For most of my life I have been an uninvited guest on the unceded, ancestral territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people where I now work, play, and raise my daughters. As a settler scholar and mother, my teaching, writing, and public history efforts grow from my on-going learning about my place in this place.
I am the editor of BC Studies: The British Columbia Quarterly, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that publishes regional scholarly work in print, audio, and multi-media formats.
I am an associate of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University (2020-2023). And I recently completed a term as a CIFAR Fellow in the Successful Societies Program (2015-2019), an interdisciplinary research group focused on global inequality, its causes and implications.
My research is based on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Northwest Coast. It has engaged a range of questions united by my preoccupation with Indigenous peoples’ endurance and resurgence in the face of settler colonialism’s historical workings and on-going implications.
I have particular interests in the digital humanities, collaborative methodology, life history, microhistory, women’s history, oral history, public history, social movements, environmental justice, and the political implications of cultural representation.
My first book, Authentic Indians, took up three microhistorical studies–one from Washington, one from BC, and one from Alaska–to explore the specifics of how Indigenous individuals and families in the late nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries coped with the twinned colonial processes that appropriated their territory and commodified their bodies. It is a study that presents a range of Indigenous-crafted configurations of labour, performance, identity, and futurity.
I recently completed a multi-phase, collaborative project that resulted in two separate book publications: Written as I Remember It (with Elsie Paul and Harmony Johnson, 2014); and As I Remember It (with Elsie Paul, Davis McKenzie, and Harmony Johnson, 2019). This long-term collaboration with the ɬaʔamin Elder Elsie Paul and two of her grand-children, presents a challenge to the production processes and forms–as well as content–of conventional historical narratives about Indigenous peoples in settler colonial contexts. Our latest effort is an open-source, multi-media book. Check it out: publications.ravenspacepublishing.org/as-i-remember-it/index.
I have also conducted an oral history project that deals with two late-twentieth-century relocations of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation on Vancouver Island. This work considers the impact of these moves on the physical and social health of the community, and provides a window onto the twentieth-century transformations that have characterized many Indigenous peoples along the coast and throughout British Columbia. An essay based on this research appeared in the April 2018 issue of Comparative Studies in Society and History.
I have a strong interest in efforts to decolonize K-12 pedagogy and in public history efforts that reach beyond academic audiences. Recently, I have discussed some of ways in which colonial assumptions about European superiority and normativity endure in our textbooks, media, everyday speech, and far beyond in pieces for The Tyee and Active History, and in a “Walrus Talks” event at the Canadian Museum of History.
I welcome enquiries from motivated MA and PHD applicants who share an affinity for these issues, who bring an interest in historical practice at the interface with Indigenous studies, and who are committed to ethical research methodologies.
E. Paul, D. McKenzie, P. Raibmon, and H. Johnson. E. Paul, As I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms tɑʔɑw) From the Life of a Sliammon Elder. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019. (Open source, multi-media digital book).
E. Paul, P. Raibmon, and H. Johnson, Written As I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms tɑʔɑw) From the Life of a Sliammon Elder. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014.
P. Raibmon, Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter from the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
Articles and Chapters
P. Raibmon, “Transformational Listening,” in As I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms tɑʔɑw) From the Life of a Sliammon Elder. E. Paul, D. McKenzie, P. Raibmon, and H. Johnson. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019.
J. Jenson, F. Polletta, and P. Raibmon, “The Difficulties of Combating Inequality in Time,” Daedalus: Journal of the American Acadamy of Arts and Sciences, 148, 3 (Summer 2019): 136-163.
P. Raibmon, “Obvious but Invisible: Ways of Knowing Health, Environment, and Colonialism in a West Coast Indigenous Community,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 60, 2 (2018): 241-273.
P. Raibmon, “Unmaking Native Space: A Genealogy of Indian Policy, Settler Practice, and the Microtechniques of Dispossession,” 56-85 in The Power of Promises: Rethinking Indian Treaties in the Pacific Northwest. Ed. A. Harmon. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.
P. Raibmon, “Meanings of Mobility on the Northwest Coast”, in New Histories for Old: Changing Perspectives on Canada’s Native Pasts, ed. T. Binnema and S. Neylan, Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007.
