Managing Editor’s Introduction (2000)

This is issue 1 of Volume 1 of Lobstick. As a small interdisciplinary journal, Lobstick is intended as an accessible “journal” appealing to a wide spectrum of audiences and authors. Above all, Lobstick is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research, debate, and the exchange of opinion. We are particularly interested in papers, (opinion and research based) and literary works of a contemporary nature which are designed to stimulate thought and informed controversy. Open to the scholarly community as well as persons outside the walls of formal academic institutions, the journal aims at a broad audience across disciplines and communities.

With this in mind, Lobstick is not intended as a mainstream journal. Rather, papers and works expressing alternative views or with a focus which is cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and/or uniquely situated in terms of one or more of geography, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and/or political perspective are actively sought. It is therefore most fitting that Lobstick’s premier issue be about the historical experiences and contemporary relevance of Treaty 8 as told by a number of voices and from a multitude of perspectives and foci. Indeed, this issue of Lobstick is consistent with the aim of this journal to welcome and embrace serious debate and discussion as well as with our cross and multi-disciplinary focus.

Yet, the papers which appear in these pages go well beyond simply encouraging debate. They outline often competing perspectives on the largest numbered Treaty in Canada and also constitute the only published and reasonably complete account of the Treaty. This volume, based on the Proceedings of the 1899 Centennial Conference, is then also of historical and contemporary political and social importance.

It is, of course, a serious understatement to say that a number of debts are owed to many communities and individuals in first, establishing a new journal and, second, publishing a volume of this scope and magnitude. The vision and willingness of the entire editorial collective of this journal to persevere and actually establish both an on-line version and a print version of Lobstick cannot go unrecognized. Here, the work of Jerry Petryshyn, Duff Crerar, Campbell Ross, Elroy Deimert, Alan Segal, and Rolf Boon must be particularly emphasized. Without their patience and, at times, heated debate about direction and focus, the journal would not exist. The initial and continued support of senior administration at Grande Prairie Regional College was and is also critical in establishing Lobstick as an entity.

Once established, the work of our previous managing editor, Louise Saldanha, who is now on professional leave from the College to pursue other studies, was most helpful in developing the web presence and starting the work of bringing the project to life. The phenomenal administrative, technical, and clerical support provided by Norine Laverick has made all things not only seem possible but actually occur. The skills and professionalism in matters from typing to layout and production which she has brought to this publication deserve special and eternal appreciation. The subsequent much needed and appreciated help of Chris Levoir in producing this volume and keeping track of authors, drafts, galleys, and editors must also be recognized.

The special editors for this volume and the contributing authors, without whom there would be no Lobstick, must also be recognized in general and in specific. While the author’s styles vary, they have all graciously accepted many editorial suggestions and have, in some cases, endured our more than occasional prodding, tight time lines and apparent confusion. What all have shared is, of course, not only an interest in the subject matter of Treaty 8 but also a willingness to consider different and often competing perspectives.

Finally, projects like this have costs. In part, these have been defrayed by a grant from the Integrated Research Unit at Grande Prairie Regional College to give the journal seed money and provide some initial release time to allow the project to move forward in its early stages. The continued on-going administrative support allowed by the College and the Department of Arts, Commerce and Education is also critical in ensuring that Lobstick will survive and grow. For this particular volume, the assistance of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation in sponsoring the conference event and subsequently assisting in this publication is also gratefully acknowledged.

Scott McAlpine

Managing Editor


Web Edition Preface (2002)

In the two years since the centennial of Treaty 8,  Lobstick has gained substantial regional and national attention for it  publication of  this volume.  This web version of Volume 1 Number 1 of  Lobstick: An Interdisciplinary Journal, featuring selected papers on the 1999 Centennial Conference on Treaty 8,  has long been in the planning stages but was precipitated by the development of a  Treaty 8 Website at

Throughout, an attempt has been made to stay as close as possible to the original published text  but some changes have, unfortunately, had to be made. The primary changes are:

  • page numbers have been deleted
  • some diagrams and charts have been omitted
  • the quality of remaining diagrams and charts is variable
  • page formats have changed
  • longer quotations have been standardized in format and do not conform to the original
  • the published photographic archive has been expanded
  • notes to the articles normally follow the references, works cited, or bibliography
  • some internal links within the papers to the notes are not operational

Nonetheless, given the recent events surrounding proposed amendments to the Indian Act and other events surrounding interpretations of Treaty 8, it remains important to bring forward the often competing perspectives on the largest numbered Treaty in Canada. Indeed, as recognized in The Canadian Historical Review,  the papers represented here constitute the only published and reasonably complete account of the Treaty.  This volume, based on the Proceedings of the 1899 Centennial Conference, is then also of historical and contemporary political and social importance.

Scholars and others so interested are, of course, encouraged to read these materials.  We would also encourage you to read all  of these materials and to come to your own conclusions surrounding Treaty 8 and enjoin you to order a hard copy for your library.  Clearly,  as a small journal with no paid staff,  we rely on your generosity and support as well as that of our authors, artists, editorial collective, and clerical assistance without whom this project could never have become a reality.

Scott McAlpine

Managing Editor,

June , 2002