Dr. Peter Cook

Dr. Peter Cook
Associate Professor
Office: Cle B228

BA (Toronto), MA (Ottawa), PhD (McGill)

Area of expertise

Early Canadian History, Settler-Indigenous Relations, Immigration and Identity

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Wednesday 1:00 - 2:00 pm or by appointment

Faces of UVic Research video


I grew up in the Ottawa Valley and attended the University of Toronto, Université Laval, the University of Ottawa, and McGill University. During a summer job at the Archives Nationales du Québec in Sainte-Foy, I came across a notarial act signed by Pierre-Esprit Radisson; this may well have been the moment I became hooked by the history of early Canada and that of Indigenous-settler relations in North America. My research examines the alliances forged between Indigenous nations of eastern North America and European colonies (New France in particular) in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. I am currently studying images of Native American kings in early modern English and French travel writing and their role in shaping the Europeans' approach to intercultural diplomacy.

Selected publications

“Onontio Gives Birth: How the French in Canada Became Fathers to Their Indigenous Alllies, 1645–73,” Canadian Historical Review 96, no. 2 (2015): 165–193. *Winner of the William Koren, Jr. Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies.

“‘A King in Every Countrey’: English and French Encounters with Indigenous Leaders in Sixteenth-Century America.” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada, 24, no. 2 (2013): 1–32.

“Les premiers contacts vus à travers les sources documentaires européennes.” In Les Autochtones et le Québec : Des premiers contacts au Plan Nord, 55–73. Edited by Alain Beaulieu, Stéphan Gervais, and Martin Papillon. Coll. “Paramètres.” Montreal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2013.

“Kings, Captains, and Kin: French Views of Native American Political Organization in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries.” In The Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550–1624, 307–341. Edited by Peter Mancall. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2007.

“Vivre comme frères: le rôle du registre fraternel dans les premières alliances franco-amérindiennes au Canada (vers 1580–1650).” Recherches amérindiennes au Québec 31, no. 2 (2001): 55–65.

“Symbolic and Material Exchange in Intercultural Diplomacy: The French and the Hodenosaunee in the Early Eighteenth Century.” In New Faces of the Fur Trade: Selected Papers of the Seventh North American Fur Trade Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1995, 75–100. Edited by Jo-Anne Fiske, Susan Sleeper Smith and William Wicken. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1998.

“New France’s Agents of Intercultural Diplomacy: The Western Frontier, 1703–1725.” In Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, Cleveland, May 1994, 59–79. Edited by A. J. B. Johnston. Cleveland: French Colonial Historical Society, 1996.


HSTR 101A Ten Days That Shook the World
HSTR 230A Canada to Confederation
HSTR 328 Indigenous-Settler Relations in Canada
HSTR 330B Tragedy and Transformation in Colonial North America, 1500-1800
HSTR 330C Between Hope and Betrayal: Indigenous -Settler Treaties in Canada since 1600
HSTR 385D Pirates and Piracy since 1500
HSTR 427 Seminar in Indigenous History of Canada