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Legacy

ECW Press


Exploring intergenerational trauma in Indigenous communities — and strategies for healing — with provocative prose and an empathetic approach

Indigenous peoples have shockingly higher rates of addiction, depression, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions than other North Americans. According to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, these are a result of intergenerational trauma: the unresolved terror, anger, fear, and grief created in Indigenous communities by the painful experiences of colonialism, passed down from generation to generation.

How are we to turn this desperate tide? With passionate argumentation and chillingly clear prose, author and educator Suzanne Methot uses her own and others’ stories to trace the roots of colonial trauma and the mechanisms by which trauma has become intergenerational, and she explores the Indigenous ways of knowing that can lead us toward change.

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“Powerful . . . A deeply empathetic and inspiring work with insights of value to anyone struggling to overcome personal or communal trauma.” — Library Journal

“This book is accessible, relatable, and full of storytelling about real people. It deeply resonates with me as a traditional counsellor, educator, and Indigenous person. Suzanne Methot, a brave Nehiyaw writer and community helper, takes up the challenges of logically explaining a child’s traumatized brain and body and how these impacts continue into adulthood. Methot also explores Indigenous health-care models, proving that Indigenous values provide solutions. This book uncovers the critical need for legislation that moves from creating ‘a renewed relationship’ with Indigenous peoples to creating real structural change.” — Dr. Cyndy Baskin, Mi’kmaq Nation, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University

 
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Visiting With the Ancestors

Athabasca University Press | Campus Alberta Collection


In 2010, five magnificent Blackfoot shirts, now owned by the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, were brought to Alberta to be exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary, and the Galt Museum, in Lethbridge. The shirts had not returned to Blackfoot territory since 1841, when officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company acquired them. The shirts were later transported to England, where they had remained ever since.

Exhibiting the shirts at the museums was, however, only one part of the project undertaken by Laura Peers and Alison Brown. Prior to the installation of the exhibits, groups of Blackfoot people—hundreds altogether—participated in special “handling sessions,” in which they were able to touch the shirts and examine them up close. The shirts, some painted with mineral pigments and adorned with porcupine quillwork, others decorated with locks of human and horse hair, took the breath away of those who saw, smelled, and touched them. Long-dormant memories were awakened, and many of the participants described a powerful sense of connection and familiarity with the shirts, which still house the spirit of the ancestors who wore them.

In the pages of this beautifully illustrated volume is the story of an effort to build a bridge between museums and source communities, in hopes of establishing stronger, more sustaining relationships between the two and spurring change in prevailing museum policies. Negotiating the tension between a museum’s institutional protocol and Blackfoot cultural protocol was challenging, but the experience described both by the authors and by Blackfoot contributors to the volume was transformative. Museums seek to preserve objects for posterity. This volume demonstrates that the emotional and spiritual power of objects does not vanish with the death of those who created them. For Blackfoot people today, these shirts are a living presence, one that evokes a sense of continuity and inspires pride in Blackfoot cultural heritage.

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“Perhaps most importantly, Visiting with the Ancestors provides a helpful commentary on current and future practices that may help to breathe new life into discussions about reconciliation and museums.”

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“The book reveals the ways that collaboration is less about knowledge or culture in the abstract and more about bringing people, objects, and knowledge together into a meaningful social process of talking, thinking, sensing, and sharing while respecting cultural boundaries and flowing through the tensions, questions, and contradictions that often arise in such encounters.”

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Laura Peers is interested in the meanings that heritage objects hold for Indigenous peoples today and in relationships between museums and Indigenous peoples. Her publications include Museums and Source Communities (with Alison K. Brown), “Ceremonies of Renewal: Visits, Relationships and Healing in the Museum Space,” and This Is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice (with Cara Krmpotich).

