Category Archives: Indigenous History

What’s in a name? Thomas Scott and the curious case of the forgotten memorial

An image of a large grey stone building, built in a classical style.

Matthew McRae The City of Winnipeg recently tore down the Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, located in the city’s historic Exchange District. News coverage about the demolition has focused a lot on the loss of architectural heritage. This is important, but it’s only one part of the story. There’s also the story of who the building is named after: Thomas… Read more »

We’tsuwet’en Sovereignty Stands Against Canadian Supremacy

By Catherine Murton Stoehr There is a hard disconnect between the actual treaties that the Mi’kmaq, Great Lakes Nations, and Metis forced through strength of arms and today’s “reconciliation moment.”  And it is this: no Indigenous person in the history of this place ever wanted large numbers of non-Indigenous Canadians to live here.  Not out of dislike or insularity but… Read more »

The Settler Playbook: Understanding Responses to #ShutDownCanada in Historical Context

Sarah Rotz, Daniel Rück, and Sean Carleton On February 7, militarized RCMP arrested and removed Wet’suwet’en land defenders from their unceded territories, triggering demonstrations and blockades across the country. With large parts of the country’s rail traffic at a standstill, and shipping vessels unable to move goods, people are seeing that peaceful civil disobedience can #ShutDownCanada. As solidarity actions spread,… Read more »

If we had only known… whistle blowers, Florence Nightingale, and residential schools

We like to think that the abuses of the past might have been avoided if only decision makers and the public had known about them. In these cases, the information was available, and change did not come.

Learning through Unlearning in Undergraduate History Education

This is part of an ongoing series of reflections from the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) By: Natalie Cross, Alyssa Kaminski, and Urvi Maheshwari Beginning an undergraduate education can be uncomfortable. After several years of attending classes, however, the experience becomes common, perhaps banal. For the most part we attend three hours of classes per course each week. They… 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 »

Cranes

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This is part of an ongoing series of reflections from the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) By Philip Girard During MISHI 2019 I stayed in Gore Bay and drove to M’Chigeeng each day. While making the drive on the first day, and every day thereafter, I noticed a half-dozen large stork-like birds in a meadow along the way. I… Read more »

Listening to Anishinaabemowin: the Voice of Mnidoo Mnising

This is part of an ongoing series of reflections from the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) What can historians learn from engaging with Indigenous languages, and how can we do it in a respectful, reciprocal way? Aanii Cathleen ndi-zhnikaaz. Toronto ndoo-njibaa. Hello, my name is Cathleen and I am a settler person living in Toronto and also a PhD… Read more »

Settler Colonialism, Residential Schools, and Architectural History

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 Magdalena Milosz I remind Until I fall. Rita Joe, “Hated Structure”[1] Throughout my undergraduate education in architecture, I… Read more »