"They smashed it right through our reserve": The Problem of Settler Consultation for Infrastructure on Chawathil IR4
This article examines how settler institutions have approached consultation with First Peoples in southern British Columbia. Drawing on community-engaged research, it provides a microhistory of three rights-of-way that transect Chawathil Reserve (IR4) and shows how infrastructure development at the provincial and national scale, often described by officials as “progress,” are seen in a less positive light at the local level. While archival research reveals the minimal efforts taken by settler institutions to satisfy legal obligations to consult with First Peoples for infrastructure on reserve land, oral histories from the community show how limited settler consultation with Chawathil has been. Community members share memories and oral histories of the construction and lasting legacy of a railroad, a pipeline, and a highway, through their reserve and demonstrate how the term “consultation” has been utilised in Canada to facilitate colonial practices.