By Adele Perry
1919 is often recalled as the year of the Winnipeg General Strike, but it was also the year that water from Shoal Lake first flowed in Winnipeg taps. For the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, construction of the Winnipeg Aqueduct led to a chain of difficult ... Read more
1919 is often recalled as the year of the Winnipeg General Strike, but it was also the year that water from Shoal Lake first flowed in Winnipeg taps. For the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, construction of the Winnipeg Aqueduct led to a chain of difficult circumstances that culminated in their isolation on an artificial island where, for almost two decades, they have lacked access to clean drinking water. In Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources, and the Histories We Remember, Adele Perry analyses the development of Winnipeg's municipal water supply as an example of the history of settler colonialism. Drawing from a rich archive of historical sources, this timely book exposes the cultural, social, political, and legal mechanisms that allowed the rapidly growing city of Winnipeg to obtain its water supply by dispossessing an Indigenous people of their land, and ultimately depriving them of the very commodity--clean drinking water--that the city secured for itself.
Adele Perry is Professor of History at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She was born and raised in a non-Indigenous family in British Columbia, did hard time in Toronto, and has lived in Winnipeg since 2000. She writes about the nineteenth century, gender, Canada, and colonialism, and is the author of On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871 (University of Toronto Press, 2001), Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World (Cambridge, 2015), and the co-editor of four editions of Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women's History. With Esyllt Jones, she coordinated 2011's People's Citizenship Guide to Canada, published by ARP Books. You can find her on twitter at @AdelePerry.
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