History of British Columbia

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 2210
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 2210, History of British Columbia, examines political, social, cultural, and economic themes in the history of the Pacific Northwest (present-day British Columbia) from time immemorial to present day. Topics include Indigenous peoples’ experiences before and after colonization; the fur trade and exploration; the dynamics of settler colonialism, migration and institutional regulation; the intersectional role of race, gender, age, ethnocultural identity and sexuality in shaping social, cultural and economic worlds; rural settlement, resource economies and company towns; urbanization, transportation infrastructure and the environment; Indigenous land claims and treaties in the modern era; power, protest and politics in shaping the modern state; British Columbia, Canada and globalization.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

Indigenous Spaces and Peoples

  1. First Encounters, Exploration and Trade
  2. Newcomers and Resettlement
  3. Colony Into Province
  4. Resource Economies and Labouring Lives
  5. Population Explosion
  6. Reproducing Home in Settler Spaces
  7. Re/forming Lives and Radical Politics
  8. Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Lands, and the Canadian State
  9. Resource Extraction and Company Towns
  10. Hard Times
  11. Boomtime, Environmental Change and the Rise of the Suburbs
  12. The Politics of Protest
  13. British Columbia on the Global Stage
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include facilitation of student-led projects, student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

 The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

  • Participation, In-Class Work: 15%
  • Seminar Presentation and Facilitation: 10%
  • Primary Document Analyses: 15%
  • Book Review, Short Analytic Essay. or Reading Notes / Reading Journal(s): 10%
  • Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography: 10%
  • Research Project: 20%
  • Public History Assignment and Presentation: 20%
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

 1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.

Barman, Jean. The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia. 3rd. ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

Lutz, John Sutton. Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008.

Roy, Patricia, and John Herd Thompson. British Columbia: Land of Promises. The Illustrated History of Canada. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Stouck, David, and Myler Wilkinson, eds. Genius of Place: Writing About British Columbia. Vancouver: Polestar Books, 2000.




One 1000-level History course, or permission of the instructor





Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 2210
Athabasca University (AU) AU HIST 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 2XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG HIST 2207 (3) or LANG HIST 2217 (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC HIST 216 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 2XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 332 (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW HIST 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 303 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 105 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU HIST 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023