Thank you to Fred and Rev. Vincent for providing these reading lists to help us grow our knowledge and understanding.
Seen But Not Seen – Donald B. Smith
Differing Visions – Noel Dyck
The Native Link – R. Leslie Taylor
Partners in Furs: a History of the Fur Trade in Eastern James Bay 1600 -1870 – Daniel Francis & Toby Morantz
Indians in the Fur Trade: their role as hunters, trappers and middlemen in the lands southwest of Hudson Bay 1660-1870 – Arthur J. Ray
Fighting Parson – The Venerable Archdeacon George McKay
Metis Makers of History – Grant MacEwan
The Western Metis – Profile of A People – edited by Patrick C. Douaud
The Fur Trade in Canada – Harold A. Innis
Strangers in Blood – Fur Trade Families in Indian Country – Jennifer S.H. Brown
Pemmican Empire – Food, Trade, and the Last Bison Hunts in the North American Plains, 1780 – 1882 – George Colpitts
Many Tender Ties – Women in Fur Trade Society 1670 -1870 – Sylvia Van Kirk
The Beaver, September, 1945 – Clan McKay in the West
Saskatchewan Herald – 1923-12-01 – Archdeacon J.A. McKay Passes Away
Canadian Churchman – 1926-04-22 – Archdeacon McKay Memorial
Rapid City, S.D. Daily Journal – Archdeacon Proved Religion, Adventure Did Go Together
The Hot Springs Star, Hot Springs, S.D. – 1949-12-15 – The Reverend George McKay
Canadian Cattleman – September 1952 – The Venerable Archdeacon George McKay
Saskatoon Churchman – February 1909 – article written by Edward Ahenakew
The Northwest Is Our Mother – Jean Teillet
The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North-west Territories Including the Negotiations on Which They Were Based – Alexander Morris
The Development of Educational Institutions in Prince Albert – W.J.S. Hooper & L.J. Fournier
The Diocese of Saskatchewan of the Anglican Church of Canada – 100 Years – 1874-1974 – W.F. Payton
Introduction to the Early History of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Saskatchewan 1820-1900 – Compiled by Gary Graber
These Men Went Out – Thomas C.B. Boon
The Anglican Church From the Bay to the Rockies – T.C.B. Boon
Hudson’s Bay Company 1670 – 1870 – E.E. Rich (3 volumes)
The Remarkable History of the Hudson’s Bay Company – George Bryce
Cumberland and Hudson House Journals 1775-82 – Hudson’s Bay Records Society (2 volumes)
A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 – Arthur S. Mort
The following categories, titles and synopses have been provided by The Rev. Vincent Solomon, Indigenous Priest in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Church and Theology
Readers will be provoked, inspired and spiritually nourished by these moving tales drawn from the real-life experience of a Catholic missionary priest/bishop among Canada’s aboriginal peoples and their neighbours. Sylvain Lavoie’s territory covers some of the most rugged and sparse geography in Canada. The diocese of Keewatin-The Pas spans 144,000 square kilometres in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as a corner of northwestern Ontario. First Nations and Métis, Cree and Dene, as well as non-aboriginal people – all blend together in a portion of God’s beautiful creation in a lifestyle that is truly northern. This collection of Lavoie’s memories will inspire both smiles and tears. Some reveal faith meeting life in heartwarming and humourous situations. Others deal with the trauma of substance abuse, family violence, poverty, and hardship. Here Lavoie shows how faith and the human spirit can overcome even the most tragic circumstances. Still others are gentle slices of life among God’s “salt of the earth,” as the author stickhandles the vagaries of Church and village life in the north.
n this groundbreaking study, Cheryl Bear-Barnetson presents an approach to First Nations ministry from the foundations of indigenous worldview and values. She begins with an overview of First Nations theology, which includes the Native views of Creator, the Holy Spirit, the Incarnation, a theology of land, and a theology of missions. Various Native practices, traditional gatherings, and ceremonies are also described. Bear-Barnetson argues that leaders who are more fully informed about Native beliefs, values, and practices will see a dramatic increase in their effectiveness in ministering to indigenous people in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, the practical missiological and theological principles discovered here can be implemented in any cross-cultural ministry context. The study concludes with specific recommendations to The Foursquare Church and the Canadian Foursquare Church for the purpose of advancing the ministry among First Nations people.
A theological reflection on churches repenting of events and convictions they have held in the past.
