Rufus Z. Smith Award
The Award is presented to the individual (or individuals) who is deemed to have written the best article in ARCS during the two years prior to the biennial conference at which it is presented. The prize is named after Rufus Z. Smith, a long-time secretary-treasurer of the Association.
The recipient of the 2015 Rufus Z. Smith Award for outstanding article in The American Review of Canadian Studies is Neel Baumgardner for his article "Waterton Lakes: The Business of Parks and Preservation in the North American Borderlands," ARCS Volume 44, Number 3 (2014).
While the Canadian Pacific instigated the establishment of Banff, Waterton Lakes National Park never had a connection to the Canadian main railway line. Instead, the Great Northern, the northernmost US transcontinental railroad, stepped in to develop Waterton Lakes and Glacier along the Alberta/Montana borderlands. With the completion of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Townsite, the railroad integrated the two spaces fiver years before the parks were formally designated, in 1932, as the world's first peace park. While big businesses, like the railroads, participated in the creation and development of parks, decidedly smaller business, from shops, groceries, restaurants, and hotelliers, operating both inside and adjacent to protected spaces, also influenced and benefitted from them as well. Waterton Lakes and Glacier, as parks on the periphery of two nations, were profoundly shaped by ideas and actors that migrated across borders just as freely as the flora and fauna these spaces sought to protect.
The 2013 Rufus Z. Smith Award went to Soren Fanning for his article "Forging a Frontier: Social Capital and Canada's Mounted Police, 1867-1914," which appeared in ARCS Volume 42, Number 4, 2012.
The article examines the role of the North West Mounted Police in creating communities in teh Canadian prairies during the first decades of Confederation. Despite being created as an institution of law enforcement, the Mounted Police acted more often as a social boinding agent, creating the necessary conditions and organizations required to establish permanent communities otherwise isolated from one another. As the only federal presence in the frontier the force evolved into an autonomous institution of cultural stability, performing vital services and advocating for frontier objectives to the government in Ottawa.
The recipients of the 2011 Rufus Z. Smith Award for the outstanding article in The American Review of Canadian Studies is awarded to, Karen Jones, University of Kent, “From Big Bad Wolf to Ecological Hero: Canis Lupus and the Culture(s) of Nature in the American–Canadian West", ARCS, Vol. 40.3, Autumn 2010.
From devil incarnate to ecological saint, Canis lupus, the gray wolf, has proved an object of intense fascination for the North American imagination. This essay plots changing attitudes toward wolves in four national parks along the Rocky Mountains with a view to exploring ideas about wilderness, conservation policy, animal crossings, and the frontier. Yellowstone and Glacier in the United States and Banff and Jasper in Canadawitnessed first the deliberate extermination and then the canonization of wolves in a little over a century. Choosing to follow the contours of the Rockies rather than the latitudes of the nation-state, I compare shifting policy and cultures of nature across boundaries, pointing to the value of transnational perspectives on the history of the American–Canadian West and the necessity of a borderlands approach when studying an animal prone to roaming across our political demarcations. (Taylor & Francis abstract)