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Feit Harvey, FRSC | Professor Emeritus

Harvey Feit

FRSC | Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Anthropology


Research and Interests

Working closely with Eeyou (James Bay Cree) people on ethnographic and engaged projects I learned about Eeyou everyday practices of surviving, resisting, exercising collective autonomy, governing, and co-governing - amidst struggles with colonialism, dispossession, and pervasive ways of shaping conduct.

Joint projects also explore how Eeyou “ways of doing things” can shape the conduct of non-Eeyou, governments and corporations. How Eeyou hunters shape court hearings, treaty negotiations, transnational NGO collaborations, social economies, joint development agreements, and new co-governance regimes.

Other research explores: Eeyou families’ understandings of ‘power;’ failures of treaty implementation, of NGO alliances, and of joint ventures; means of exercising situated governance in neo-liberal times; and Eeyou ways of nurturing practical and ontological commensurabilities with non-Eeyou.

Earlier and continuing research explores human – animal – world relations and how people seek to sustain the worlds and ways of living that they value. Multi-year research with Waswanipi Eenou hunters showed how they were able to hunt intensively without depleting game or endangering animals’ collective well-being.

Other research involves: critically examining claims that “ecological Indians” learned conservation from non-Natives; researching and contributing to an income security program for Eeyou hunters; examining how nation state governance regimes can implicate Indigenous - state co-governance; and researching intellectual and political histories of several engaged anthropologists.


PhD McGill, 1979


Selected Publications

Feit, Harvey A. In Press (2017). “Dialogues on Surviving: Eeyou Hunters’ Ways of Engagement with Land, Governments and Youth” In Entangled Territorialities: Indigenous peoples from Canada and Australia in the 21st century, Françoise Dussart and Sylvie Poirier, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Pp. 25-50.

Feit, Harvey A. 2016. “Creating Jobs and an Eenou Social Economy.” In Together We Survive. John S. Long and Jennifer S.H. Brown, eds. Montreal: McGill – Queen’s Press. Pp. 46-70.

Feit, Harvey A. 2014. “Hunting and the Quest for Power: Relationships between James Bay Crees, the Land and Developers.” In Native Peoples: The Canadian Experience. Fourth Edition. C. Roderick Wilson and Christopher Fletcher, eds. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Pp. 115-145. (Expanded version of a 1986 article; the 1995 version is available at the Digital Library of the Commons at Indiana U:;jsessionid=09525A79F7539FC7956D7A4B2C55B5B3?sequence=1 ; and at Arctic Circle at the U Connecticut: Consulted 27/04/2016); and at the Universidad de Buenos Aires: Consulted 15/12/2016).

Feit, Harvey A. 2010. “Le peuple cri de la Baie James parle aux gouvernements: développement, gouvernance et co-gouvernance.” In Les Inuit et les Cris du Nord du Québec. Jacques-Guy Petit, Yv Bonnier Viger, Pita Aatami and Ashley Iserhoff, eds. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes and Presses de l’Université du Québec. Pp. 119-132. 

Feit, Harvey A. 2010. “Neo-liberal Governance and James Bay Cree Governance: Negotiated Agreements, Oppositional Struggles, and Co-Governance.” In Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age. Mario Blaser, Ravi de Costa, Deborah McGregor and William D. Colemen, eds. Vancouver: UBC Press. Pp. 49-79.

Feit, Harvey A. 2009.Governmental Rationalities and Indigenous Co-Governance: James Bay Cree Co-Existence, from Mercantilist Partnerships to Neoliberal Mechanisms.” In Unsettled Legitimacy: Political Community, Power, and Authority in a Global Era. Steven Bernstein and William D. Coleman, eds. Vancouver: UBC Press. Pp. 97-128.

Feit, Harvey A. 2009. “Histories of the Past, Histories of the Future: The Committed Anthropologies of Richard Slobodin, Frank G. Speck and Eleanor Leacock.” In A Kindly Scrutiny of Human Nature: Essays in Honour of Richard Slobodin. Richard Preston, ed. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press. Pp. 45-76.

Feit, Harvey A. 2007. “Myths of the Ecological Whitemen: Histories, Science, and Rights in North American – Native American Relations.” In Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian, Michael E. Harkin and David Rich Lewis, eds. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Pp. 52-92.

Spaeder, Joseph and Harvey A. Feit, eds. 2005. Co-management and Indigenous Communities: Barriers and Bridges to Decentralized Resource Management. A special issue of Anthropologica 47 (2): 147-288.

Feit, Harvey A. 2005. “Re-Cognizing Co-Management as Co-Governance: Histories and Visions of Conservation at James Bay.” Anthropologica. 47 (2): 267-288.

Blaser, Mario, Harvey A. Feit and Glenn McRae, eds. 2004 (E-book, 2013). In the Way of Development: Indigenous Peoples, Life Projects and Globalization. London: Zed Books with Canadian International Development Research Centre.  372 pp. (Open access download at: - Consulted 04/12/2016).

Feit, Harvey A. 2004. “James Bay Crees’ Life Projects and Politics: Histories of Place, Animal Partners and Enduring Relationships.” In Blaser, Feit and McRae, eds. above. Pp. 92-110.  

Blaser, Mario, Harvey A. Feit and Glenn McRae. 2004. “Indigenous Peoples and Development Processes: New Terrains of Struggle.” In Blaser, Feit and McRae, eds. above. Pp. 1-25.