P. Raibmon, “The Practice of Everyday Colonialism: Indigenous Women at Work in the Hop Fields and Tourist Industry of Puget Sound,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, 3 (2006): 23-56.
P. Raibmon, “’Handicapped by Distance and Transportation’: Indigenous Relocation, Modernity and Time-Space Expansion,” American Studies, 46 (2005): 363-390.
P. Raibmon, “Naturalizing Power: Land and Sexual Violence Along William Byrd’s Dividing Line,”20-39 in Seeing Nature Through Gender. Ed. V. Scharff, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.
P. Raibmon, “Living on Display: Colonial Visions of Aboriginal Domestic Spaces,” BC Studies, 140 (2003): 69-89.
P. Raibmon, “Back to the future?: Modern pioneers, vanishing cultures, and nostalgic pasts (review essay),” BC Studies, 187 (2002): 187-193.
P. Raibmon, “Theatres of Contact: The Kwakwaka’wakw Meet Colonialism in British Columbia and at the Chicago World’s Fair,” Canadian Historical Review, 81, 2 (2000): 157-190.
P. Raibmon, “Indians, Land, and Identity in Washington (or, Why Cross-Border Shop): A review essay,” BC Studies, 124 (1999/2000): 93-98.
P. Raibmon, “A New Understanding of Things Indian: George Raley’s Negotiation of the Residential School Experience,” BC Studies, 110 (1996): 69-96.
P. Raibmon, “Hiding Behind the Myth of One ‘Rule of Law,'” The Tyee, 18 February 2020.
P. Raibmon, “Making History of the Past: Re-thinking Europe’s Boundaries in a Move Towards Anti-Racist Pedagogy,” The Walrus Talks Boundaries, Canadian Museum of History, 23 September 2019.
P. Raibmon, “Provincializing Europe in Canadian History: Or, How to Talk about Relations Between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans,” Active History, 24 October 2018.
P. Raibmon, “How to Talk about Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans,” The Tyee, 28 September 2018.
P. Raibmon, “Posing the Past,” in catalogue for Nanitch: Early Photographs from of British Columbia from the Langmann Collection, exhibition at Presentation House Gallery (mounted in partnership with UBC Library), April 2016.
P. Raibmon, “The McDonaldization of Education: Colonialism Revisited,” in McEducation for All?. Comp. Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development. Shikshantar: Udaipur, India, 2003.
Senior Fellow, Successful Societies Group, CIFAR, 2014-2019.
Honourable mention, bi-ennial prize for best book in women’s and gender history for Written as I Remember It,” Canadian Committee on Women’s History, 2016.
Best book in Indigenous History, Canadian Historical Association for Written as I Remember It, 2016.
Armitage-Jameson Prize for most outstanding monograph in western women’s history for Written as I Remember It, Coalition for Western Women’s History, 2015.
Honourable Mention, BC Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing for Written as I Remember It, British Columbia Historical Federation, 2015.
Bi-ennial best article prize in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas for “The Practice of Everyday Colonialism: Indigenous Women at Work in the Hop Fields and Tourist Industry of Puget Sound,” 2006.
Stone-Suderman prize for best article in American Studies for “‘Handicapped by Distance and Transportation’: Indigenous Relocation, Modernity, and Time-Space Expansion,” Mid-America American Studies Association, 2006.
Short-listed for best book in Canadian history, Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter on the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast, Canadian Historical Association, 2006.
John Hope Franklin Center Book Prize for Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter on the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast, Duke University Press, 2005.
Fellow, Newberry Library Lannan Institute in American Indian History, 2003.
Arrell M. Gibson Award for best article in Native American history for “Theatres of Contact: The Kwakwaka’wakw Meet Colonialism in British Columbia and at the Chicago World’s Fair,” Western Historical Association, 2001.
Robert F. Heizer Prize for best article in the field of ethnohistory for “Theatres of Contact: The Kwakwaka’wakw Meet Colonialism in British Columbia and at the Chicago World’s Fair,” American Society for Ethnohistory, 2001.