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‘There has never been an ethnographer-activist the likes of James Teit’

By Kate Malloy      

Wendy Wickwire talks about her compelling and historically important book, At The Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging.

Chief John Tetlanetza, left, (Pekaist Band, Nlaka’pamux), James Teit, Chief Paul David (Tobacco Plains Band, Ktunaxa), and Chief Thomas Adoph (Fountain Band, St’at’imc). 'Every once in a while, an important figure makes an appearance, makes a difference, and then disappears from the public record. James Teit (1864-1922) was such a figure,' says Wendy Wickwire. Photographs courtesy of Sigurd Teit

While doing research in the 1970s on ethnographic work on Indigenous singers and songs in British Columbia’s south central interior, University of Victoria history professor Wendy Wickwire made an exciting discovery: the long-forgotten historical figure James Teit, once a prolific ethnographer, anthropologist, and an Indigenous rights political activist in the early 1900s who had been nearly erased from the history books.

Kate Malloy

Kate Malloy is the editor-in-chief of The Hill Times.
- kmalloy@hilltimes.com


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