Brian Gettler

Brian Gettler

Associate Professor
Historical Studies - History
  • Room:
    MN 4240
  • Office Hours:
    Please refer to the syllabus and/or contact via email.
  • Mailing Address:

    3359 Mississauga Road, Maanjiwe nendamowinan, 4th floor
    Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6


Brian Gettler’s research focuses on the political, economic, and social history of colonialism in Quebec and Canada. He has published articles in several edited collections and academic journals, including the Canadian Historical Review, Histoire sociale / Social History, and the Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française. Gettler’s book, Colonialism’s Currency: Money, State, and First Nations in Canada, 1820-1950, analyzes the distinct experiences of three First Nations alongside the monetary dimensions of British and Canadian Indian policy and corporate policy in the fur trade. Rather than focusing on the perhaps obvious ways in which wealth shaped politics, it concentrates on money as both a symbol around which discourses of appropriate behaviour were articulated and as a concrete tool in the governance of peoples and lands. His current research explores public finance and Crown-First Nations fiscal relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Brian is a member of the Montreal History Group and Associate Editor of the Canadian Historical Review.


PhD in History (Université du Québec à Montréal)
DEA (MA) in Early-Modern and Modern History (Université Lumière-Lyon II)
BS in Computer Science and History (University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Indigenous History
  • History of Quebec and Canada
  • Economic, Political, and Social History
  • Colonialism


  • Colonialism's Currency: Money, State, and First Nations in Canada, 1820-1950 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020)
  • “Histoire autochtone, histoire québécoise: défis et ambiguïtés,” in François-Olivier Dorais and Geneviève Nootens (eds.), Québécois et Autochtones. Histoire commune, histoires croisées, ou histoires parallèles ? (Montréal: Boréal, 2023), p. 23-48.
  • “Take and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Democratic Colonialism in Canada,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada 31, no. 1 (2021): 97–103.
  • “Historical Research at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 98, no. 4 (2017): 641-674
  • “Economic Activity and Class Formation in Wendake, 1800-1950,” in Kathryn Magee Labelle and Thomas Peace (eds.), From Huronia to Wendakes: Adversity, Migrations, and Resilience, 1650-1900 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), p. 144-181 (available in French translation here:
  • “Innu Participation in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Fur Trade, 1888-1950,” in Kristin Burnett and Geoff Read (eds.), Aboriginal History: A Reader, 2nd ed. (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 135-145
  • “Les Premières Nations et l’histoire du Québec: au-delà du négationnisme et du récit ‘nationaliste-conservateur’,” Recherches amérindiennes au Québec, vol. 46, no. 1 (2016): 7-18.
  • "Money and the Changing Nature of Colonial Space in Northern Quebec: Fur Trade Monopolies, the State, and Aboriginal Peoples during the Nineteenth Century,” Histoire sociale/Social History 46, no. 92 (2013), 271-293. Winner of the Histoire sociale/Social History Best Article Prize, 2014.
  • "En espèce ou en nature? Les présents, l’imprévoyance et l’évolution idéologique de la politique indienne pendant la première moitié du XIXe siècle,” Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française 65, no. 4 (2012), 409-437.
  • "La consommation sous réserve : les agents indiens, la politique locale et les épiceries à Wendake aux XIXe et XXe siècles,” Bulletin d’histoire politique 20, no. 3 (2012), 170-185.