Feature Articles

Physical Geography of BC

British Columbia is a mosaic of diverse landscapes, ranging from the icefields of the coast mountains to the pocket deserts of the Okanagan Valley and the boggy plains of the Liard River. In this essay, June Ryder discusses our geological history, including the physics of plate tectonics, our landform history, the effects of glaciation and the major physiographic regions of BC.

History of BC

The highlights of 10,000 years of BC history are presented in this colouful and definitive essay by noted author and historian Jean Barman. Read about pre-contact Aboriginal life, the arrival of European explorers, the fur trade, the gold rush, the formation of the BC government, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the growth of the province, the war years, depression, Japanese internment and highlights of the years leading to the beginning of the 21st century.

Economy of BC

This essay by economist John M. Munro details the economic history of BC from the gold rushes of the mid-1800s through to the 1999 Census, with updates to bring the figures in line with the most recent, 2006, census. The essay includes tables relating to average household income, manufacturing revenues, exports and imports, government expenditures, and BC's top companies.

First Nations of BC

The societies, culture and language of British Columbia's First Nations are among the most varied and developed in the world. This essay by Charles R. Menzies details the origins of the first peoples, the exploitation and expropriation of resources that followed with the arrival of Europeans, the legacy of colonialism, residential schools through to the beginnings of treaty settlements that are helping pave the way to the improved economic situation of First Nations.

Literature of BC

Literature has a long history in BC. The province traditionally leads the nation in per capita book purchases and library use. It also has the strongest market for regional books in English-speaking Canada. Publisher Howard White brings the reader from the oral history of the the First Nations, through Euro-Canadian literature from the journals of Captain Cook to early newspapers and magazines and details many of the province's most noted poets and fiction and non-fiction authors.

Natural History of BC

British Columbia is home to more species of living things than any other Canadian province. In this essay, Author Richard Cannings discusses the many reasons for this rich biodiversity: the topographic and climatic diversity that form myriad complex and varied ecosystems. Read about the flora and fauna that inhabit lakes and ocean, forests, desert, mountains, plateaus, valleys and coastal plains.