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Alison K. Brown’s research addresses the ways in which artifacts and photographs can be used to think about colonialism and its legacies. Before joining the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2005, where she is a senior lecturer and co-director (with Nancy Wachowich) of the Northern Colonialism: Historical Connections, Contemporary Lives program, she was Research Manager for Human History at Glasgow Museums.

 
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Petun to Wyandot

Canadian Museum of History | Mercury Series


In Petun to Wyandot, Charles Garrad draws upon five decades of research to tell the turbulent history of the Wyandot tribe, the First Nation once known as the Petun. Combining and reconciling primary historical sources, archaeological data and anthropological evidence, Garrad has produced the most comprehensive study of the Petun Confederacy. Beginning with their first encounters with French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1616 and extending to their decline and eventual dispersal, this book offers an account of this people from their own perspective and through the voices of the nations, tribes and individuals that surrounded them.

Through a cross-reference of views, including historical testimony from Jesuits, European explorers and fur traders, as well as neighbouring tribes and nations, Petun to Wyandot uncovers the Petun way of life by examining their culture, politics, trading arrangements and legends. Perhaps most valuable of all, it provides detailed archaeological evidence from the years of research undertaken by Garrad and his colleagues in the Petun Country, located in the Blue Mountains of Central Ontario. Along the way, the author meticulously chronicles the work of other historians and examines their theories regarding the Petun's enigmatic life story.

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“It’s been a long long journey to bring this book into being, said Garrad joking that archaeological talks and archaeological books are exceedingly boring before launching into a story that began in France in the mid-1500s. It was Champlain who found a series of well-built villages belonging to an agricultural and trading people in 1616 .He named them Nation de Petun Tobacco Nation a people who had broken away from the Huron Nation and moved into the area around Craigleith to participate in the fur trade.”

– Sun Times, 2014, p. A03

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"What he has achieved is really very extraordinary," he said. "He has published and written extensively on the Petun...This 628-page book is a distillation of that. It is a lifetime of work. It is his attempt to put what is between his two ears into a book. In archaeology it is rare for people to do that."

– Erika Engel, Blue Mountains Courier Herald, 2014

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Charles Garrad’s dedication to understanding the Petun began in the late 1950s when he was shown an archaeological site near Craigleith, in Ontario’s Blue Mountains. As the study of the Petun became his life project, Garrad came to be recognized as an authority on the subject. Over the years, he undertook countless excavations and published widely on the matter.

 
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We All Expected to Die

Memorial University Press | Social and Economic Studies


At the end of World War I, after four years of unimaginable man-made destruction, a swiftly killing virus travelled the planet. Up to one hundred million people perished in the most lethal pandemic in recorded history, the so-called “Spanish” influenza. More than half those who died were young adults aged between twenty and forty. Nowhere on earth was the flu more deadly than in isolated settlements on the far northeastern coast of North America.

In We All Expected to Die: Spanish Influenza in Labrador, 1918–1919, Anne Budgell reconstructs the horrific impact of the pandemic in hard-hit Labrador locations, such as the Inuit villages of Okak and Hebron where the mortality rate was 71%. Using the recollections of survivors, diaries kept at the time, Hudson’s Bay Company journals, newspaper reports, and government documents, this powerful and uncompromising book tells the story of how the flu travelled to Labrador and wreaked havoc there. It examines how people dealt with the emergency, when all were sick and few were well enough to care for others, and how authorities elsewhere refused to provide assistance. The story We All Expected to Die reveals is both devastating and haunting. It is a story of great loss, but also of human endurance, heroism, and survival.

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“Anne Budgell's meticulous research...provides the essential context that allows us to interpret the statistics and understand the severe and indelible impact of the 1918 pandemic.”

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"We All Expected to Die...offers an important and accessible reminder of the terrible suffering endured by the people of Labrador."

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"We All Expected to Die has elements of the kind of dystopic end-of-time fiction that is fashionable today — but the events in Labrador a century ago involved real people. Their ghosts surround you in Hebron. Budgell's careful reconstruction of the impact of a pandemic is an impressive achievement."

