The Pleasure of the Crown

By (author): Dara Culhane

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.

AUTHOR

Dara Culhane

Dara Culhane received her Ph.D. in 1994 and teaches anthropology at Simon Fraser University. From 1992 to 1994, she was Deputy Director of Social and Cultural Research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Her 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. Culhane’s research has also appeared in BC Studies, Native Studies Review and The Journal of Human Justice.

Reviews

“Explores fundamental questions … The Pleasure of the Crown is a book that everyone interested in ‘justice for all’ will want to read.” — Vancouver Sun


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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.

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Details

Dimensions:

416 Pages
9in * 229mm * 6in * 152mm * 1in25mm
566gr
20oz

Published:

January 01, 1998

City of Publication:

Vancouver

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Talonbooks

ISBN:

9780889223158

9780889229396 – EPUB

9780889228634 – EPUB

9780889228641 – EPUB

Featured In:

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Language:

eng

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