To those who argue that they are not responsible, because they were not directly involved with
the residential schools, I say that, as Canadian citizens, we are ultimately responsible
for the past and present actions of our government. To those who say that
we cannot change the past, I say that we can learn from it. We can better understand
how a problematic mentality of benevolent paternalism became a rationale
and justification for acquiring Indigenous lands and resources, and drove the
creation of prescriptive education policies that ran counter to the treaty relationship.
Equally importantly, we can explore how this mentality continues to influence
Indigenous-settler relations today. Failing to do so will ensure that, despite our
vow of never again, Canada will create equally destructive policies and practices
into the future. To those who argue that former IRS students should just get over
it and move on, I say that asking victims to bury a traumatic past for the “greater
good” of achieving reconciliation does not address the root of the problem –
colonialism.FROM Unsettling the Settler Within, Paulette Regan, UBC Press 2010, p.4
I have compiled some resources here that I hope are useful in thinking about Settler responsibility and the ongoing harms of Settler-Colonial structures in so-called Canada. All of this material was useful to me in doing the research for my MFA. Wherever possible, I have provided online links to information; I think it is important to eliminate barriers to information wherever possible. While I recognize this page still requires being able to access to the internet, at least more people in more places can use these tools if I offer them here than could otherwise.
If you are interested, please feel free to investigate the project 40 Chains a Side as a whole.
I have listed resources with web links first in each subject area; all links were current and active March 1 2022. Articles and books that follow these first listings may be accessible through local libraries or through university/college library systems.
Truth and Reconciliation
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (links to info and history of the Commission)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action (downloadable PDF)
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit People
Final Report (downloadable PDFs)
UBC Research Guide (links and downloadable information and resources)
Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations (information and history, PDF downloadable fact sheet)
Treaty 6 (Wikipedia – includes references and links to more info)
Surrender Document for Reserve No.126 (Washatenow)
Metis Nation of Alberta (information and history)
Métis Nation of Ontario (history/timeline)
Gabriel Dumont Institute (history, images, resources)
Devine, Heather. “J.Z. LaRocque: A Métis Historian’s Account of His Family’s Experiences during the North-West Rebellion of 1885.” Finding Directions West : Readings That Locate and Dislocate Western Canada’s Past, University of Calgary Press, 2017.
Land and Territory
Native Land (digital interactive map of traditional Indigenous Territories)
Assembly of First Nations (AFN). (land and land claims)
Daschuk, J. 2013. Clearing the Plains. Regina: University of Regina Press.
Erasmus, P. 2015. Buffalo Days and Nights. Calgary: Fifth House Publishers.
Russell, D. 1991. Eighteenth Century Western Cree and Their Neighbours. Issue 143 of Mercury Series. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization.
“Disposal” of “Indian Lands”
A good discussion of what “Treaty” actually means in their Land Acknowledgement
Doctrine of Discovery
Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery: A Call to Action
Doctrine of Discovery – Sylvia McAdam
United Nations Report on Doctrine of Discovery (PDF)
Recommendations of the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus to the Eleventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues re – Doctrine of Discovery (PDF)
Miller, Robert J. and others, Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies (Oxford, 2010; online edn, Oxford Academic, 1 Sept. 2010)
Dominion Land Survey
Dominion Land Survey (Wikipedia – includes references and links to more info)
Ballantyne, Brian, ed. Surveys, Parcels and Tenure on Canada Lands (downloadable PDF)
Dennis, John Stoughton (1892). A short history of the surveys performed under the Dominion lands system, 1869 to 1889. Ottawa: Sessional Notes.
Library and Archives Canada. “Western Land Grants (1870-1930).” The Wayback Machine.
McKercher, Robert B.; Wolf, Bertran (1986). Understanding Western Canada’s Dominion Land Survey System (PDF). Saskatoon: Division of Extension and Community Relations, University of Saskatchewan. ISBN 0-88880-164-5. (downloadable PDF)
Barnett, Douglas E. “The Deville Era: Survey of the Western Interior of Canada.” Alberta History, vol. 48, no. Spring, 2000, pp. 19–25.
