My name is Daniel Rück (Rueck) and I teach history of Indigenous peoples, settler colonialism, legal systems, and nation-states in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa.
My settler ancestors arrived between 1860 and 1960 from the British Islands and Central Europe. I grew up in Austria, Hungary, and Western Canada.
My research concerns land tenure and land use on First Nations territories, and focuses especially on Indian reserves and reservations. I investigate the laws by which Indigenous peoples managed their lands, and how empires and nation-states opposed and undermined these practices. I am currently engaged in a long-term project to analyze the comparative land histories of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) territories on both sides of the international border. I work with archival sources such as historical survey data and maps, and use digital tools to visualize and analyze these data.
I am interested in contextualizing current legislative efforts to privatize reserve lands and to terminate Indigenous land rights within the larger history of Canadian and U.S. endeavors to break up Indigenous communities and lands, as well as Indigenous peoples’ own dedication to the maintenance, growth, and flourishing of their communities and lands.
Another of my ongoing projects is to spatialize the notebooks and diaries of nineteenth-century Dominion Lands Surveyor Otto J. Klotz as a way to understanding Canadian colonialism in the Prairie West.
Between 2012 and 2014 I was R. Roy McMurtry Fellow in Canadian Legal History at Western University (London, Ontario) and FQRSC (Fonds québécois de recherche – société et culture) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, Toronto. In 2014 I was Faculty Lecturer in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University, Montréal.
My current manuscript, under contract for publication with UBC Press, is titled Laying Down the Law: Indigenous governance and settler colonialism in Mohawk country.