The Red River Colony was the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first planned settlement. As a settler-colonial project par excellence, it was designed to undercut Indigenous peoples’ “troublesome” autonomy and curtain the company’s dependency on their labour. In this critical re-evaluation of the history of the Red River Colony, Susan Dianne Brophy upends standard accounts by foregrounding Indigenous producers as a driving force of change. A Legacy of Exploitation challenges the enduring yet misleading fantasy of Canada as a glorious nation of adventurers, showing how autonomy can become distorted as complicity in processes of dispossession.
Susan Dianne Brophy is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at St. Jerome’s University (federated with the University of Waterloo). She has published in journals including Constellations, European Journal of Political Theory, Labour/Le travail, Law and Critique, and Settler Colonial Studies.