Category Archives: Indigenous History

A Wrench in the Medicine Wheel: The Price of Stolen Water on Indigenous Cultural Continuity

by Anna Huard I wish to illustrate the severe negative cultural and spiritual impacts Indigenous people face when forced to reallocate from their traditional and sacred lands. Since the development in 1919, of a 100km aqueduct to transport drinking water from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation (SL40) to the City of Winnipeg, residents of a once flourishing and prosperous tract… Read more »

Paved with Good Intentions: Simply Requiring Indigenous Content is Not Enough

by Adam Gaudry Over the past year, the University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University have mandated that incoming undergraduate students complete an Indigenous degree requirement before graduating. This requirement takes the form of an Indigenous content class chosen from a number of options relevant to the student’s degree program. Given the popular response, many other universities are following suit, a… Read more »

“Not That Kind of Indian:” The Problem with Generalizing Indigenous Peoples in Contemporary Scholarship and Pedagogy

By Daniel Sims   As a recent hire at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, the student newspaper, The Dagligtale, interviewed me. Upon reading the printed story – and much to my surprise – I found that my home community of Tsay Keh Dene had become Tsay Keh Dane, but that it was also a reserve. The first error, I attributed… Read more »

Holding Our Lands and Places: The Everyday Politics of Indigenous Land and Identity

By Claire Thomson   On a warm September day, I looked down into a coulee from where my horse and I stood on a breezy prairie hill. Eight heifers crashed through the coulee, making a trail through the brush one after another. This was a tricky pasture to navigate since the hills are steep and rocky and also dense, filled with… Read more »

Conversations with my Father’s paintings: writing my relations back into the academy

By Zoe Todd   My research engages the relationship between people, place, stories and time. This manifests in my doctoral work with examinations of human-fish relationships in the context of colonialism in the Western Arctic. But closer to home, in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton), my work examines people’s relationships to place through story and art — fish stories, land stories, stories of movement… Read more »

A Smudgier Dispossession is Still Dispossession

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By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson  The waning months of 2015 signaled a seemingly dramatic albeit likely superficial shift in Indigenous-state relations in Canada. When the fall began, the Prime Minister was steadfast in his refusal to call an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which surprised few, as it was beautifully consistent with the contempt, paternalism and outright hatred… Read more »

Politics and Personal Experiences: An Editor’s Introduction to Indigenous Research in Canada

By Crystal Fraser A few summers ago, I was sitting along the Nagwichoonjik (Mackenzie River) at my family’s fish camp. I had hauled nearly fifty pounds of books with me – to, arguably, one of the most remote places in Canada – to continue reading for my PhD comprehensive exams. The presence of these academic monographs at an ancient Gwich’in… Read more »

The Contemporary relevance of the Historical Treaties to Treaty Indian peoples

On the day after the Trudeau government revealed its five-point plan for a renewed relationship with First Nations, ActiveHistory.ca is pleased to announce the publication of Leon Crane Bear’s “The Contemporary relevance of the Historical Treaties to Treaty Indian peoples” By Leon Crane Bear In June of 1969, the federal government announced its Statement of the Government of Canada on… Read more »

Canada’s Conversation on Cultural Genocide

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By Cynthia Dawn Roy The shocking final conclusion of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was that the residential school system was an act of “cultural genocide”. Aboriginal activists and organizations have stressed the importance of keeping TRC issues as part of a national conversation. This post will summarize various trends in Canada’s conversation on cultural genocide throughout June 2015…. Read more »

Halloween and the Commodification of Indians

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By Benjamin Hoy Each year numerous calls go out encouraging the public to choose respectful Halloween costumes. No more redface, faux headdresses, plastic tomahawks, or war paint.  Newspapers run articles attempting to defeather Halloween, denounce the sexualized Indian maiden costumes, and highlight the problems created by using ceremonial objects such as headdresses in disrespectful ways. From buzzfeed videos to John… Read more »