The presence of Indigenous people among the ranks of British missionaries in the nineteenth century complicates narratives of all-powerful missionaries and hapless Indigenous victims. What compelled these men to embrace Christianity? How did they reconcile being both Christian and Indigenous in an age of empire? Tolly Bradford finds answers to these questions in the lives of Henry Budd, a Cree missionary from western Canada, and Tiyo Soga, a Xhosa missionary from southern Africa. He portrays these men not as victims of colonialism but rather as individuals who drew on faith, family, and their ties to Britain to construct a new sense of indigeneity in a globalizing world.
Mixed Blessings transforms our understanding of the relationship between Indigenous people and Christianity in what is now Canada.
While acknowledging the harm of colonialism, including the trauma inflicted by church-run residential schools, this book challenges the portrayal of Indigenous people as passive victims of malevolent missionaries who experienced a uniformly dark history. Instead, the authors – scholars in history, Indigenous studies, religious studies, and theology – illuminate the diverse and multifaceted ways that Indigenous communities and individuals across Canada have interacted, and continue to interact, meaningfully with Christianity.
Ranging widely across time and place, these insightful case studies explore why some Indigenous people – including prominent leaders such as Louis Riel and Edward Ahenakew – historically aligned themselves with Christianity while others did not. It also plumbs the processes and politics involved in combining spiritual traditions and reflects on the role of Christianity in Indigenous communities today.
n May of 1868, Elizabeth Bingham Young and her new husband, Egerton Ryerson Young, began a long journey from Hamilton, Ontario, to the Methodist mission of Rossville. For the next eight years, Elizabeth supported her husband’s work at two mission houses, Norway House and then Berens River. Accompanying Elizabeth’s memoir, and offering a counterpoint to it, are the reminiscences of her eldest son, “Eddie.” Born at Norway House in 1869 and nursed by a Cree woman from infancy, Eddie was immersed in local Cree and Ojibwe life, culture, and language, in many ways exemplifying the process of reverse acculturation often in evidence among the children of missionaries. Like those of his mother, Eddie’s memories capture the sensory and emotional texture of mission life, providing a portrait that is startling in its immediacy.
Christianity is never just about beliefs but habits and practices-for better or worse. Theology always reflects the social location of the theologian-including her privileges and prejudices-all the time working with a particular, often undisclosed, notion of what is normal. Therefore theology is never “neutral”-it defends particular constructions of reality, and it promotes certain interests.
Following Jesus in Invaded Space asks what-and whose-interests theology protects when it is part of a community that invaded the land of Indigenous peoples. Developing a theological method and position that self-consciously acknowledges the church’s role in occupying Aboriginal land in Australia, it dares to speak of God, church, and justice in the context of past history and continuing dispossession. Hence, a “Second people’s theology” emerges through constant and careful attention to experiences of invasion and dis-location brought into dialogue with the theological landscape or tradition of the church.
In Dancing the Dream: The First Nations and the Church in Partnership, First Nations people tell their stories and reflect on their spirituality in relation to the church. Native and Non-Native members of the Anglican faith document their historic relationship and current healing initiatives. Includes the residential school experiences of seven survivors, a brief history of church-run schools, and the Primate’s apology. Illustrations by Teresa Altiman from Walpole Island First Nation capture the spiritual anguish and healing of First Nations members of the Anglican faith.
Coming Full Circle, a unique, multicollaborative project, provides a working constructive Native Christian theology. Drawing together leading scholars in the field, along with elders and practitioners, this volume seeks to fill a significant lacuna in the area and to encourage young Native American scholars and non-Native theologians to reconsider the rich possibilities present in the intersection between Native theory and practice and Christian theology and practice. This innovative work begins with a Native American theory for doing constructive Christian theology and then illustrates the possibilities with chapters on specific Christian doctrines. With significant essays on key doctrinal loci such as sin, revelation and epistemology, prayer and worship, mission and ministry, reconciliation and restoration, and the new creation, this volume will make an important contribution representing the Native American voice in a constructive and contemporary vein. Although not a full-scale systematic dogmatics, this “theology in outline” offers the theory and constructive initiative to encourage further explorations in Native American Christian theologies.
Church argues that discipleship among Native peoples is best undertaken as a spiritual journey that has at its core biblical instruction and mentoring by individuals and families that model a lifestyle that reflects transformation in Jesus Christ. When accompanied by the ‘contextual’ use of Native rites such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the Pipe Ceremony, and Powwow dancing and singing with the drum, participants who go through these ‘rites of passage’ experience an increased sense of spiritual well-being and self-esteem through this authentic Native expression of their Christian faith. The book illustrates deep reflection and integration of biblical teaching in the preparation and practice of these Native rites, transforming the old embedded meanings of these rites, while retaining their distinctive familiarity for participants. Church shows how the integration of biblical instruction, the practice of a biblical lifestyle, and contextual sacred and ceremonial rites in alcohol recovery and family camp ministries have together led to recovery and spiritual development in Christ.
