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Love, Death, and Rivers: Native Californians and Native Hawaiians Remember the Confluences of History

April 28, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


The Burge Lecture is an annual endowed lecture organized by the History Graduate Students Association and made possible by a generous donation from UBC alumnus William Burge. UBC Department of History is pleased to announce the 2022 Burge Lecture will be delivered by Professor David Aiona Chang, Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of History and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Talk Abstract
From south Vancouver Island to California, the mid 19th century saw the emergence of mixed Indigenous North American and Kanaka (Native Hawaiian) communities. This presentation traces the history of one such community in California. It draws on readings of Hawaiian-language mele kanikau (mourning songs) as a springboard for a consideration of the place of memory and commemoration in the making and maintenance of a community that emerged from love but also from colonial violence and dispossession. Drawing on Chang’s current collaboration with the contemporary community, the paper emphasizes the very different ways that Kanaka and Native Californian people have remembered this place, and reflects upon the ethics and practice of collaborative history with Indigenous communities.