Bantjes, Rod. “Groundwork: The Dominion Survey.” Improved Earth: Prairie Space as Modern Artefact, 1869 – 1944, University of Toronto Press, 2005, pp. 15–35.
Larmour, Judy (2005). Laying Down the Lines: A History of Land Surveying in Alberta. Brindle and Glass.
MacGregor, J. G. Vision of an Ordered Land: The Story of the Dominion Land Survey. Western Producer Prairie Books, 1981.
“Settler Colonialism” (basic introduction to theory with references)
Cox, Alicia. “Settler Colonialism.” Introduction to Oxford Bibliography. (provides list of good articles on the subject)
Whyte, Kyle Powys. “White Allies, Let’s be Honest about Decolonization.”
Cuthand, Ruth. “I’m Not the Indian You’re Looking For.”
Shaw, Devin Zane. “We Settlers Face a Choice:Decolonization or White Supremacy.”
Here is the abstract of her talk:
Multiculturalism Cannot Contain Multitudes: Towards a Lateral Relationality and Undoing of Settler Colonialism
Despite claims to the contrary multiculturalism operates as the inheritor of official and unofficial policies both cultural and economic that are specifically designed to assimilate newcomers into the white supremacist settler colonial state, thereby ensuring the continued existence of Canada. While effort has been made recently to pay homage to Indigenous peoples as a singular founding people alongside the French and British, we continue to represent an existential threat that cannot be reconciled with the stated purpose of multiculturalism which centres awareness and celebration of diverse cultures. This presentation offers as an alternative, a lateral form of relationality based on the Métis/Cree concept of wâhkôhtowin or expanded kinship, with the purpose of undoing white supremacist settler colonialism.
Links to Articles in the Press and Elsewhere, and Talks of Interest:
Alexis Shotwell on White Shame
An Article on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and some educational resources
FREE E-BOOKS – good resources!
A Climate Atlas relating Indigenous Knowledges to dealing with Climate Change
A Documentary Film, Lana Gets Her Talk – This brief study of an artist and her work helps us come to some understanding of the trauma experienced by Canada’s Indigenous people in the Indian Residential School system, of its enduring effects on the children of survivors of the IRS, and of one woman’s journey to recover what was lost: dignity, identity, and voice. A story of resilience, Lana’s journey speaks of the power of Indigenous “ways of being” in our time.
Articles and Books (check with Public Libraries or University/College Libraries for copies):
Alfred, Taiaiake. “Foreword.” Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada, by Paulette Regan, UBC Press, 2010, pp. ix–xi.
Battell Lowman, Emma, and Adam J. Barker. Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada. Fernwood Publishing, 2015.
Decter, Leah, and Carla Taunton, eds. Beyond Unsettling: methodologies for decolonizing futures. Public Journal, Fall 2021. vol. 32, no. 64.
Greer, Allan. Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America. Cambridge UP, 2018.
Henderson, Phil. “Imagoed Communities: The Psychosocial Space of Settler Colonialism.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017, pp. 40–56.
Mann, Geoff. “Settler-Colonialism’s Anti-Social Contract.” The Canadain Geographer, vol. 64, no. 3, 2020, pp. 433–44.
Morgensen, Scott Lauria. “The Biopolitics of Settler Colonialism: Right Here, Right Now.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, pp. 52–76.
Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. “Introduction: White Possession and Indigenous Sovereignty Matters.” White Possessive., University of Minnesota Press, 2015.
Murphyao, Amanda, and Kelly Black. “Unsettling Settler Belonging: (Re)Naming and Territory Making in the Pacific Northwest.” American Review of Canadian Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2015, pp. 315–31.
Strakosch, Elizabeth, and Alissa Macoun. “The Vanishing Endpoint of Settler Colonialism.” Arena Journal, vol. 37/38, 2012, pp. 40–62.
Steinman, Erich. “Unsettling as Agency: unsettling settler-colonialism where you are.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol.10, no. 4, 2020, pp.558 – 575.
Tuck, Eve, and K.Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeniety, Education & Society. vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40.
Veracini, Lorenzo. “‘Settler Colonialism’: Career of a Concept.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 41, no. 2, 2013, pp. 313–33.
Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 8, no. 4, 2006, pp. 387–409.