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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Changing in place : a generational study of a mixed indigenous family in the Okanagan Legault, Gabrielle Monique


The archaeological study of colonization has largely been conducted from an Anglo-Eurocentric perspective and until recently has failed to acknowledge the perspectives of indigenous peoples. Within the Okanagan region and the rest of British Columbia, people of indigenous ancestry have historically experienced dispossession, discrimination and colonial intervention. To give voice to these experiences, this study examines the experiences of the Okanagan’s historic McDougall family during the period of 1859-1905. This research examines the genealogy of the McDougalls, whose heritage can be considered to be Scottish, Syilx, Secwepemc and Métis, evaluating the extent to which their social and kin networks were shaped by current dominant ideologies that increasingly emphasized the racialization and depreciation of mixed indigenous peoples. Furthermore, following Glassie’s (1975) approach to studying vernacular architecture, five structures built by John and David McDougall are examined as symbolic expressions of ethnic identities. Structural and stylistic changes indicate a shift in indigenous identity and are also suggestive of a transforming external environment. Under the pressures of assimilation, the McDougalls were forced to depart from the liminal spaces of a mixed identity.

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