Encounters among Aboriginal peoples, European colonists, Chinese migrants, and mixed-race populations generated a range of racial anxieties that underwrote colonialism in BC. By focusing on these points of contact, this book forges critical links between histories of migration and dispossession. The book highlights the legal and spatial strategies of rule mobilized by Indian agents, missionaries, and legal authorities who sought to restrict crossracial encounters. Mawani illustrates how interracial proximities in one colonial contact zone inspired the production of juridical racial truths and modes of governance that continue to linger in the racial politics of contemporary settler societies.
Renisa Mawani is an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia.