Category Archives: Series

The Big Hole of Black Oblivion

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By Rachel Hatcher [This is the second in a series of posts titled “Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces”] The Big Hole in Kimberley, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, somehow manages to tower over the city in a way that is surprising for a big hole in the ground, which is precisely what the Big Hole… Read more »

When History Needs an Intervention

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By Mary Jane McCallum Thank you to Crystal Fraser for guest-editing #AHindigenous at ActiveHistory this week. Her initiative exponentially increased Active History’s content by Indigenous people and likely its Indigenous readership. To Leanne Simpson, Zoe Todd, Claire Thomson, Daniel Sims, Adam Gaudry, Anna Huard, Lianne Charlie, Norma Dunning and Billy-Ray Belcourt, thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring posts. Each piece… Read more »

Political Depression in a Time of Reconciliation

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By Billy-Ray Belcourt It’s tough: knowing that you might not get the world you want and the world that wants you back, that your bones might never stop feeling achy and fragile from the wear and tear of mere existence, from the hard labour of getting through the day. Ours are bodies that have been depleted by time, that have been… 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 »

Series @ ActiveHistory.ca: 2014-2015

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As part of our summer hiatus, ActiveHistory.ca is featuring summaries of the papers and series we’ve run over the past year. Today, we provide a list of the series we’ve published since September 2014: The Home Archivist (by Jess Dunkin) – Ongoing Introduction (September) The Grand Seduction (October) Getting my Hands Dirty (November) Dust, Mold and Adhesives – Part I… Read more »

Reassessing the Abortion Caravan

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By Shannon Stettner and Christabelle Sethna The Abortion Caravan is a gutsy, fun, and bold example of direct action. The more recent attention to it seems to have resulted in a level of exposure and an attribution of importance that probably exceeds its actual historical significance to the pro-choice movement in Canada. When an event is popularized, perhaps even mythologized,… Read more »