Category Archives: Indigenous History

Nova Scotia and the Paradox of the Royal Proclamation

That unceded Mi’kmaw Land was occupied by a chief framer of the 1763 Royal Proclamation must give us pause. Although the Proclamation established a set of principles for good relationships with North American nations, on-the-ground military strategies and the use of Indigenous Land as reward for imperial service made it easy to ignore these principles, even by the framers themselves.

Critical Reflections on Histories of Residential Schools

By Karen Froman, Leah Kuragano, Aileen Friesen, Cathy Mattes, Mary Jane Logan McCallum On Sept 25, 2023, the University of Winnipeg’s History Department Indigenization Committee presented a panel engaging with the Interim Report of the Office of the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools, entitled Sacred Responsibility: Searching for… Read more »

ActiveHistory.ca repost — Historia Nostra: Parks and Profit at Kejimkujik National Park

ActiveHistory.ca is slowing down our publication schedule this summer, but we’ll be back with more new posts in September. In the meantime, we’re featuring posts from our archive. Thanks as always to our writers and readers! The following post was originally featured on April 9, 2021. As Canadians hike and camp their way through the summer, Erin Isaac and Elisabeth… Read more »

The Politics of Deindustrialization in the ‘Birthplace of New Scotland’

by Peter Thompson Pictou is a sleepy town of about 3000 people on the north shore of Nova Scotia. Despite its small size and its place on Canada’s margins, Pictou has been featured twice in the pages of ActiveHistory.ca over the past decade. First in Lachlan MacKinnon’s 2014 piece, “The Power-Politics of Pulp and Paper: Health, Environment and Work in… Read more »

Call for Contributors to Active History: Indigenous Voices

Active History and Know History are partnering to publish Active History: Indigenous Voices. Know History is generously sponsoring a series and providing honoraria for an editor and up to four contributors. The editor will receive $500 and each contributor will receive $125. We invite proposals from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis editors and authors from all educational and occupational backgrounds…. Read more »

Should non-Indigenous scholars learn Indigenous languages? What it’s been like learning Kanyen’kéha as a settler historian

Photo of a blonde woman in a green sweater holding three books. The book at the front of the stack is titled "Kanyen'keha Tewatati (Let's Speak Mohawk)."

Elizabeth McKenzie A few weeks back, I was presenting at a conference in Niagara Falls on some of my research that looks at the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s longstanding, continual sovereignty, and the failure of the League of Nations in 1924 to uphold the rights of the traditional governing council in the wake of a Canadian military coup at Six Nations of… Read more »

150 Acts 5 Years Later: What Does Truth and Reconciliation Look Like in 2022?

If you are a Survivor of Indian Residential Schools and need support, please call the National Indian Residential School Crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 or text 686868. You can also call the Canadian Mental Health Association toll free at 1-833-456-4566 (in Quebec 1-866-277-3553) or visit crisisservicescanada.ca. Other self-care acts include taking a walk, calling or texting a friend, nourishing your body… Read more »

Catastrophic Rhetoric: False Enchantments and ‘Unprecedented’ Disasters in British Columbia’s Punishing 2021

Pine and grass ecology Nlaka'pamux land

This article is reposted, in slightly edited form and with permission, from the first issue of Syndemic Magazine: “Neo-liberalism and Covid-19.” Syndemic Magazine is a project of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University. Its second issue, “Labour in a Treacherous Time,” is also now available. By Mica Jorgensen It came suddenly, violently tearing up lives and landscapes, subjecting countless British Columbians… Read more »

Stories from coast to coast to coast: An interview with Adam Bunch

A man in a suit jacket, jeans, and hat facing away from the camera. He is looking out over a grassy landscape.

Sara Wilmshurst Author, documentarian, and educator Adam Bunch met with one of our editors to talk about his work bringing Canadian history to the masses. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. SW: One of the things that is notable about your Canadian history documentary series, Canadiana, is how much of the country you visit to make it… Read more »

The Shifting Boundaries of Colonial Land Taking: The Continuity of Settler Land Theft and Indigenous Resistance in Kahnawà:ke  

photo of an protest camp

Daniel Rück Non-Indigenous people who encounter Indigenous #LandBack protests are often surprised or taken aback. They may be angry about being inconvenienced on their commute and may even resort to racist stereotypes to explain what is happening. They might ask themselves questions like: Why are Indigenous people so upset? Why are they choosing to occupy land or block a road… Read more »