Tag Archives: colonialism

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.

2013: It’s time to commemorate the 1763 Royal Proclamation

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair made a good suggestion last week.  After the Prime Minister publicly outlined the marching orders for his ministers – which did not address recent tensions with First Nations but did emphasize the allocation of funds and resources towards a handful of historical celebrations – Mulcair took him to task. Picking up perhaps on the contradiction of… Read more »

Kay on Treaty History: Well-meaning, wrong-headed

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By Christopher Moore This post was originally published on Christopher Moore’s History News Late in 2011, before Attawapiskat and Idle No More were as newsy as they are now, CBC Radio’s Ideas presented my radio documentary “George MacMartin’s Big Canoe Trip,” an exploration of how the James Bay Treaty was made in 1905. The radio-doc draws on the diary of… Read more »

“I’ve Never Heard of the Métis People”: The Politics of Naming, Racialization, and the Disregard for Aboriginal Canadians

by Crystal Fraser and Mike Commito The controversial selection of a hamburger name by a Toronto restaurant had customers and critics raising their eyebrows this past August. Holy Chuck Burgers, located on Yonge Street, specializes in gourmet hamburgers, some of which sport clever titles like “Go Chuck Yourself” and “You Fat Pig.” Recently, the restaurant has come under criticism, not… Read more »

Gin and Tonic: A Short History of a Stiff Drink

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By Jay Young The Gin and Tonic – what better a drink during the dog days of summer?  Put some ice in a glass, pour one part gin, add another part tonic water, finish with a slice of lime, and you have a refreshing drink to counter the heat.  But it is also steeped in the history of medicine, global… Read more »

Aboriginal History in Ontario’s Cottage Country

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The designation of the displacement of the Anishinaabeg of Southern Georgian Bay as a National Historic Event provides a useful starting point on which to more deeply consider the Anishinaabeg presence in Ontario’s cottage country. What is the history of this recreational space? How, over the twentieth century, did it transform from Anishinaabeg hunting camps into a vacation destination? And what role do First Nations have in this territory today?

What can the past teach us about First Nations’ education?

As an historian of the eighteenth century studying Aboriginal engagement with European forms of higher education, modern-day statistics on First Nations education are startling.

Issues and Artifacts at the British Museum

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Very recently I had the opportunity to visit the British Museum in London, England. It was a place that had long been on my “to do” list. From the scope of the building itself, to the individual objects and their imaginative presentations – the experience did not disappoint. The visit was awe inspiring and enlightening and fed my love of… Read more »