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"[We All Expected to Die] deserves a wide readership and should be on the shelves in every library in Canada, and the world for that matter."

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Anne Budgell is a journalist who worked with CBC radio and television in Newfoundland and Labrador for over thirty years. Her interest in Labrador history was encouraged by her mother, the daughter of a fur trapper; and her father, the son of a Hudson’s Bay Company factor. She is also the author of Dear Everybody, A Woman’s Journey from Park Avenue to a Labrador Trapline.

 
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Living on the Land

Kermoal, NathalieAltamirano-Jiménez, Isabel (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press


An extensive body of literature on Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing has been written since the 1980s. This research has for the most part been conducted by scholars operating within Western epistemological frameworks that tend not only to deny the subjectivity of knowledge but also to privilege masculine authority. As a result, the information gathered predominantly reflects the types of knowledge traditionally held by men, yielding a perspective that is at once gendered and incomplete. Even those academics, communities, and governments interested in consulting with Indigenous peoples for the purposes of planning, monitoring, and managing land use have largely ignored the knowledge traditionally produced, preserved, and transmitted by Indigenous women. While this omission reflects patriarchal assumptions, it may also be the result of the reductionist tendencies of researchers, who have attempted to organize Indigenous knowledge so as to align it with Western scientific categories, and of policy makers, who have sought to deploy such knowledge in the service of external priorities. Such efforts to apply Indigenous knowledge have had the effect of abstracting this knowledge from place as well as from the world view and community—and by extension the gender—to which it is inextricably connected.

Living on the Land examines how patriarchy, gender, and colonialism have shaped the experiences of Indigenous women as both knowers and producers of knowledge. From a variety of methodological perspectives, contributors to the volume explore the nature and scope of Indigenous women’s knowledge, its rootedness in relationships both human and spiritual, and its inseparability from land and landscape. From the reconstruction of cultural and ecological heritage by Naskapi women in Québec to the medical expertise of Métis women in western Canada to the mapping and securing of land rights in Nicaragua, Living on the Land focuses on the integral role of women as stewards of the land and governors of the community. Together, these contributions point to a distinctive set of challenges and possibilities for Indigenous women and their communities.

Contributors include Denise Geoffroy, Kathy L. Hodgson–Smith, Kahente Horn-Miller, Shalene Jobin, Carole Lévesque, Leanna Parker, Brenda Parlee, Geneviève Polèse, Zoe Todd, and Kristine Wray.

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“A beautiful and complex collection of perspective, story, knowledge, and wisdom. This book captures the traditional role, depth, and power of the Indigenous women from the Mohawk, Cree, Naskapi, Métis, and Inuit peoples. [...] and gives each Indigenous woman a distinct voice on where she originates.”

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Nathalie Kermoal is of Breton descent (a people whose territory is situated on the West coast of France). She is a professor as well as the Associate Dean Academic at the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She is a bilingual specialist (French and English) in Canadian history and more specifically in Métis history.

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Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez is Zapotec from Oaxaca, Mexico. She holds a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

 
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My Conversations With Canadians

Book*hug Press


Shortlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Award

Shortlisted for the First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 Award

On her first book tour at the age of 26, Lee Maracle was asked a question from the audience, one she couldn't possibly answer at that moment. But she has been thinking about it ever since. As time has passed, she has been asked countless similar questions, all of them too big to answer, but not too large to contemplate. These questions, which touch upon subjects such as citizenship, segregation, labour, law, prejudice and reconciliation, to name a few, are the heart of My Conversations with Canadians.

In essays that are both conversational and direct, Maracle seeks not to provide any answers to these questions she has lived with for so long. Rather, she thinks through each one using a multitude of experiences she has had as a First Nations leader, a woman, a mother, and grandmother over the course of her life. Lee Maracle's My Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer's own history and a reimagining of the future of our nation.

