Category Archives: Indigenous History

Experts Confront Postwar Poverty, or How Good People Do Bad Things

Tina Loo The Northern Affairs Officers who live and work with the people of the Keewatin have no promise and little hope that tomorrow will bring an opportunity for work and self-dependence for all the Eskimo people of that region. If the problem does not seem capable of immediate solution, it is no reflection on them; we have been impressed… Read more »

As Long As The Rivers Flow 30 years on : An epic collaboration in documentary filmmaking

By James Cullingham This autumn marks a significant milestone in the history of filmmaking about Indigenous – settler relations in Canada. As Long As The Rivers Flow, the documentary series about Indigenous resilience that launched Tamarack Productions, was released in September 1991. As Long As The Rivers Flow was among the first national collaborations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous documentarians in… Read more »

Hiding in Plain Sight: Newspaper Coverage of Dr. Peter Bryce’s 1907 Report on Residential Schools

Kathleen McKenzie and Sean Carleton As the result of the news of unmarked graves being located at former residential schools across Canada, many people are finally reckoning with the history of the Indian Residential School (IRS) system. While school survivors and Indigenous communities are not surprised by the recent revelations, some Canadians have been shocked to learn of the high… Read more »

Historia Nostra: Was the Pays d’en Haut really a Middle Ground?

By Erin Isaac I remember being intrigued and a bit confused after my first reading of Richard White’s classic work The Middle Ground, which had been assigned for a fourth-year history seminar on French colonial history. My peers, likewise, found the ideas proposed interesting but a bit idealistic. Coming back to this text as a PhD student, the questions that… Read more »

The Sesquicentennial of Treaty 1

      No Comments on The Sesquicentennial of Treaty 1

Paul Burrows On August 3, 1871 the negotiations that became known as the “Stone Fort” treaty, or Treaty 1, were wrapped up at Lower Fort Garry, north of present-day Winnipeg.  The treaty negotiations were a massive affair, even by today’s standards.  More than a thousand Cree and Anishinaabe from southern Manitoba had begun to gather at the Hudson’s Bay Company… Read more »

Indigenous and Colonial Trackways: A New Historia Nostra Series

By Erin Isaac Roads, hiking trails, rivers, train tracks, or any manner of routes we use to travel often feel like historically benign spaces (at least to me). For myself, driving along the 401 between Kingston and Toronto has inspired more frustration about traffic and “Ontario Drivers” than curiosity about the road’s history. It feels like a space that exists… Read more »

Want to Understand Egerton Ryerson? Two School Histories Provide the Context

By Thomas Peace In 1842, at the Dawn settlement near Dresden, Ontario, Josiah Henson built the British American Institute (BAI), a school for peoples who had escaped their enslavement. Five years later, about 75 kilometers from the BAI, on the banks of the Deshkan Ziibiing near London, Methodist missionary Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones) – a Mississauga leader from Credit River (western… Read more »

Canada Day Statement: The History of Violence Against Indigenous Peoples Fully Warrants The Use of the Word “Genocide”

Canadian Historical Association The Canadian Historical Association, which represents 650 professional historians from across the country, including the main experts on the long history of violence and dispossession Indigenous peoples experienced in what is today Canada, recognizes that this history fully warrants our use of the word genocide.

Calls to Action 71 to 76: Missing Children and Burial Information

Today, the editors of Active History have decided to paint the site orange to honour the thousands upon thousands of Indigenous children brutalized and killed in the Indian Residential School system—including those whose small bodies were recently located in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, the former Marieval Indian Residential School, the former St. Eugene’s Mission School,… Read more »

Now ain’t the time for your tears

      4 Comments on Now ain’t the time for your tears

By James Cullingham In 1964 Bob Dylan released The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol, one of his masterworks. The song chronicles the circumstances of the atrocious murder of an African American woman and the hypocrisy of the society that produced her killer. As the horrifying revelations from Kamloops and Cowessess of graves at the sites of former residential schools have… Read more »