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National Indigenous History Month

Fri. Jun. 28, 2024

Indigenous Perspectives

Discover our “Indigenous Perspectives” reading list

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize and honour the rich history, heritage, resilience, diversity and significant contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. As this month draws to a close, we present a special reading list to conclude our Indigenous Perspectives series. Over the past two weeks, we shared one book a day on Instagram, and now we've compiled those selections, along with some new titles, into this comprehensive list. Specifically curated by our librarians, it covers a wide range of subjects, including feminism, education, conflict resolution, rhetoric, criminal justice, and much more.

Ancestral Science (podcast)

Each episode of this podcast features a conversation with a different Indigenous scientist, educator, or artist, and explores science within Indigenous knowledge frameworks and the knowledge of ancestors. It is hosted by Kori Czuy, who is of Cree/Métis and Polish/Ukrainian descent, from Big Prairie Alberta.

Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun : Portraits of Everyday Life In Eight Indigenous Communities

This book "consists of approximately 80 archival black-and-white and colour photographs of Indigenous family life from 1925 to 1985". It focuses on five communities, "Cape Dorset (Kinngait) in Nunavut; Lake Superior Region in Ontario; Plains (Medicine Line) in Southern Alberta, Southern Saskatchewan and Northern Montana; Fort Rae (Bechoko) in the Northwest Territories, and Teslin - Old Crow in the Yukon". The author, Paul Seesequasis is a nnîpisîhkopâwiyiniw (Willow Cree) journalist and writer.

Braiding Histories : Learning From Aboriginal Peoples' Experiences and Perspectives : Including The Braiding Histories Stories Co-Written With Michael R. Dion

Susan D. Dion (Potawatomi-Lenape) is an Indigenous Scholar working in the field of Education. Her book "proposes a new pedagogy for addressing Aboriginal subject material". Braiding Histories raises the question of representations and analyses the challenges faced by educators when they teach and learn from Aboriginal subject materials.

Buffalo is the New Buffalo: Stories

The collection of short stories by Chelsea Vowel (Métis, from manitow-sâkahikan | Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta) uses speculative fiction to imagine future realities for Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights and Relationships

"In Canada, there is an increased push toward the privatization of Indigenous lands, a problematic development given how central land is to Indigenous societies, cultures, and legal systems.” This collection  provides an insight in "the privatization debate" and is an "essential ressource for law and policymakers". One of the editor, Val Napoleon, is a member of the Saulteau First Nation in Northeast British Columbia

Criminal Law: Canadian Law, Indigenous Laws Critical & Perspectives

This open-access criminal law textbook is the first of its kind to present Indigenous laws alongside Canadian criminal law. This eBook takes a trauma-informed approach. It also includes audio and visual materials (podcasts, documentary film...).

Decolonising Peace and Conflict Studies Through Indigenous Research

"[This book] shows how Indigenous knowledge is essential to ensure that PACS research is relevant, respectful, accurate, and non-exploitative of Indigenous Peoples, in an effort to reposition Indigenous perspectives and contexts through Indigenous experiences, voices, and research processes, to provide balance to the power structures within this discipline".

Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing

"This study proposes a model to describe the intergenerational transmission of historic trauma and examines the implications for healing in a contemporary Aboriginal context". It was prepared by Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation, Ontario) and Dr. Magdanela Smolewski for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, 3rd ed.

This new edition, edited by Gina Starblanket (Cree & Saulteaux; Star Blanket Cree Nation) features feminist, queer and two-spirit voices from across generations and locations.

Reconciliation & Indigenous Justice: A Search for Ways Forward

"This book provides an account of the ongoing ties between the enduring traumas caused by the residential schools and Indigenous over-incarceration". The author, Dr. David Milward, is a member of the Beardy's & Okemasis First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Spirit of the Grassroots People : Seeking Justice for Indigenous Survivors of Canada's Colonial Education System

Raymond Mason was a survivor, activist, and Elder from Peguis First Nation, Manitoba. In this book, he describes his "own experiences in Indian day and residential schools in Manitoba and his struggles to find meaning in life after trauma and abuse".

The Moon of Letting Go

The Moon of Letting Go is a collection of short stories by Richard Van Camp (Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Fort Smith, NWT). All the stories are set in First Nations Communities in the Northwest Territories, Vancouver, and rural British Columbia. Divided into four sections (Healing, Medicine, Teachings, and Love), the stories hold themes around optimism and healing through connections.

We Interrupt This Program: Indigenous Media Tactics in Canadian Culture

"These scene-setting moments bring to life their argument that media tactics, as articulations of Indigenous sovereignty, have the power not only to effect change from within Canadian institutions and through established mediums but also to spark new forms of political and cultural expression in Indigenous communities and among Indigenous youth." It was written by Miranda J. Brady and John M. H. Kelly, who is from Skidegate in Haida Gwaii.

White Benevolence: Racism and Colonial Violence in the Helping Professions

"In White Benevolence, leading anti-racism scholars reveal the ways in which white settlers working in [education, health care, social work and justice] shape, defend and uphold institutional racism, even while professing to support Indigenous people".

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