Argues that Christianity has failed in this country and urges a return to the spiritual roots found in the heritage of Indian culture
A healthy curiosity has motivated investigations into wider parameters of philosophical thought, including Aboriginal spirituality. This book not only offers an in-depth look at First Nations’ theology, but parallels its key themes with Old Testament Hebraic thought, which comprises the roots of Christianity.
The first chapters of the book outline the common tribal histories of North American Indians and Old Testament Jews. Key doctrines central to both Aboriginal and Biblical theology are then compared and contrasted in language readily understood by the layman. These include the doctrine of God, anthropology, epistemology, soteriolgoy, deontology and eschatologoy. Parallels in the way spiritual leadership is viewed by Aboriginal Peoples, Hebrews and Christians are drawn, and the final chapter features a special case study of the Stoney Nation.
This book deals with the encounter between Christianity and the Indian peoples over a span of 450 years, from 1534, when Jacques Cartier first erected a cross before Indians of the Gaspé, to the present. He describes the introduction of Christianity to the Indians of the various regions of Canada, from New France, Acadia, to Upper Canada and then to the North and West. He outlines the typical pattern of missionary activity that emerged towards the end of the nineteenth century, traces the origins of outspoken discontent in the twentieth, and analyses the parts played by missionaries and Indians, as well as by traders and governments. He argues that the Indians, almost all of whom became at least nominally Christian, were touched by Christianity during the “moon of wintertime,” when ancestral spirits had ceased to perform their expected functions satisfactorily and angel choirs promised to fill a spiritual vacuum.
How can North Americans come to terms with the lamentable clash between indigenous and settler cultures, faiths, and attitudes toward creation? Showcasing a variety of voices—both traditional and Christian, native and non-native—Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry offers up alternative histories, radical theologies, and poetic, life-giving memories that can unsettle our souls and work toward reconciliation.
This book is intended for all who are interested in healing historical wounds of racism, stolen land, and cultural exploitation. Essays on land use, creation, history, and faith appear among poems and reflections by people across ethnic and religious divides. The writers do not always agree—in fact, some are bound to raise readers defenses. But they represent the hard truths that we must hear before reconciliation can come.
Honouring the call of Indigenous peoples from around the world, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has specifically summoned, not only the State, but all churches to embrace the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But what is the Declaration? And how might it gift and reorient Christian faith and practice?
In Wrongs to Rights, over 40 authors from diverse backgrounds – Indigenous and Settler, Christian and Traditional – wrestle with the meaning of the Declaration for the Church. With a firm hold on past and present colonialism, the authors tackle key questions that the Declaration and the TRC’s call to “adopt and comply” raises: What are its potential implications? How does it connect to Scripture? Can it facilitate genuine decolonization, or is “rights talk” another form of imperialism? And what about real life relationships? Can the Declaration be lived out – collectively and personally – on the ground?
In Quest for Respect, over 40 authors from diverse backgrounds – Indigenous and Settler, Christian and Traditional – take up this call to respect Indigenous spirituality, exploring what it might mean to Christians across North America and what it entails for relationships with host peoples and host lands. With a firm hold on past and present colonialism, the contributors tackle key questions that the TRC’s call raises: What is Indigenous spirituality, and why is it critical for Settler Christians to learn about it? What is the history of Indigenous–Christian encounter? How does spiritual abuse and violence continue today? How might we repair the damage done? And what does genuine respect really look like?
For generations, the Bible has been employed by settler colonial societies as a weapon to dispossess Indigenous and racialized peoples of their lands, cultures, and spiritualities. Given this devastating legacy, many want nothing to do with it. But is it possible for the exploited and their allies to reclaim the Bible from the dominant powers? Can we make it an instrument for justice in the cause of the oppressed? Even a nonviolent weapon toward decolonization? In Unsettling the Word, over 60 Indigenous and Settler authors come together to wrestle with the Scriptures, re-reading and re-imagining the ancient text for the sake of reparative futures.
Honouring the call of Indigenous peoples from around the world, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has specifically summoned
all religious denominations and faith groups … to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius (Call to Action #49)
But what are these concepts of dispossession? And in what ways are they connected to our contemporary communities?
