I’ll look at Peace Arch Park at the Canada-U.S. border differently the next time I pass by to see my family living on the other side. Benjamin Hoy’s Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada–United States Border Across Indigenous Lands is both an important contribution to the scholarship of borderlands and more broadly to Canadian and U.S. history. Readers of Hoy’s book will come to see the border as a colonial tool for the mass starvation of indigenous people; as a calculated line that attempted to reorder kinship relations and definitions of nationality and indigeneity; as an ambiguous zone of control where goods and people moved through colonial power structures and inability to regulate or fathom the Indigenous world that existed before the border.

Hoy argues the Canada-U.S. border developed differently from the U.S.- Mexico border “because of American perceptions of cultural similarity and military prowess” (p. 6). The...

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