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The Terror of the Coast
Print Edition
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$24.95 CDN

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$24.95 US

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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books

The Terror of the Coast
Land Alienation and Colonial War on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, 1849–1863

By Chris Arnett

On April 20, 1863, the British naval gunboat Forward attacked a Native village on Kuper Island in an attempt by naval officers to rout out individuals involved in two recent assaults against European transients in the Gulf Islands. The gunboat fired on the village and, after a fierce battle with a handful of warriors, was repulsed, with casualties. Following this defeat, the colonial government responded with one of the largest military operations in the history of British Columbia, taking place on the east coast of Vancouver Island and extending throughout the waters and islands of Active Pass, Trincomali Channel, and Stuart Channel, from Saturna Island north to Comox.

Previously ignored or misunderstood by historians, the war between the Hwulmuhw or “People of the Land” and the colonial government of British Columbia remains of utmost significance in today’s world of unsettled First Nations land claims. Chris Arnett reconstructs the fascinating account of the events of 1863 using newspaper editorials, letters, and articles; government and police correspondence; naval ship logs; and “Letters of Proceedings.” He demonstrates how the first treaty process initiated by the colonial government ended in military action. After the war of 1863, Aboriginal land continued to be alienated and Native jurisdiction eroded throughout British Columbia – leaving an inequity which remains unresolved a century and a half later.

ISBN 13: 9780889223189 | ISBN 10: 889223181
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 384 pages
$24.95 CAN / $24.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: HIS006010
Paperback Edition


“This meticulously researched book is a scholarly yet compelling account of a neglected and shameful chapter in British Columbia’s history.”
– Canadian Book Review Annual

“A lengthy and well-referenced book that adds an important chapter to B.C. history … Convincingly show[s] the ‘Colonial War’ of 1863 was one more disgraceful event in the still-evolving colonization of what was later to become British Columbia.”
– BC Bookworld

“The Terror of the Coast is an excellent example of the sort of penetrating research and analysis now being published outside the university press community. It will become a valued reference for Northwest Coast scholars as well as an engaging textbook for … students.”
– Canadian Historical Review

About the Contributors

Chris Arnett

Author and carver Chris Arnett is a fourth generation British Columbian on his mother’s side and a member of the Ngai Tahu, a New Zealand Maori tribe, on his father’s side. With a life-long interest in the pre-history and history of BC and New Zealand, he has researched the archeology of the Stein River Valley for the ‘Nlaka’pamux Nation Development Corporation and has worked for the Sooke Region Museum and Archives on a historical survey of logging on Vancouver Island’s southwest coast, which was published in 1989.

Two Houses Half-Buried in Sand

Chris Arnett & Beryl Mildred Cryer

The Terror of the Coast
The Terror of the Coast

Chris Arnett

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2018



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