In Yours, Mine, Ours, over 40 authors from diverse backgrounds – Indigenous and Settler, Christian and Traditional – wrestle with this call to repudiation, what it might mean to Christians across North America, and what it entails for relationships with host peoples and host lands. With a firm hold on past and present colonialism, the authors tackle key questions that the TRC’s call raises: What role did the Church play in the creation of the Doctrine of Discovery? How was Christian faith and practice used to aid and abet centuries of Indigenous dispossession? In what ways do these old concepts still live, move, and have their being? What are the present-day responsibilities of Settler Christians? What does repudiation really mean? And what are the ways forward … beyond repudiation?
The Sun Dance and Lakota Catholicism.
“Native is about identity, soul-searching, and the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her Potawatomi identity both informs and challenges her faith.
Curtice draws on her personal journey, poetry, imagery, and stories of the Potawatomi people to address themes at the forefront of today’s discussions of faith and culture in a positive and constructive way. She encourages us to embrace our own origins and to share and listen to each other’s stories so we can build a more inclusive and diverse future. Each of our stories matters for the church to be truly whole. As Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage, she reveals that a vibrant spirituality has its origins in identity, belonging, and a sense of place.”
“Offers fresh insight and biblical thought to understanding some of the critical issues within First Nations indigenous ministry. Jacobs masterfully combines biblical exegesis of Scripture, history, cultural studies and Christian life application to make this book among the finest resources available today in this field of study.” – Steve Cheramie
Times are changing. The Spirit of the Living God is calling for His Native people to rise up and take their place in His body. We are made in His image, poised and magnificent Nations, set in the stage of natural beauty, walking out our relationships, with each other and with Creator, in ceremonies and traditions, dressed in full regalia, believing in the sacredness of life of the One who gives life. This is who we are. Our voices have been silenced too long. We have remained in the backdrop of not only society but ministry and missions as well. No longer will we remain invisible and silenced. We are here. See us! Hear our collective voice! It’s time to Rise Up!
“Christianity has wonderful answers to questions Indians aren’t asking!” Craig Stephen Smith, a Chippewa, from northern Minnesota, seeks to answer the questions they are asking or ought to ask. His experience has led him to believe that change is desperately needed in both Native and ecclesiastical communities. Smith writes out of his own experience as a Native American growing up in a white man’s world.
Choosing the Jesus Way uncovers the history and religious experiences of the first American Indian converts to Pentecostalism. Focusing on the Assemblies of God denomination, the story begins in 1918, when white missionaries fanned out from the South and Midwest to convert Native Americans in the West and other parts of the country. Drawing on new approaches to the global history of Pentecostalism, Angela Tarango shows how converted indigenous leaders eventually transformed a standard Pentecostal theology of missions in ways that reflected their own religious struggles and advanced their sovereignty within the denomination.
Key to the story is the Pentecostal “indigenous principle,” which encourages missionaries to train local leadership in hopes of creating an indigenous church rooted in the culture of the missionized. In Tarango’s analysis, the indigenous principle itself was appropriated by the first generation of Native American Pentecostals, who transformed it to critique aspects of the missionary project and to argue for greater religious autonomy. More broadly, Tarango scrutinizes simplistic views of religious imperialism and demonstrates how religious forms and practices are often mutually influenced in the American experience.
This collaborative work represents a pathbreaking exercise in Native American theology. While observing traditional categories of Christian systematic theology (Creation, Deity, Christology, etc.), each of these is reimagined consistent with Native experience, values, and worldview. At the same time the authors introduce new categories from Native thought-worlds, such as the Trickster (eraser of boundaries, symbol of ambiguity), and Land. Finally, the authors address issues facing Native Americans today, including racism, poverty, stereotyping, cultural appropriation, and religious freedom.
Native and Christian is an anthology of essays by indigenous writers in the United States and Canada on the problem of native Christian identity. This anthology documents the emergence of a significant new collective voice on the North American religious landscape. It brings together in one volume articles originally published in a variety of sources (many of them obscure or out-of-print) including religious magazines, scholarly journals, and native periodicals, along with one previously unpublished manuscript.
In this captivating chronicle of the Native American story, Richard Twiss of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux sifts through myth and legend to reveal God’s strategy for the nation’s host people. With wit, wisdom and passion, Twiss shows God’s desire to use the cultures of First Nations peoples–in all their mystery, color and beauty–to break through to those involved in New Age mysticism, Eastern religions, even Islam. One Church, Many Tribes is a rallying cry for the Church to work as one so that the lost may learn to walk in life with beauty, along the path of the Waymaker.
In his final work, Richard Twiss provides a contextualized Indigenous expression of the Christian faith among the Native communities of North America. He surveys the painful, complicated history of Christian missions among Indigenous peoples and chronicles more hopeful visions of culturally contextual Native Christian faith. For Twiss, contextualization is not merely a formula or evangelistic strategy, but rather a relational process of theological and cultural reflection within a local community. Native leaders reframe the gospel narrative in light of post-colonization, reincorporating traditional practices and rituals while critiquing and correcting the assumptions of American Christian mythologies.
