Lutz, John

Associate Professor


Phone number: (250) 721-7381
Department: History

Research description:

- History of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, including Victoria and Vancouver Island
- History of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations
- History of race and racialization
- European colonialism in the Pacific
- Teaching with technology

Expertise profile
Dr. John Lutz is popularizing the history of the Pacific Northwest.

Through an innovative weave of traditional historical research, community-based fieldwork and popular interactive websites, Dr. Lutz sheds new light on settler-Aboriginal relations in the area.

Dr. Lutz works in the Department of History at the University of Victoria where he teaches courses such as "The Social History of the Automobile" and "Ten Days that Shook the World."

Of the many website projects that he directs or co-directs, the most popular is Great Unsolved Canadian Mysteries, a site that invites students to "solve" mysteries plucked from Canada's rich history while developing their research skills.

The site is used in high school and university classrooms across Canada and has about 200,000 unique visitors a year.

Dr. Lutz's main research area is First Nations and settler relations in Canada. He is the author of the award-winning book Makuk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations in which he takes aim at the myth of the "lazy Indian".

Every two years Dr. Lutz teaches an ethnohistory field school. A group of UVic graduate students live with the Sto:lo First Nation in the Fraser Valley for a month and research topics the community is interested in. Dr. Lutz says theirs is the only ethnohistory field school in Canada.

Dr. Lutz's ultimate goal is to make Canadian history engaging, accessible and exciting for students and the general public.

Related Links
Dr. Lutz's Faces of UVic Research video
Coasts Under Stress project
Great Unsolved Canadian Mysteries

Countries lived or worked in:


Community projects

Dr. Lutz does historical research on Vancouver Island, including the history of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations, and directs a website on the history of Victoria He is also a partner with Dr. Patrick Dunae in the website on Vancouver Island history
With the History of Racialisation Group we have developed an online alternative walking tour of Victoria at

Dr. Lutz has written about the history of Aboriginal-white relations locally and in British Columbia (see his CV on his website) and on a murder on Salt Spring Island at
He is also involved in the "Coasts Under Stress" project looking at north coastal Vancouver Island, including Alert Bay.

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