Category Archives: Indigenous History

Teaching Life and Death Stories in University Classrooms – Part 1

Today’s post is the first in a four part series that began as different conversations about teaching Mary Jane Logan McCallum and Adele Perry’s Structures of Indifference, winner of The Indigenous History Book Prize, awarded by the Indigenous History Group of the Canadian Historical Association. Each week will will focus on one professor’s experiences teaching the book to undergraduate students… Read more »

A Pivotal Experience: Indigenous Participation in D-Day and the Second World War

This is the fifth of several posts marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the end of the Second World War as part of a partnership between Active History and the Juno Beach Centre. If you would like to contribute, contact series coordinator Alex Fitzgerald-Black at alex@junobeach.org. By: Shawkay Ottmann Indigenous veteran Clarence Silver once said, “When I served overseas… Read more »

Canada’s non-conversation about genocide

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By David Webster “Words have meaning,” CBC commentator Michael Enright declared in an editorial broadcast over the national radio network. He objected to the way one word, “genocide,” was used by the national commission of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. In this, Enright is far from alone – top media figures and publications fell over one another to… Read more »

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 »