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Praise for My Converstaions With Canadians:

"My Conversations With Canadians… offer[s] strength and solidarity to Indigenous readers, and a generous guide to allyship for non-Indigenous readers. For the latter, these books will unsettle, but to engage in allyship is to commit to being unsettled—all the time." —The Globe and Mail

"Maracle sets the record straight on a few of our beloved myths, including Canada's current narrative as a model multicultural society." —Kamal Al-Solaylee

"A very timely work in the era of the botched Canada 150 celebrations and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry… a powerful and thought provoking read. Highly recommended." —Vancouver Sun

"By inviting us into her home, Maracle reminds us that we inhabit someone else's space. We come to see that maybe we are the problem and that reconciliation is not a solution—not without restitution." —The UC Observer

"In these pages, Maracle develops a relationship with her audience that feels intuitive and intimate, yet weaves together something far more comprehensive than any interview or conversation could provide." —Maisonneuve

"As challenging as these "conversations" may be for some Canadians, the harshness pales in comparison to the abuses endured at residential schools. Readers will not be stripped naked, deloused, and then shaved bald on their first day of school. Only the readers' false notions will be stripped away." —Hamilton Review of Books

"Maracle, never one to hold back, is an unblinking observer of First Nations experience and seizes the moment—specifically the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday—to release this collection of essays…  A unique voice worth heeding." —Now Magazine

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North Vancouver–born Lee Maracle is the author of numerous critically acclaimed literary works, including Sundogs, Ravensong, Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, Memory Serves, I Am Woman, and Talking to the Diaspora. She is the coeditor of a number of anthologies, including the award-winning My Home As I Remember. A member of the Sto: Loh nation, Maracle is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the JT Stewart Award, and the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts for 2014. Maracle is currently an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Oral Tradition. She is also the Traditional Teacher for First Nation's House and an instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington, and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University in 2009.

 
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An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land

Athabasca University Press


In 1670, the ancient homeland of the Cree and Ojibwe people of Hudson Bay became known to the English entrepreneurs of the Hudson’s Bay Company as Rupert’s Land, after the founder and absentee landlord, Prince Rupert. For four decades, Jennifer S. H. Brown has examined the complex relationships that developed among the newcomers and the Algonquian communities—who hosted and tolerated the fur traders—and later, the missionaries, anthropologists, and others who found their way into Indigenous lives and territories. The eighteen essays gathered in this book explore Brown’s investigations into the surprising range of interactions among Indigenous people and newcomers as they met or observed one another from a distance, and as they competed, compromised, and rejected or adapted to change.

While diverse in their subject matter, the essays have thematic unity in their focus on the old HBC territory and its peoples from the 1600s to the present. More than an anthology, the chapters of An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land provide examples of Brown’s exceptional skill in the close study of texts, including oral documents, images, artifacts, and other cultural expressions. The volume as a whole represents the scholarly evolution of one of the leading ethnohistorians in Canada and the United States.

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"A welcome and compelling selection of articles (some previously published, some unpublished) that focus on the stories of Cree, Ojibwe and Métis peoples, Hudson’s Bay and Northwest Company fur traders, Methodist and Anglican missionaries,and twentieth-century anthropologists. [...] The varied thematic foci of An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land allow readers to delve into topics and issues related to language, family, marriage, women, and Indigenous stories and memories. Each chapter is of interest in its own right, but gathered here each becomes part of a larger narrative of a lifetime of scholarship and contributions by one of the most important practitioners in her field."

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"Brown's clear narrative writing style makes this collection accessible to both academic and public audiences. Historians will appreciate her close and thorough reading of primary sources. Anthropologists will recognize Brown's attention to language and her reading of the historical record through an ethnographic lens that can focus on both the micro-scales of domestic life and the macro-scales of the fur trade's political economy."

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"Brown's ability to read between the lines of texts of all kinds is without parallel in Canadian ethnohistory. The articles are a pleasure to read, full of insight and analysis, and written with the agreeable style of a born communicator and teacher. [...] Brown's work continues to impress and influence."

