King was named the winner at a Vancouver ceremony Friday for "The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America" (Doubleday Canada).
Jury members called it a "wry, iconoclastic and important book that challenges us to think differently about both the past and the future."
The two-time Governor General's Award nominee beat finalists including journalist Graeme Smith and his acclaimed book "The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan."
Also on the short list was J. B. MacKinnon for "The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be," Carolyn Abraham for "The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us," and Margaret MacMillan for "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914."
Now into its 10th year, the B.C. non-fiction prize is presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.
This year's jury — Globe and Mail books editor Jared Bland, author and publisher Anna Porter and author/journalist Daphne Bramham — read 141 books.