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360 The Canadian Historical Review them. Anthropologists can argue with the Nlaka'pamux about whether the book has indeed escaped ethnocentrism. Laforet's attempt to portray the Native part of Spuzzum society from the inside, however, has paradoxically created a rigid and stereotyped portrait that provides microhistorians a frustratingly shallow view ofthe Nlaka'pamux side of intercultural contact. Ifhistory is a dialogue among people about the past, this interesting and provocative work disappoints in another way - and not because Nlaka 'pamux understanding ofthe past is so different from the European, although Laforet convincingly argues that is so. Rather, the book disappoints because Laforet's seaffiless, unified, and insider portrait ofNlaka 'pamux society not only obscures difference, complexity, and change within that culture but effectively removes this part of Spuzzum history from a dialogue with non-Nlaka'pamux communities in the present. R.W. SANDWELL University ofBritish Columbia Circles ofTime: Aboriginal Land Rights and Resistance in Ontario. DAVID T. MCNAB. Foreward by Gary Potts. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 1999. Pp. 288, illus. $54.95 cloth, $29.95 paper Circles ofTime is a difficult chew, one that forces a rumination ofAboriginal /settler relations in Ontario, but will likely leave many unwilling to digest its contents. On one level, it is an account of several land claims negotiations in Ontario, all ofwhich, save one, result in failure. Much of the failure, according to David McNab, lies in Ontario's reluctance to negotiate in good faith. While much of what McNab says is valid, his argument is undermined by his own expressions ofdisappointment and anger with the Ontario government and its public servants. McNab relies on archival records and his personal memories of the negotiations to support his thesis. Personal experiences and recollections can be valuable for providing insight into events; however, in this instance, the author relies too heavily on his journals, leaving readers insufficiently informed of the events leading to and during the various negotiations. Consequently, they cannot fully understand the complexity ofthe negotiations for the recognition ofAboriginal land rights and title. Perhaps this lack ofdetail is another reflection ofhis anger, in that he is so emotionally close to the events that he cannot step back and determine how well he has explained them. Nevertheless, this lack of detail leads the reader to doubt McNab's argument, especially given his obvious antipathies. As a result, the reader may be unwilling to consider the true benefit of the book - McNab's juxtaposition of land claims negotiations with Aboriginal concepts oftime. Book Reviews 36I 'Circles of time' is a metaphor for the Aboriginal understanding of history, specifically, and life in general. It represents the interconnected- . ness of humans with Mother Earth through the endless journeying of the Sun. As the Sun cycles the passage of clays on Earth, so too does it cycle human activities. Combined with the circles oftime is the idea that events have an inside and an outside understanding. The inside understanding is connected to all things, while the outside understanding is connected only to itself and those who adhere to it. History, which is linear and human-focused, is the outside understanding, while Aboriginal oral traditions, connected as they are to the Earth and its cycles, are the inside understanding. With these two conceptualizations, McNab provides the reader with an understanding for Aboriginal participation in land claims negotiations and their resistance to assimilation. He also provides an understanding ofhow history, as it has been practised, has failed to present the Aboriginal view oflife on Turtle Island. In the first instance, given that non-Aboriginals have little appreciation for the connectedness between humans and the Earth, Aboriginal peoples dare not leave it in nonAboriginal keeping. Non-Aboriginals will simply not care for the Earth as they should because they recognize no connection with it, except in how it can serve them. Land claims negotiations are, therefore, according to McNab, not just about land exchanges but about caring for Mother Earth. In the second instance, because history has made the Earth the servant ofhuman progress, Aboriginal peoples, cast by historians as the antithesis ofprogress, have been pushed aside, while their understandings ofthe Earth have been denied all legitimacy. Ifland claims...


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pp. 360-361
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