I’m always up for furthering my knowledge of Canadian history, especially when it comes to the provinces west of Ontario. And, thanks to the appropriately titled Knowledge Network, I can do that with British Columbia.
Debuting Tuesday at 9 p.m. PT on Knowledge—and available to stream for free on the channel’s website—the four-episode British Columbia: An Untold History digs deep to trace Canada’s most western land. Written and directed by Kevin Eastwood, whose excellent “Humboldt: The New Season” was broadcast on CBC Docs POV in 2019, the four-parter is a dramatic retelling of the province’s history, warts and all.
“As a settler who has lived their whole life in B.C., and went to school and university here, I thought I knew a lot about this place, but making British Columbia: An Untold History taught me I didn’t really know that much,” Eastwood said in a press release in support of the show’s debut. He notes that over 70 people contributed to it through interviews with authors, historians, knowledge keepers, elders, families, and descendants of historical figures. Indigenous, Chinese, Japanese, Punjabi, Black, and European stories are complemented by archival photography, film artifacts and footage to make for a fascinating series.
Tuesday’s debut, “Change + Resistance,” traces the Indigenous resistance to oppression in British Columbia. With the gold rushes and establishment of the new colony, Indigenous leaders resisted settler laws and challenged unsanctioned expansion into First Nations territories, only to be forced onto reserves. First Nations endured more losses when the federal Indian Act and residential schools criminalized Indigenous culture.
British Columbia: An Untold History airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PT on Knowledge Network. It can be streamed on Knowledge Network’s website.
Image courtesy of Kevin Eastwood.