The development of Papal social thought on Aboriginal rights.
Materialism. Greed. Loneliness. A manic pace. Abuse of the natural world. Inequality. Injustice. War. The endemic problems facing America today are staggering. We need change and restoration. But where to begin? In Shalom and the Community of Creation Randy Woodley offers an answer: learn more about the Native American ‘Harmony Way,’ a concept that closely parallels biblical shalom. Doing so can bring reconciliation between Euro- Westerners and indigenous peoples, a new connectedness with the Creator and creation, an end to imperial warfare, the ability to live in the moment, justice, restoration — and a more biblically authentic spirituality. Rooted in redemptive correction, this book calls for true partnership through the co-creation of new theological systems that foster wholeness and peace.
A Knock on the Door
Shattered Spirits in the land of Little Sticks
The Survivors Speak
The Benevolent Experiment
Broken Circle; Dark legacy of IRS
Back to the Red Road
They called Me Number One
The Education of Augie Merasty
Up Ghost River: A Chiefs Journey through the turbulent Waters of Native History
My Heart Shook Like A Drum
Thomas J. Mitchell
Kaefer and Gamblin
David Carpenter & Augie Merasty
Metatawabin and Shimo
Residential Schools and the Anglican Church
Nancy Dyson and Dan Rubenstein In 1970, the authors, Nancy Dyson and Dan Rubenstein, were hired as childcare workers at the Alert Bay Student Residence (formerly St. Michael’s Indian Residential School) on northern Vancouver Island. Shocked when Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families, punished for speaking their native language, fed substandard food and severely disciplined for minor offences, Dan and Nancy questioned the way the school was run with its underlying missionary philosophy. When a delegation from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs visited St. Michael’s, the couple presented a long list of concerns, which were ignored. The next day they were dismissed by the administrator of the school. Some years later, in 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports were released. The raw grief and anger of residential school survivors were palpable and the authors’ troubling memories of St. Michael’s resurfaced. Dan called Reconciliation Canada, and Chief Dr. Robert Joseph encouraged the couple to share their story with today’s Canadians. St. Michael’s Residential School: Lament and Legacy is a moving narrative – one of the few told by caregivers who experienced on a daily basis the degradation of Indigenous children. Their account will help to ensure that what went on in the Residential Schools is neither forgotten nor denied.
This book focuses on the recurring struggle over the meaning of the Anglican Church’s role in the Indian residential schools–a long-running school system designed to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture, in which sexual, psychological, and physical abuse were common. From the end of the nineteenth century until the outset of twenty-first century, the meaning of the Indian residential schools underwent a protracted transformation. Once a symbol of the Church’s sacred mission to Christianize and civilize Indigenous children, they are now associated with colonialism and suffering. In bringing this transformation to light, the book addresses why the Church was so quick to become involved in the Indian residential schools and why acknowledgment of their deleterious impact was so protracted. In doing so, the book adds to our understanding of the sociological process by which perpetrators come to recognize themselves as such.
Residential Schools and Genocide
Bringing a Native viewpoint to the settlement of the West, Howard Adam’s book shook its readers. What Native people had to say for themselves was quite different from the convenient picture of history that even the most sympathetic books by white authors had presented. Until Adams’s book, the cultural, historical, and psychological aspects of colonialism for Native people had not been explored in depth.
In Prison of Grass Adams objects to the popular historical notion that Natives were warring savages, without government, seeking to be civilized. He contrasts the official history found in the federal government’s documents with the unpublished history of the Indian and Métis people. In this new edition Howard Adams brings the latest statistics to bear on his arguments and provides a new Preface.
“Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest.” -Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana
This book is about the life and struggle of a residential school survivor.
Residential schools were not an experience anyone would want to go through. In this book you will get to read the story of one Native out of thousands at residential schools who overcame a hard life and racist times, who always got things done his own way, and from day one had to work hard.
A system that was made to help and show love was not only the opposite, but no human should have to go through what he did. He stood up and others followed. He was the first Native to take the Church and government to court for the schools.
This is a revealing study of two tragic events that took place at an Indian residential school in British Columbia which underline the profound impact the residential school system had on Aboriginal communities in Canada throughout this century. Victims of Benevolence examines the death of a runaway boy and the suicide of another while both were students at the Williams Lake Indian Residential School during the early part of this century. Embedded in their stories is the complex relationship between government, church and Aboriginal peoples that continues today. The book provides a glimpse into the dark legacy of Indian residential schools in Canada.
