Tag Archives: colonialism

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 »

Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow: The Next Generation of Yukon Indigenous Politics

By Lianne Charlie In 1973 when Chief Elijah Smith and a delegation of representatives from Yukon First Nations travelled from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Ottawa to present Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau with Together Today for our Children Tomorrow (TTFCT), they had my generation (and the many to follow) in mind: “This is a settlement for tomorrow, not for today…This settlement is… Read more »

Strengthening the Nunavut Educational System

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By Norma Dunning In Canada there is an educational crisis. Within Nunavut the attrition rates of Inuk high school students is 51%.[i] The Inuit population is just under 60,000, making this a national disaster. Out of the three recognized Aboriginal groups Inuit remain at the lowest end of academic success. Within this country, in 2011, there were a total of… 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 »

Film Friday: British Columbia’s Contact Zone Classrooms, 1849–1925

Film Fridays give active historians a chance to share their work in a new format. If you would like to submit a film about history, get in touch! By Sean Carleton Canada’s sordid history of colonial education has yet again become a topic of controversy and debate. While the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is coming to an… Read more »

A Review of The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir

By Kevin Plummer “When I was at that school,” Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty writes of his years at St. Therese Residential School, “it seemed always to be winter time” (Merasty, 41). It’s little surprise, then, that certain anecdotes from that season stand out in the memoir he’s written with David Carpenter, The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir…. Read more »

What’s in a Name? Place Names, History, and Colonialism

By Kaleigh Bradley But remember that words are signals, counters. They are not immortal. And it can happen – to use an image you’ll understand – it can happen that a civilization can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape…of fact. Brian Friel, Translations  Brian Friel’s play Translations takes place in 1833, in the Irish-speaking village of… Read more »

An Unsettling Prairie History: A Review of James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains

By Kevin Plummer “Those Reserve Indians are in a deplorable state of destitution, they receive from the Indian Department just enough food to keep soul and body together, they are all but naked, many of them barefooted,” Lawrence Clarke wrote in 1880 of near-starvation Cree around Fort Carlton. “Should sickness break out among them in their present weakly state,” the… Read more »

The Royal Proclamation and Colonial Hocus-Pocus: a learned treatise

By Victoria Freeman We do further declare it to be our Royal Will and Pleasure, for the present, as aforesaid, to reserve under Our Sovereignty, Protection and Domain, for the use of said Indians, all lands and territories not within the limits of …etc., etc.. DON’T GET ME STARTED Someone should write a PhD thesis on the number of Indigenous… Read more »

#IdleNoMore, Histories, and Historians

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Recently, there have been some good cases for the utility of history as a discipline in explaining Idle No More. Here I want to add to, and shift, the terms of this discussion. Historians who study Canada, and the societies that preceded it, and who are committed to social change need to become active allies of #IdleNoMore.