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Jennifer S. H. Brown taught history at the University of Winnipeg for twenty-eight years and held a Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal history from 2004 to 2011. She served as director of the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies, which focuses on Aboriginal peoples and the fur trade of the Hudson Bay watershed, from 1996 to 2010. She is the editor of the Rupert’s Land Record Society documentary series (McGill-Queen’s University Press), which publishes original materials on Aboriginal and fur trade history. She now resides in Denver, Colorado, where she continues her scholarly work.

 
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Nta’tugwaqanminen - Notre histoire

Les Presses de l'Université d'Ottawa | Études canadiennes


Nta’tugwaqanminen-Notre histoire présente la vision, la relation à la

terre, l’occupation historique et actuelle du territoire, de

même que les noms de lieux et ce que révèlent ceux-ci

sur l’occupation ancestrale du territoire. 

Il porte sur les traités conclus avec la Couronne

britannique, sur le respect de ces traités par la nation mi'gmaque et le non-respect de ceux-ci par les divers

paliers de gouvernement. Il explore la dépossession

des Mi’gmaqs du Gespe’gewa’gi (Nord du Nouveau-Brunswick

et péninsule gaspésienne) dans la foulée

de la colonisation illégale européenne, puis le développement de la péninsule par

ces colons européens, à leur avantage. Il aborde également la

question des droits et titres des Mi’gmaqs sur leur territoire. 

Nta’tugwaqanminen montre que les Mi’gmaqs du Gespe’gewa’gi occupent ce territoire

depuis toujours, qu’ils en étaient les seuls occupants

avant la colonisation européenne, et qu’ils occupent sans

interruption depuis ce temps. 

Deux voix émergent de cet ouvrage : celle des Mi’gmaqs du Gespe’gewa’gi, et de leurs aînés, qui sont

les narrateurs de leur histoire collective, et celle des

chercheurs qui ont étudié cette histoire, notamment en

menant une enquête toponymique pour découvrir les indicateurs

de mouvements migratoires.

Une coédition avec Fernwood Publishing.

Ce livre est publié en français.

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Nta’tugwaqanminen speaks of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq vision, history, relation to the land, past and present occupation of the territory, as well as their place names and what they reveal in terms of ancient territorial occupation. It speaks of the treaties they agreed to with the British Crown, the respect of these treaties on the part of the Mi’gmaq people and the breach of these by various levels of governments. 

It explores the dispossession the Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi (Northern New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula) endured while the European settlers illegally occupied and developed the Gaspé Peninsula to their own advantage and the rights and titles the Mi’gmaq people still have on their lands. 

Nta’tugwaqanminen provides evidence that the Mi’gmaq of the Gespe’gewa’gi have occupied their territory since time immemorial, were its sole occupants prior to European settlement, and occupied it on a continuous basis. 

There are two voices in the book: that of the Mi’gmaq of the Gespe’gewa’gi, including the Elders, as they act as narrators of the collective history, and that of the researchers, who studied this history, including advanced investigation on place names as indicators of migration patterns.

A co-edition with Fernwood Publishing.

This book is published in French.

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La grande histoire de la nation Mi’gmaque

C’est en clair la riche épopée de la nation Mi’gmaque dont le territoire, tenez-vous bien, comprenait la péninsule gaspésienne, une partie du Maine et les quatre provinces de l’Atlantique et l’Île d’Anticosti. Une histoire tellement fertile que le collectif d’auteurs l'a comparée au fait que c’était comme faire entrer un océan dans un verre d’eau.

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Nta’tugwaqanminen, le fruit d’une collaboration entre les Micmacs du Nord du Gespe’gewa’gi, leurs aînés et un groupe d’éminents chercheurs, a pour objectif de se réapproprier leur histoire, tant orale qu’écrite, dans une démarche de réappropriation du savoir.

 
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