Feit, Harvey A.  2004.  “Contested Identities of ‘Indians’ and ‘Whitemen’ at James Bay, or the Power of Reason, Hybridity and Agency.” In Senri Ethnological Studies. (Osaka)  66: 109-126. (Available at: – Consulted 10/04/2016).

Feit, Harvey A. 2004. “Les territoires de chasse algonquiens avant leur ‘découverte’? Études et histoires sur la tenure, les incendies de forêt et la sociabilité de la chasse.” Recherches amérindiennes au Québec  34 (3): 5-21.

Feit, Harvey A. and Colin H. Scott. 2004. "Applying Knowledge: Anthropological Praxis and Public Policy." In Ethnography and Development: The Work of Richard F. Salisbury. Marilyn Silverman, ed. Montreal: McGill‑Queen's Press. Pp. 233-255.

Feit, Harvey A. 2001. “Hunting, Nature and Metaphor: Political and Discursive Strategies in James Bay Cree Resistance and Autonomy.” In Indigenous Traditions and Ecology. John A. Grim, ed. Cambridge: Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University Press. Pp. 411-452

Feit, Harvey A. and Robert Beaulieu. 2001. “Voices from a Disappearing Forest: Government, Corporate and Cree Participatory Forestry Management Practices.”  In Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec and Labrador. Colin H. Scott, ed. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Pp. 119-148.  

Feit, Harvey A. 2000. “Les animaux comme partenaires de chasse: Réciprocité chez les Cris de la Baie James.”  Terrain (Paris) 34:123-142. (Available at: - Consulted 10/04/2016).

Feit, Harvey A., North American Section Editor. 1999 [Paperback, 2004]. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Richard B. Lee and Richard Daly, eds. Cambridge University Press.  

Feit, Harvey A. 1997. “Spiritual Power and Everyday Lives: James Bay Cree Shaking Tent Performers and Their Audiences.” In Circumpolar Animism and Shamanism. Takako Yamada and Takashi Irimoto, eds. Sapporo: University of Hokkaido Press. Pp. 121-150.

Feit, Harvey A. 1994. “The Enduring Pursuit: Land, Time, and Social Relationships in Anthropological Models of Hunter‑Gatherers and in Hunters' Images.” In Key Issues in Hunter‑Gatherer Research. Ernest S. Burch, Jr. and Linda J. Ellanna, eds. Oxford: Berg Publishers. Pp. 421‑439.

Feit, Harvey A. 1994. “Dreaming of Animals: The Waswanipi Cree Shaking Tent Ceremony in Relation to Environment, Hunting and Missionization.” In Circumpolar Religion and Ecology. Takashi Irimoto and Takako Yamada, eds. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Pp. 289‑316.

Feit, Harvey A. 1991. “The Construction of Algonquian Hunting Territories: Private Property as Moral Lesson, Policy Advocacy and Ethnographic Error.” In Colonial Situations: Essays on the Contextualization of Ethnographic Knowledge. George W. Stocking, Jr., ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. (History of Anthropology, Volume 7). Pp. 109‑134.

Feit, Harvey A. 1991. “Gifts of the Land: Hunting Territories, Guaranteed Incomes and the Construction of Social Relations in James Bay Cree Society.” Senri Ethnological Studies (Osaka) 30:223‑268. (Available at: – Consulted 10/04/2016).

Harvey A. 1989. “James Bay Cree Self‑Governance and Land Management.” In We Are Here: Politics of Aboriginal Land Tenure. Edwin N. Wilmsen, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 68‑98.

Feit, Harvey A. 1988 [1987]. “Waswanipi Cree Management of Land and Wildlife: Cree Cultural Ecology Revisited.” In Native Peoples: Native Lands. Bruce Cox, ed. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, Pp. 75‑91. (2nd printing 1988, was corrected).

Feit, Harvey A. 1988. “Self‑Management and State‑Management: Forms of Knowing and Managing Northern Wildlife.” In Traditional Knowledge and Renewable Resource Management in Northern Regions. Milton M.R. Freeman and Ludwig N. Carbyn, eds. Edmonton: Boreal Institute for Northern Studies, and International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Pp. 72‑91. (Alternate version available at: - Consulted 04/12.2016).

Feit, Harvey A. 1988. “The Power and the Responsibility: Implementation of the Wildlife and Hunting Provisions of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.” In James Bay and Northern Quebec: Ten Years After.  Sylvie Vincent and Garry Bowers, eds. Montreal: Recherches amérindiennes au Québec. Pp. 74‑88. 

Feit, Harvey A. 1987. “North American Native Hunting and Management of Moose Populations.” Viltrevy, Swedish Wildlife Research (Supplement 1): 25‑42.

Feit, Harvey A. 1986. “James Bay Cree Indian Management and Moral Considerations of Fur‑bearers.” In Native People and Renewable Resource Management. 1986 Symposium of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB), Edmonton: ASPB. Pp. 49‑65. 

Feit, Harvey A. 1985. “Legitimation and Autonomy in James Bay Cree Responses to Hydro‑electric Development.” In Indigenous Peoples and the Nation State. Noel Dyck, ed. St. John's: Memorial University, Institute for Social and Economic Research. Pp. 27‑66.