Angela Tozer

Assistant Professor

Historical Studies

Tilley Hall 114

1 506 447 3158

Thematic research and supervisory clusters: Colonialism, diasporas; Atlantic world; Politics, resistance and culture; Oral history/digital storytelling; Environmental history; Indigenous history; Ethnicity, race and nationalism

Temporal period: Modern

Geographical region: Canada; Britain; The Atlantic

PhD, McGill University, 2020
MA, McGill University, 2012
Honours BA, University of Toronto, 2010

Dr. Angela Tozer researches in Canadian history with a focus on the 19th century. Her research explores the relationship between capitalism and settler colonialism. Her current book project examines the Canadian public debt, which she argues facilitated settler colonial expansion over Indigenous living spaces. This project looks at the financialization of the credit/debt relationship that was racialized as settler “creditworthiness,” and predicated on understanding a distinct settler “public.”

Tozer’s research balances between archival and oral history as she works with Indigenous communities, and the knowledges and stories that are shared with her. As a Tamil Canadian her focus is on building respectful professional relationships that prioritize a holistic approach to the study of the Canadian settler state that does not exclusively focus on archival and colonial documentation.

Current project

This research will be the first comprehensive study in Canadian history on the history of eel 'fisheries.’ Global demand for living commodities makes necessary fisheries that produce a continual market supply, often touted as ‘conservation.’ The American eel ( Anguilla rostrata) larvae emerge from the Sargasso Sea and then follow ocean currents to land, and take years to mature.

The unknown eel reproductive cycle means that human beings cannot control eel reproduction in the same manner as other fisheries such as salmon fisheries. This impacts the global demand for eels with implications for conservation efforts in the rising tide of unprecedented environmental change, particularly in aquatic spaces.

A history of eel fisheries asks what happens if the reproductive cycle of a commodified living being cannot be controlled? In what ways have the federal and provincial Maritime governments elided treaty rights to accommodate the particularities of eel commodification, and what does this mean for Indigenous jurisdiction over ‘moderate livelihood’ fisheries?


Universal Nation: Public Debt and the Making of the Canadian Settler State, 1820-1880. In contract with UBC Press.

“Democracy in a Settler State? Settler Colonialism and the Development of Canada, 1820–67,” in Constant Struggle Histories of Canadian Democratization, Julien Mauduit and Jennifer Tunnicliffe, eds (Montréal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2021)