Canadian History and Environment Summer School 2013

Photo: Peter Batty

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Event Details

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north of courtenayThe Network in Canadian History and Environment’s 8th annual summer school, CHESS (Canadian History and Environment Summer School), will be held on Vancouver Island, starting 30 May and leading up to the Canadian Historical Association meeting on 2 June, 2013.

Following seven successful NiCHE Summer Schools in five provinces, CHESS Vancouver Island will consist of collegial workshops and exciting day trips led by experts in the field. This year’s themes include landscape reconnaissance and interpretation; mining big data sets; and the local, aboriginal, and forest history of Vancouver Island. The Summer School will be based at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, and excursions will set out from there to Campbell River on the 31st and down to Victoria for the first day of the CHA on Sunday the 2nd. Participants can anticipate visits to Cumberland, Roderick Haig-Brown’s house in Campbell River, the Campbell River Museum, the Comox Estuary, and a remnant stand of old-growth Douglas-fir trees at Miracle Beach Park. Workshops will explore writing “Island History that Travels” and “Mining Big Data,” as well as a concluding walking tour of the Victoria Uplands.

CHESS 2013 is now over — for a recap of the event see Sean Kheraj’s Otter post, and for some photos check out the Facebook photo album.
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The following are suggested as background reading to CHESS 2013. They provide useful context and may be helpful as in aiding and ordering memories after the event. Check back for possible additions.

General and re Saturday talk:
Richard Mackie, Island Timber (Sono Nis Press 2000)
Richard Mackie, Mountain Timber (Sono Nis Press 2009)

On Nanaimo:
See: Nanaimo’s Historical Development,” available at:…

On Cumberland:

On Roderick Haig-Brown:
W. J. Keith, “Roderick Haig-Brown,” Canadian Literature, 71(Winter 1976), 7-20
available at:

Craig Orr, “Paradise Lost,”
available at:

Arn Keeling, “Crying in the Wilderness: Roderick Haig-Brown, Conservation, and Environmental Justice”
copy posted on NiCHE website as indicated

On the Campbell River Museum:

On Comox Estuary:

Nancy Greene, “Comox Valley Fish Trap Site” (a 4MB PDf)
available at:
[in the view of archeologist Quentin Mackie: “the Comox Harbour traps are one of the most remarkable archaeological landscapes on the Northwest Coast and are deserving of the highest level of protection – they’d be a good candidate for being declared a National Historic Site, I think.”

On Chemainus and

Roger Hayter and Trevor Barnes, “The Restructuring of British Columbia’s Coastal Forest Sector. Flexibility Perspectives,” BC Studies 113 (Spring 19997) 7-34
available at:

On the Uplands, Victoria:
“Geographer to trace roots of Victoria’s poshest neighbourhood.” The Ring 19 February 1999
available at:

Call For Participants (now closed)

The organizers, Professor Graeme Wynn and Dr. Richard Mackie, are encouraging applications from scholars, students, and members of the public. NiCHE will cover the costs of accommodation for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights (30 May through 2 June departure) as well as a limited amount of travel funding for successful graduate student and postdoctoral applicants (see below).

Applications are due to Dr. Richard Mackie by 26 April, and should include a CV or resume of no more than 2pp, plus a short statement, no more than 1 page in length, outlining why you should be chosen for participation in this Summer School. These documents should be attached to an email message as a SINGLE Word document or PDF. PLEASE DIRECT APPLICATIONS TO: DR. RICHARD MACKIE <> On or before 26 April 2013 We will seek to notify people of acceptance (or otherwise) by 1 May 2013.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and plans to get them to Nanaimo by the evening of Thursday, May 30th, in time to participate in the integral field trip on Friday 31 May (see the draft program to the right of this announcement).

NiCHE will cover the costs of accommodation in single rooms in the VIU residences for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights (30 May through 2 June departure) for graduate student and postdoctoral participants. Some meals will be covered, some will be at participants’ expense. The following subsidies are available toward the costs of travel to Nanaimo, with first priority afforded graduate students, then post docs as possible:

Travelling from:
East of Quebec City: $650.00
Quebec and Ontario: $500.00
Manitoba: $400.00
Saskatchewan/ Alberta: $300.00
BC heartland (ie Interior) $150.00
Those seeking travel support will be reimbursed after the event and will need to submit appropriate receipts and boarding passes as applicable.

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