A Canadian Shame is a disturbing collection of information that forces every reader to meditate on the atrocities of government and institutions. Grimes’s heritage and personal experience make him the perfect author for this book, but the superior documentation is what makes it as credible as it is fascinating. Although a light is being shined into a very dark corner of our society, one still walks away with a knowledge that truth and love will bring all of humanity together. An uncomfortable story can be a powerful catalyst for unity.
Find out all about the Indian Act, Residential Schools, Indigenous child welfare, unmarked graves and more in the comprehensive, extremely well sourced, overview of the last 150 years of Canada and the Indian Act. Starlight tours, missing and murdered indigenous women, and the charge of genocide are all explored in an informative and concise way (under 200 pages). Filled with quotes, legislation, correspondence, historical information this book is a must have for anyone interested in the relationship between Canada and the Indigenous people for the bibliography alone.
From the inception of the Indian Act to residential schools, from the potlach ban to the sixties scoop, right up to the present day. A Canadian Shame is filled with the highlights of atrocities that every Canadian should know, up until the apologies finally offered over the last decade.
With the growing strength of minority voices in recent decades has come much impassioned discussion of residential schools, the institutions where attendance by Native children was compulsory as recently as the 1960s. Former students have come forward in increasing numbers to describe the psychological and physical abuse they suffered in these schools, and many view the system as an experiment in cultural genocide. In this first comprehensive history of these institutions, J.R. Miller explores the motives of all three agents in the story. He looks at the separate experiences and agendas of the government officials who authorized the schools, the missionaries who taught in them, and the students who attended them.
Starting with the foundations of residential schooling in seventeenth-century New France, Miller traces the modern version of the institution that was created in the 1880s, and, finally, describes the phasing-out of the schools in the 1960s. He looks at instruction, work and recreation, care and abuse, and the growing resistance to the system on the part of students and their families. Based on extensive interviews as well as archival research, Miller’s history is particularly rich in Native accounts of the school system.
This book is an absolute first in its comprehensive treatment of this subject. J.R. Miller has written a new chapter in the history of relations between indigenous and immigrant peoples in Canada.
Co-winner of the 1996 Saskatchewan Book Award for nonfiction.
Winner of the 1996 John Wesley Dafoe Foundation competition for Distinguished Writing by Canadians
Named an ‘Outstanding Book on the subject of human rights in North America’ by the Gustavus Myer Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.
For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the ?circle of civilization,? the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse. Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. He begins by tracing the ideological roots of the system, and follows the paper trail of internal memoranda, reports from field inspectors, and letters of complaint. In the early decades, the system grew without planning or restraint. Despite numerous critical commissions and reports, it persisted into the 1970s, when it transformed itself into a social welfare system without improving conditions for its thousands of wards. A National Crime shows that the residential system was chronically underfunded and often mismanaged, and documents in detail and how this affected the health, education, and well-being of entire generations of Aboriginal children.
Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
Confronting the truths of Canada’s Indian residential school system has been likened to waking a sleeping giant. In The Sleeping Giant Awakens, David B. MacDonald uses genocide as an analytical tool to better understand Canada’s past and present relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples. Starting with a discussion of how genocide is defined in domestic and international law, the book applies the concept to the forced transfer of Indigenous children to residential schools and the “Sixties Scoop,” in which Indigenous children were taken from their communities and placed in foster homes or adopted.
Based on archival research, extensive interviews with residential school Survivors, and officials at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, among others, The Sleeping Giant Awakens offers a unique and timely perspective on the prospects for conciliation after genocide, exploring the difficulties in moving forward in a context where many settlers know little of the residential schools and ongoing legacies of colonization and need to have a better conception of Indigenous rights. It provides a detailed analysis of how the TRC approached genocide in its deliberations and in its Final Report.
Crucially, MacDonald engages critics who argue that the term genocide impedes understanding of the IRS system and imperils prospects for conciliation. By contrast, this book sees genocide recognition as an important basis for meaningful discussions of how to engage Indigenous-settler relations in respectful and proactive ways.
Education is expected to assist students in the development of their personal identities and the achievement of social and economic success. Yet the aspirations of Aboriginal students have too often been thwarted by the very structures that are supposed to help them. Combining a research study, an extensive review of literature, and an analysis of current trends, Schissel and Wotherspoon detail the harm done to Aboriginal children and their families–not only in the past, when residential schools explicitly set out to eliminate Aboriginal identities, but also in more recent years, when educational systems designed for the mainstream have relegated First Nations students to the sidelines. The authors find hope for the future in four experimental programs from Saskatchewan, in which severely stressed Aboriginal youth have found self-esteem in educational settings that take into account traditional culture and spiritual teachings, as well as academic achievement. Interviews with Aboriginal students provide an additional depth to the authors’ findings.
