Dr. Scott Sheffield
Department of History
University of the Fraser Valley
Dr. Sheffield grew up in the East Kootenays before attending university in Victoria, with the intention of becoming a dentist. A lack of capacity in math and the sciences seemed likely to impede that career path, and so he turned to the courses he really enjoyed in history, political science, and geography. In the end, his true passion emerged as historical enquiry.
Sheffield completed an MA at the university of Victoria, with a thesis that examined government and military policies regarding the enlistment and conscription of Status Indians during the Second World War. From this foundation, he moved to Ontario, undertaking a doctorate where he studied English-Canadians' image of the ‘Indian; and how it was shaped through by the war and indigenous military service. This was subsequently published in 2004 as a monograph entitled The Red Man’s on the Warpath.
Since graduating in 2000, Sheffield has moved into work on indigenous veterans, especially their access to veterans’ benefits following the Second World War and Korea. He was asked to take part in the National Roundtable on First Nations Veterans Issues in 2000-01, and authored the Final Report for the committee, entitled A Search for Equity. Based on the findings of his report, the federal government made an official apology in 2003 and an offer of compensation to Status veterans. He then began another shift in direction, taking up a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship where he made my first foray into comparative history. He built on his doctoral research by comparing the comparable New Zealand experience, the Pakeha image of Maori, spending five months in Wellington researching, sight seeing, teaching, and flyfishing (in roughly that order).
After his arrival at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2005, his current research project developed as he expanded the comparative scope to the Australian and American experiences as well. Because of the enormous work involved in working with four national experiences, he persuaded his colleague, Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer, to join him. Together they won a three-year SSHRC Standard Research grant in 2008, which has enabled Sheffield to acquire a digital microfilm reader for the university and to hire student researchers in Canada as well as in Australia and New Zealand. He and his colleague have now completed most of the research for the planned monograph, and intend to spin off three or possibly four articles as well over the next three years.
Ph.D. Tri-University Doctoral Program, Wilfrid Laurier University (2000)
MA University of Victoria (1995)
BA University of Victoria (1992)
Sheffield is currently working on a SSHRC-funded comparative study of indigenous participation in the Second World War in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. He has also begun work amassing material for his next major research project on the military, social and cultural history of British Columbia during the Second World War.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - Standard Research Grant, 2008-2011
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - Aid to Conferences and Workshops, 2006-07
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2001-03
“The Red Man’s On the Warpath”: The Image of the ‘Indian’ and the Second World War, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004.
A Commemorative History of Aboriginal Peoples in the Canadian Military. Ottawa: Department of National Defence, forthcoming 2010. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer, John Moses and Maxime Gohier.) 176 pp.
Aboriginal Peoples and the Military: Canadian and International Perspectives, eds., P. Whitney Lackenbauer, R. Scott Sheffield and Craig Mantle, Kingston: CDI Press, 2007.
A Search for Equity: A Study of the Treatment Accorded to First Nations Veterans and Dependents of the Second World War and the Korean Conflict. The Final Report of the National Round Table on First Nations Veterans' Issues. Ottawa: Assembly of First Nations, May 2001, xv, 64 pages. Released in French as, En quête d'équité : étude sur le traitement réservé aux anciens combattants des Premières Nations ayant combattu pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale et la guerre de Corée, ainsi qu'aux personnes à leur charge. Par R. Scott Sheffield. Ottawa : Assemblée des Premières Nations, 2001. xv, 64 pages.
Articles in Refereed Journals and Peer-Reviewed Collections:
“Fighting a White Man’s War? First Nations Participation in the Canadian War Effort, 1939-45,” invited chapter to, as yet untitled, Festshrift for Terry Copp, anticipated publishing date 2011.
“Rehabilitating the Indigene: Post-war Reconstruction and the Image of the Indigenous Other in Anglo-Canada and New Zealand, 1943-48,” in, Rediscovering the British World. Phillip Buckner and R. Douglas Francis, eds. University of Calgary Press, 2005.
“Aboriginal Contributions to Canadian Culture and Identity in Wartime: English-Canada’s Image of the ‘Indian’ and the Fall of France,” invited submission to, Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, Vol. 1. David Newhouse, Cora Voyageur and Daniel Beavon, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
“Fighting the King’s War: Harris Smallfence, Verbal Treaty Promises and the Conscription of Indian Men, 1944,” University of British Columbia Law Review. Vol. 33, no. 1 (August 1999): 53-74. Co-authored with Hamar Foster.
Articles in Other Publications:
“Indifference, Difference and Assimilation: Aboriginal People in Canadian Military Practice, 1900-45,” in Aboriginal People and the Canadian Military: Historical Perspectives, eds. Craig Mantle and Whitney Lackenbauer. Kingston: CDI Press 2007.
“Moving Beyond Forgotten: The Historiography of Native Peoples in the World Wars,” Co-authored with Whitney Lackenbauer, in Aboriginal People and the Canadian Military: Historical Perspectives, eds. Craig Mantle and Whitney Lackenbauer. Kingston: CDI Press, 2007.
“Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and the Veterans’ Charter After the Second World War,” in Aboriginal Peoples and Military Service: Canadian and International Perspectives, eds. Whitney Lackenbauer, R. Scott Sheffield and Craig Mantle. Kingston: CDI Press 2007.
“Reconstructing the ‘Indian’: The Second World War, Reconstruction and the Image of the ‘Indian’ in English-Canada, 1943-45,” Canadian Military History Since the 17th Century: Proceedings of the Canadian Military History Conference. Ottawa: National Defence, 2001: 523-532.
“Of Pure European Descent and of the White Race”: Recruitment Policy and Aboriginal Canadians, 1939-1945,” Canadian Military History. Vol 5, no. 1 (Spring 1996): 8-15.