What I found worthwhile reading regarding indigenous people in Canada, summer 2021


I am always trying to find ways to better understand the indigenous people of Canada and as a result I try and keep the better things I come across that help me with that understanding. I tend to be haphazard in how I research things: that shows in the almost randomness in what I have collected below. I think these links are worth reading, though.

On Residential schools: Recently there has been a strong focus on Canada’s Residential school system. Some people wrote about how people didn’t know this was happening back then. However this piece gives some important historical context as to what people knew at the time. As well, this piece gives more context as to how TB affected Aboriginal people.

Alot of what has been driving the focus has been the use of technology to find unmarked graves. Here are two good pieces on that ground radar technology. This piece gives a good introduction to it and this piece provides much more detail on how it works. For example, I naively expected the images to be more like an X ray or an ultrasound. It’s not quite that straightforward. Instead the images look like this:

(Image via CBC site)

As the use of the technology spread to other schools, some believed we would find graves at every residential school. However despite a lot of effort, there is no evidence found of unmarked graves related to Shubenacadie Residential School. I suspect this examination of schools will go on for a long time, and we will find more graves, but it will take time and not always come up with clear results.

As for why this is suddenly going forward, this story gives some context on how the search for the missing graves is being funded. Better late than never from the Federal government, but the lateness is still bad.

Finally, this is shameful: How the Catholic Church raised nearly $300M for buildings since promising residential school survivors $25M in 2005 . More on that story here.

History: My knowledge of indigenous history is weak. However, I found this helpful: More history: on the Iroquois as well as this: Military history of the Mi’kmaq people.

I need to go to Indigo bookstore and read more books and get a better sense of indigenous and Canadian history. If you feel the same, here’s a good list of what they have. Libraries are also good to go to and check out these books.

Other items:

Finally, if you want to learn more about Indigenous people in Canada, I’ve seen some indigenous people say that link was worthwhile.

(Top image of Shubenacadie Residential School via Wikipedia. Bottom image is of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada taken by Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2021)

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