The closing of residential schools did not bring their story to an end. The legacy of the schools continues to this day. It is reflected in the significant edu-cational, income, and health disparities between Aboriginal people and other Canadians—disparities that condemn many Aboriginal people to shorter, poorer, and more troubled lives. The legacy is also reflected in the intense racism some people harbour against Aboriginal people and the systemic and other forms of discrimination Aboriginal people regularly experience in Canada. Over a century of cultural genocide has left most Aboriginal languages on the verge of extinction. The disproportionate apprehension of Aboriginal children by child welfare agencies and the disproportion-ate imprisonment and victimization of Aboriginal people are all part of the legacy of the way that Aboriginal children were treated in residential schools. This volume examines the legacy of Canada’s policy of assimilation and the residential schools it created in five specific areas: child welfare, education, language and culture, health, and justice.
Originally approved as a master of laws thesis by a respected Canadian university, this book tackles one of the most compelling issues of our time—the crime of genocide—and whether in fact it can be said to have occurred in relation to the many Original Nations on Great Turtle Island now claimed by a state called Canada. It has been hailed as groundbreaking by many Indigenous and other scholars engaged with this issue, impacting not just Canada but states worldwide where entrapped Indigenous nations face absorption by a dominating colonial state. Starblanket unpacks Canada’s role in the removal of cultural genocide from the Genocide Convention, though the disappearance of an Original Nation by forced assimilation was regarded by many states as equally genocidal as destruction by slaughter. Did Canada seek to tailor the definition of genocide to escape its own crimes which were then even ongoing? The crime of genocide, to be held as such undercurrent international law, must address the complicated issue of mens rea (not just the commission of a crime, but the specific intent to do so). This book permits readers to make a judgment on whether or not this was the case. Starblanket examines how genocide was operationalized in Canada, focused primarily on breaking the intergenerational transmission of culture from parents to children. Seeking to absorb the new generations into a different cultural identity—English-speaking, Christian, Anglo-Saxon, termed Canadian—Canada seized children from their parents, and oversaw and enforced the stripping of their cultural beliefs, languages and traditions, replacing them by those still in process of being established by the emerging Canadian state.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Indigenous boarding schools were touted as the means for solving the “Indian problem” in both Canada and the United States. With the goal of permanently transforming Indigenous young people into Europeanized colonial subjects, the schools were ultimately a means for eliminating Indigenous communities as obstacles to land acquisition, resource extraction, and nation building. Andrew Woolford analyzes the formulation of the “Indian problem” as a policy concern in the United States and Canada and examines how the “solution” of Indigenous boarding schools was implemented in Manitoba and New Mexico through complex chains that included multiple government offices, a variety of staff, Indigenous peoples, and even nonhuman factors such as poverty, disease, and space. The genocidal project inherent in these boarding schools, however, did not unfold in either nation without diversion, resistance, and unintended consequences.
Because of differing historical, political, and structural influences, the two countries have arrived at two very different responses to the harms caused by assimilative education. Inspired by the signing of the 2006 Residential School Settlement Agreement in Canada, which provided a truth and reconciliation commission and compensation for survivors of residential schools, This Benevolent Experiment offers a multi-layered, comparative analysis of Indigenous boarding schools in the United States and Canada.
A collection of fiction, poetry, essays and creative non-fiction, this anthology features works by over 20 Indigenous Canadian writers (Beatrice Mosionier, Richard Van Camp, Rosanna Deerchild, Janet Rogers). It focuses on the effects of colonialism in this country from both historical and contemporary perspectives.
This important collection of essays expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups. The contributors examine these efforts through the lens of genocide. Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to “civilize” or “assimilate” Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities. Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.
Contributors. Jeff Benvenuto, Robbie Ethridge, Theodore Fontaine, Joseph P. Gone, Alexander Laban Hinton, Tasha Hubbard, Margaret D. Jabobs, Kiera L. Ladner, Tricia E. Logan, David B. MacDonald, Benjamin Madley, Jeremy Patzer, Julia Peristerakis, Christopher Powell, Colin Samson, Gray H. Whaley, Andrew Woolford
Since Indigenous Affairs (IA) became a stand-alone Canadian government department in 1966, it has mushroomed into a federal department unlike any other. IA has jurisdictional reach over 90 percent of Canada’s land mass, authorities that reach into every single federal government department and agency, with a budget (including its 33 federal co-delivery partners) of some $20 billion annually. Indigenous Affairs Plus (IA+) is effectively a “super-province.” Yet not a single person overseeing this new super-power within Confederation has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not only do ordinary Indigenous people have no voice in federal policy decisions that can affect nearly every aspect of their lives, they have no power to hold IA+ accountable to them. Ordinary Indigenous people are among the most politically voiceless and powerless people in Canada.
