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At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  10 reviews
At the Bridge chronicles the little-known story of James Teit, a prolific ethnographer who, from 1884 to 1922, worked with and advocated for the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia and the northwestern United States. From his base at Spences Bridge, BC, Teit forged a participant-based anthropology that was far ahead of its time. Whereas his contemporaries, including fam ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by University of British Columbia Press
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Cheryl Pope
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read that gives a better understanding of colonialism in BC and how First Nations has a great friendship with James Teit, an immigrant himself to Canada from Shetland.
This must have been a difficult book to write because of the enormity of the topics at hand and the many figures that were part of the history both from the communities, from the province and from Canada.
I enjoyed that the author providing so much background as to why Teit was a good friend to the First Nations in so much a
...more
Cliff Mac
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Truly remarkable account of one of Canada's foremost and underrated anthropologists and his study and life with the Nlaka'pamux ('Thompson River) people's in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I found the book extremely readable and engaging. ...more
John
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating look at the life of James Teit, an amazing turn-of-the-century anthropologist in British Columbia. Though lacking a graduate degree, he studied and wrote extensively about the indigenous peoples of BC and North-west USA. Much of his work was unfairly appropriated by his Columbia Univ. sponsor, Franz Boas. Teit's contributions, as a result, are not well understood. With this book, Wickwire seeks to change that narrative. She amply illustrates Teit's scholarship, his partici ...more
Rod Endacott
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Precious is best word to describe this book . . . At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of BelongingWendy Wickwire's work. On so many levels it educated by simply telling the history from the prespective of the "being side" as opposed to the anguishing drone of the "achieving-side". The being-side, The Shetlands, and the Indigenous Indians of south and central British Columbia, are in general in tune and in concert with the natural world. I'm so grateful to hear this story as it feeds my ...more
Barbara Brydges
Jul 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A terrific, and very readable, work of scholarship that tells the unknown story of natural ethnographer James Teit who came from the Shetland Islands in the 1880s and settled in Spence’s Bridge, British Columbia, where he married an Indigenous woman. There he began documenting the lives of the native people of the area. His work was not informed by anthropological theory, although it was eagerly taken over by the famed Franz Boaz, but by a genuine empathy created in part by his upbringing in a c ...more
Bruce Walter
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Finished. Well worth the read. James Teit died way too young but it was almost predictable given how hard he worked. His whole life seemed to be a marathon requiring both physical and mental endurance.

Interesting to read that in the day Teit was described by government as a "white agitator" who was working to stir up an otherwise contented First Nation population. Lol.

The interesting part is this same strategy is used to this day and I am thinking more recently of the northern pipeline project.
...more
Ellie O'Day
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As we understand our settler history from a new perspective, this study of James Teit and his grasp of indigenous culture in central BC going back to the 19th century is a must read.
Flora
Nov 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book, very informative and well written 👏🏽
Wayne
Jul 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
The beginning of my education on how colonialism impacted First Nations.
It was fascinating to learn of the life and times of James Teit - who spoke many Indigenous dialects - and along the way to also learn about the plight of BC First Nations around the turn of the century.
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