A View of Anthropology from the Canadian Semi-Periphery

Bruce Granville Miller


This paper compares Canadian, and in particular, British Columbian, and Brazilian anthropologies, and how they relate to the current political struggles of Indigenous peoples. I begin by arguing that, despite a semi-peripheral positioning of Canada in relation to the United States and other centers of academic theorizing and the training of faculty members, there is a distinctive history of the practice of anthropology in British Columbia based on a dialogical, grounded approach. Brazilian anthropologists and British Columbians have in common that they have long since moved past studies of acculturation, ethnicity, and interethnic friction into newer approaches, and I emphasize the factors influencing how these have emerged. Using examples from my own Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and my own practice, I point to significant differences in the political position of Indigenes in the two countries, and in the national legal systems, and consequently, how anthropologists work with Indigenes and theorize their interactions. Anthropologists’ role as expert witnesses in Indigenous litigation is structured differently than in Brazil and in British Columbia enables a deep and long-term connection between anthropologists and Indigenous communities. I note that sociocultural anthropology in British Columbia, unlike Brazil, is linked with archaeology and biological anthropology in work with Indigenes, which shapes the interaction and research questions.


Colúmbia Britânica; Canadá; Brasil; Antropologia; Povos Indígenas; Aculturação; Comparações.

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


BAINES, Stephen Grant. Social Anthropology with Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, Canada and Australia: A comparative approach. Vibrant v.9 n.1, p. 210-238. 2012.

BRASIL, Daniel Rodrigues. The Underdog World. PhD Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, 2015.

DARNELL, Regna and GLEACH, Frederic W. Anthropologists and their Traditions across national border: histories of anthropology annual volume 8, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2014.

DARNELL, Regna and HARRISON, Julia, Historicizing Canadian Anthropology, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2006.

DA SILVA, Cristhian Teófilo Anthropology and Ethnicity’s Interplay Among First Nations in Canada: The Case of Quebec. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies XXV, 2(2005):553-569.

GRIER, Colin. Consuming the Recent for Constructing the Ancient: The Role of Ethnography in Coast Salish Archaeological Interpretation. In Miller, Bruce Granville, “Be of Good Mind:” Essays on the Coast Salish, p. 284-307. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007.

HAWTHORN, Harry, Hawthorn, H.B., Belshaw, C.S. and Jamieson, S.M. The Indians of British Columbia, a Study of Contemporary Social Adjustment. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1958.

KEW, J. E. Michael. Anthropology and First Nation in British Columbia, BC Studies 10, p. 78-195, 1993.

______ . Reflections on Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. B.C. Studies 193, p. 163-185, 2017.

MILLER, Bruce Granville. Invisible Indigenes: The Politics of Non-recognition Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003.

______ , ed. Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Historical Atlas. Sedro-Woolley, Washington: Upper Skagit Tribe of Indians, 2018.

MILLER, Bruce Granville, and MENEZES, Gustavo. Anthropological Experts and the Legal System: Brazil and Canada, American Indian Quarterly, v. 39, n.4., p. 391-430, 2015.

OTTENBERG, Simon. Experiences in the University of Washington Anthropology Department, 1955-1991. Journal of Northwest Anthropology, v. 49, n. 1, 2014.

OUELLET, Richard. The life and death of the Council of Elders of the Descendants of Jasper Park. PhD dissertation, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia, 2016.

RAMOS, Alcida Rita. “Ethnology Brazilian style.” Cultural Anthropology, 5(4): 452-457, 1990.

THOM, Brian. The Contemporary Coast Salish: Essays by Bruce Granville Miller. Bruce Granville Miller and Darby C. Stapp, Editors, BC Studies, n. 195, p. 158-159, 2017.

WHITTAKER, Elvi and AMES, Michael. Anthropology and Sociology at UBC from 1947 to the 1980s. In Historizing Canadian Anthropology: Julia Harrison and Regna Darnell, ed., p. 157-172. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15210/interfaces.v18i2.13754


  • Não há apontamentos.

ISSN eletrônico: 1984-5677

ISSN impresso: 1519-0994