In Let the People Speak: Oppression in a time of reconciliation, award-winning Canadian journalist Sheilla Jones poses a crucial question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities—high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence—the symptoms of this institutionalized powerlessness? The solution to powerlessness is empowerment, and the means for that empowerment already exists—treaty annuities linked to the increasing value of ceded lands and paid directly to every First Nations Treaty man, woman and child. Modernizing annuities was validated by Parliament in 1879 and affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1895. It is a telling measure of the powerlessness of ordinary First Nations people that annuities have remained unchanged for 150 years. Only when ordinary Indigenous people are empowered to speak for themselves can all Canadians—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—begin a meaningful conversation about reconciliation.
The vast open plains of the prairies drew thousands of settlers to the Canadian West. But what of the people who already inhabited these lands? The federal government promised to care for the Indians in perpetuity and in return, the nomadic Indians would sign treaties, settle on reserves and learn to be farmers. Many Indians, including those led by Chief Cowessess, camped and hunted in the Cypress Hills where there was plenty of game, water and wood. Forced out of the Hills by the government and driven by hunger to a reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Cowessess and his people were successful farmers, but they had little control over what was supposed to be their land.
The story of life on reserves after treaty is a story of power: the power of Indian Affairs. Indian agents controlled every aspect of life on and off reserve — the dreaded pass system and permission slips needed to sell farm produce or not as it suited the agents; the instructors whose job it was to transform Indian hunters into farmers; the residential school system and the questionable surrender of reserve land. Yet, this book does not make a political statement. It does not judge the actions of the government, its agents or anyone else. In an ever-respectful voice, this book relates things as they were and points to the many successes of Indian peoples despite the many challenges they faced.
This book is a story of triumph over adversity and oppression. In this very personal account of life on an Indian reserve and in residential schools, Harold LeRat, with the assistance of writer Linda Ungar, relates the history of the Cowessess people based on stories told by elders, research he did in connection with the land surrender and his own recollections. In many ways, this book provides a look at the Indian reality of the lives of many First Nations peoples and the development of reserves on the Prairies. (From University of British Columbia Press)
When freelance journalist Alexandra Shimo arrives in Kashechewan, a fly-in, northern Ontario reserve, to investigate rumours of a fabricated water crisis and document its deplorable living conditions, she finds herself drawn into the troubles of the reserve. Unable to cope with the desperate conditions, she begins to fall apart.
A moving tribute to the power of hope and resilience, Invisible North is an intimate portrait of a place that pushes everyone to their limits. Part memoir, part history of the Canadian reserves, Shimo offers an expansive exploration and unorthodox take on many of the First Nation issues that dominate the news today, including the suicide crises, murdered and missing indigenous women and girls, Treaty rights, First Nations sovereignty, and deep poverty.
In August of 2016, Cree youth Colten Boushie was shot dead by Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. Using colonial and socio-political narratives that underlie white rural settler life, the authors position the death of Boushie and the trial of Stanley in relation to Indigenous histories and experiences in Saskatchewan. They point to the Stanley case as just one instance of Indigenous peoples’ presence being seen as a threat to settler-colonial security, then used to sanction the exclusion, violent treatment, and death of Indigenous peoples and communities.
“Storying Violence carefully and methodically detonates the colonial narratives of the Stanley Trial—a speaking of Indigenous truths to a trial and a country. From the ashes of tragedy, Starblanket and Hunt have ethically intervened, centered the prairie Indigenous experience and the Boushie and Baptiste families’ incredible bravery and advocacy in the face of unspeakable loss. Storying Violence demands that we create a safer world for our beloved Indigenous youth, who just like Colten Boushie, have every right to go swimming with friends, laugh, and feel joy in their ancestral territories. This is simply a must-read for all Canadians.” — Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of As We Have Always Done
“Accessible and theoretically astute, Starblanket and Hunt bring to life the meaning of Treaties and Indigenous relationships to land and life while demonstrating that settlers such as Stanley have long been provided license to disregard our humanity through the deeply embedded colonial and racist practices of Canadian law, founded in its primacy of private property and defended by judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and police officers.” — Verna St. Denis, Professor of Critical Race Studies, University of Saskatchewan