Canada's two "founding races." The widespread participation of New Canadians in the celebrations was expected to accelerate their assimilation into the "melting pot" of the new nationality, which did not recognize the legitimacy of dual identities and loyalties. Winnipeg's diverse and marginalized ethnic communities challenged both the official meanings of the Diamond Jubilee and the hegemonic Anglo-conformity of the city's civic culture. They transformed the celebrations into a vehicle for representing their ethnocultural identities in the public sphere and asserting an alternative, pluralistic version of Canadian nationality. Winnipeg's Jubilee celebrations became a milestone in an ongoing "dialectic of resistance and accommodation" that allowed immigrant groups to negotiate the terms of their integration into Canadian society, and that continues to structure the relationship between minority and mainstream cultures in the twenty-first century.
This article examines the experiences of Afro-Caribbeans in Toronto in the early twentieth century. It identifies and analyzes the practices and processes of diaspora at the local level and considers ways in which discourses of community, nation, and race travelled between sites and across borders. In so doing, it investigates the ways in which immigrant identities were constituted, contested, and reformulated in the tension between local experience and diasporic consciousness. As well, it evaluates how borders shaped the contours of trans-local and transnational communities. By extrapolating from individual histories, this article identifies several key features, institutions, processes, and practices that defined the Afro-Caribbean experience in Toronto and informed local engagements with global black and West Indian diasporas. These factors include encounters with discrimination, employment patterns, social relations, and organizations like Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. By "locating diaspora" in Toronto, this article elucidates the intersection and ongoing dialectics between the local and the global, and illustrates the significance of borders in shaping migration networks and constituting diasporic communities.