Brittany Luby

Recipient of the 2021 Governor General’s History Award for Scholarly Research

May 11, 2022

Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory, Guelph, Ontario

In Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory, Brittany Luby offers a vivid and timely illustration of the embodied legacies of settler colonialism on the bodies, lands, and lives of Indigenous peoples. Her analysis of the Treaty 3 region in Northwestern Ontario centres an area usually treated as peripheral in both official decision-making and historical scholarship, and the resulting portrait of postwar hydroelectric development powerfully challenges the dominant narrative of universal post-Second World War prosperity in Canada.

The book is engaging and accessibly written, draws on deep and wide research in both oral and written sources, and makes important contributions to environmental history, women’s history, and Indigenous Studies. Along the way, Luby reveals the many ways in which the Anishinabeg of Dalles 38C Indian Reserve (who supported this research) saw their own ability to economically thrive persistently undermined by efforts designed to boost the prosperity of non-Indigenous people elsewhere in the region.

As Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation Chief Lorraine Cobiness writes in the foreword: “When we teach history, we build common ground for the process of reconciliation.” For this reason, Dammed not only represents exemplary scholarship, but deserves to be read and meditated upon by audiences well beyond the historical community.

More from Brittany Luby

Respecting Sacred Relationships

Open Book: In Brittany Luby's multiple-award-winning book Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory, she writes that the Anishinabeg have “since time immemorial” lived and fished along the waterways of the Winnipeg River drainage basin that includes the lake and that extends into parts of Manitoba and Minnesota.

Excellence in Scholarly Research

The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research is administered by the Canadian Historical Association.