British Columbia

'Welcome to Resisterville' tracks American draft dodgers of West Kootenay

New book, Welcome to Resisterville, charts the impact of American draft dodgers and dissidents who flocked to B.C.'s West Kootenay in the 1960s and 70s.

Kathleen Rodgers's new book looks at how draft dodgers and dissidents shaped areas like B.C.'s Slocan Valley

Sociologist Kathleen Rodgers' latest book Welcome to Resisterville: American Dissidents in British Columbia chronicles the migration of draft dodgers to the West Kootenay. (UBC Press)

A new book, Welcome to Resisterville: American Dissidents in British Columbia, charts the impact of American draft dodgers and other young counter-cultural people who flocked to the West Kootenay in the 1960s and 70s.

"This was a really different set of values that they represented. They were American, so that was one initial concern, but they were also young and they had entirely different lifestyles," said author Kathleen Rodgers, a University of Ottawa sociology professor.

"They dressed differently. They did their gardening in the nude. They swam in the nude. They were eating tofu and were vegetarian, so they were certainly different from the rest of the people that lived in the region at the time."

Rodgers, who grew up in the Slocan Valley, told Daybreak South's Chris Walker that when the new residents moved in, they were sometimes met with animosity from more established residents.

Now, decades later, they themselves have become the established residents of the West Kootenay — and Rodgers said they have left their mark.

"People come here now and don't even know about the migration … and come to the Kootenays for the alternative lifestyle," she said.

"Not caught up in a nine to five job that ensures they're going to have a house and a mortgage and a nice car — but instead it's kind of laid back and people appreciate the day to day beauty of the region."

Rodgers is currently back in the Kootenays, and will be speaking at the Knox Hall in New Denver on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT.

To hear the full interview with Kathleen Rodgers, click the audio labelled: Kathleen Rodgers' book about draft dodgers.


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