Category Archives: Indigenous History

How and When to Invite Indigenous Speakers to the Classroom

By Skylee-Storm Hogan and Krista McCracken, with Andrea Eidinger In recent years, particularly since the publication of the TRC Calls to Action, there has been an increasing push to integrate Indigenous content into elementary and secondary classrooms across the country. While we believe that this work is essential, recent news reports have given us cause for concern. From the ongoing… Read more »

200 Years of Treaty Annuities

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Betsey Baldwin Indigenous people have received treaty annuities in Canada for 200 years (1818-2018). These annuities are annual payments made to Indigenous people in fulfilment of treaties. They were promised for all time, are still paid now and will be paid in future. The amount is not indexed to inflation. For example, this photo shows a Treaty 8 payment made… Read more »

Unexpected Archival Finds: Shingwauk Student Register

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Krista McCracken Recently staff at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) began a project to digitize a number of the stock registers, accounts books, and financial records associated with the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, which operated in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The materials in this project ranged in date from 1883 to 1945, with the bulk of the records relating… Read more »

Chanie Wenjack and the Histories of Residential Schooling We Remember

Today, 23 October, is the 52nd anniversary of Chanie Wenjack’s death. Chanie (misnamed Charlie by his teachers) was a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who, along with two other classmates, ran away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario in October 1966. Fleeing the school’s abusive environment, Wenjack tried to make it home to Ogoki Post in northern Ontario,… Read more »

Liberation from “That Vicious System”: Jim Brady’s 20th Century Métis Cooperatives and Colonial State Responses

Molly Swain James (Jim) Brady (1908-1967) was a Métis communist community organizer active primarily in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan in the mid-20th century.[i] He played an instrumental role in the formation of the Métis Association of Alberta (now the Métis Nation of Alberta) and the Alberta Métis Settlements. Over nearly four decades, Brady was also involved in organizing resource cooperatives… Read more »

Colonialism, Maple Syrup, and Ways of Knowing

Krista McCracken [1] Visit any Canadian tourist shop and you will likely find shelves filled with maple syrup, often branded with red maple leaves in an attempt to invoke feelings of national pride. Canada makes over 71% of the world’s maple syrup and there are more than 8,600 producers of maple syrup across the country. Given these stats it is hardly… Read more »

Spartans on the Canadian Prairie

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Sparta Leonidas Monument

Matthew A. Sears It is not uncommon to see the Ancient Greek phrase “molon labe” emblazoned on shirts, posters, and placards in today’s North America. Meaning roughly “come and get them,” the phrase was a Spartan king’s response to the Persians’ request for the Greeks to lay down their arms at Thermopylae in 480 BCE. Now the phrase is used,… Read more »

Settler Records, Indigenous Histories: Challenges in Indigenous Genealogical Research

Stacey Devlin and Emily Cuggy Genealogy is having a moment; from genealogy websites and DNA test kits to television series like Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow, it’s undeniable that genealogical research and the underlying desire to discover one’s personal and familial identity are more popular than ever before. There are countless resources available to both the… Read more »

A Theory, in Practice: Back to the Bering Land Bridge

By Alan MacEachern You have likely seen the video from Canada Day of a Mi’kmaw ceremony in Halifax disrupted by what appears to be a curling foursome and spare. At one point, one of the young white men (the skip?) asks a young, apparently Indigenous woman, what is clearly a leading question: “Has this always been Mi’kmaw land?” She replies,… Read more »

From Ignorance Towards Reconciliation

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By Jean-Pierre Morin Editor’s note: This post is an abridged version of the February 7th, 2017 Ottawa Historical Association talk “Relationships for Reconciliation: Historical Relationships in the Process of Reconciliation”. In December 2000, as a still new public servant, I was part of a group of representatives from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) sent to discuss the historic relationship… Read more »