Category Archives: Indigenous History

On the Bay’s 350th, let’s remember department stores’ contributions to colonialism and white supremacy

In this post, Dr. Donica Belisle, author of Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada, and Associate Professor of History at the University of Regina, discusses the ways that Canadian retailers have profited from anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism. She argues that capitalist enterprise has long profited from colonialism and white supremacy in Canada. This year marks the… Read more »

Transformations in the Canadian History Classroom

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This is part of an ongoing series of reflections from the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) By Catherine Carstairs I am a Canadian historian, and I teach the Canadian survey course. Lately, this seems a lot more complicated than it did when I trained as a historian. Much of what we call Canada today rests on the unceded territories… Read more »

The Missing History of Disappearance in Vancouver: The Rise and Fall of the Neighbourhood Safety Office

  James FitzGerald The Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver has been described as Canada’s Poorest Postal Code and one of the country’s densest populations of substance-using and low-income communities. Largely due to the disappearances and murders of so many of its women and girls, the DTES has also become known as ground zero for disproportionate violence against Indigenous women, as… Read more »

The Complex Truth: Intersections between Day Schools and the Shubenacadie Residential School

On October 24, 2019, Active History commenced a series on education “after” residential schools with an article written by Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls and Karen Bridget Murray. The series is open-ended. Active History welcomes additional contributions on related themes. By Martha Walls I am an historian who has studied the impact of Government of Canada policies and actions… Read more »

Education “After” Residential Schools

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Editorial Note: This article introduces a series of reflections to be published on Active History in the weeks to come. It is also an invitation for additional contributions that relate to the themes sketched out below. By Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls, and Karen Bridget Murray We are settler-colonial educators writing to settler-colonial educators against the backdrop of “decades… Read more »

Serving Indigenous Community-Oriented Scholars in the Ivory Tower

Brittany Luby The academic landscape is changing. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, many Canadian universities have committed to increasing the diversity of their faculty. They have also committed to improving Indigenous programming. Many universities have associated these action items with two goals: (1) combatting the perpetuation of colonial knowledges, and (2) attracting and retaining… Read more »

Remember/Resist/Redraw #20: National Parks, Colonial Dispossession, and Indigenous Resilience

With summer in full swing and many people enjoying the outdoors, the Graphic History Collective has released RRR Poster #20 that looks at the history of national parks, colonial dispossession, and Indigenous resilience in what is currently Canada. The poster, by Nancy Kimberley Phillips and Wacey Little Light, illustrates how many Indigenous peoples experience the “conservation” of Canada’s national parks… Read more »

Teaching Life and Death Stories in University Classrooms – Part 3

Today’s post is the third in a four part series that began as different conversations about teaching Mary Jane Logan McCallum and Adele Perry’s Structures of Indifference, winner of The Indigenous History Book Prize, awarded by the Indigenous History Group of the Canadian Historical Association. Each week will will focus on one professor’s experiences teaching the book to undergraduate students… Read more »

“It took this long for Canada to listen:” Defining Genocide in Reclaiming Power and Place

Editors at Active History have been discussing the conclusions of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls since they were released earlier this month. In thinking of the best way to amplify the findings laid out in the report, “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls,”… Read more »

Historians and Indigenous Genocide in Saskatchewan

By Robert Alexander Innes [This essay was first published last June on Shekon Neechie. It asks questions about the approach of Canadian historians to genocide that are again relevant after the response of much of the media to the MMIWG- Final Report.] As a result of the Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) the notion… Read more »