Category Archives: Indigenous History

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 »

Teaching the Legacy of the Sixties Scoop and Addressing Ongoing Child Welfare Inequality in the Classroom

Krista McCracken Over the past six years, while working at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, I’ve seen a significant growth of awareness among students and community groups about the history residential schools.  Granted, this awareness can still be hit and miss and there are definitely still many misconceptions about residential schools, however an increasing number of visitors come to the… Read more »

History not Enough: A Look at the Climate of Reconciliation in Canada Today

Today we re-post the first in an Acadiensis series that features students from Jerry Bannister’s undergraduate and graduate Canadian Studies and History classes at Dalhousie University. By Mercedes Peters Canadians following the news lately could probably say something about The Tragically Hip’s ailing frontman, Gord Downie, and his most recent artistic endeavor, The Secret Path.[1] The conceptual album, paired with… Read more »