Books – Indigenous Studies
Historical Perspectives on the Ojibwa Midewiwin
The Midewiwin is the traditional religious belief system central to the world view of Ojibwa in Canada and the US. The rituals of the Midewiwin were observed by many 19th century Euro-Americans, most of whom approached these ceremonies with hostility and suspicion. As a result, although there were many accounts of the Midewiwin published in the 19th century, they were often riddled with misinterpretations and inaccuracies. Historian Michael Angel compares the early texts written about the Midewiwin, and identifies major, common misconceptions in these accounts.
Original People of the Great Swampy Land
The original people of the Hudson Bay lowlands, often known as the Lowland Cree and known to themselves as Muskekowuck Athinuwick, were among the first Aboriginal peoples in northwestern North America to come into contact with Europeans. This book challenges long-held misconceptions about the Lowland Cree, and illustrates how historians have often misunderstood the role and resourcefulness of Aboriginal peoples during the fur-trade era.
Inuit of the Central Artic, 1550 to 1940
Although archaeologists and anthropologists have studied ancient and contemporary Inuit societies, the Inuit world in the crucial period from the 16th to the 20th centuries remains largely undescribed and unexplained. In Order to Live Untroubled helps fill this 400-year gap by providing the first, broad, historical survey of the Inuit peoples of the central arctic.
Cree Tales of Curing and Cursing Told by Alice Ahenakew / âh-âyîtaw isi ê-kî-kiskêyihtahkik maskihkiy
Born in 1912, Alice Ahenakew was brought up in a traditional Cree community in north-central Saskatchewan. As a young woman, she married Andrew Ahenakew, a member of the prominent Saskatchewan family, who later became an Anglican clergyman and a prominent healer. Alice Ahenakew’s personal reminiscences include stories of her childhood, courtship and marriage, as well as an account of the 1928 influenza epidemic and encounters with a windigo. The centrepiece of this book is the fascinating account of Andrew Ahenakew’s bear vision, through which he received healing powers.
The Story of the Relocation of the Sayisi Dene
For over 1500 years, the Sayisi Dene, ‘The Dene from the East’, led an independent life, following the caribou herds and having little contact with white society. In 1956, an arbitrary government decision to relocate them catapulted the Sayisi Dene into the 20th century. Inadequately housed, without jobs, unfamiliar with the language or the culture, their independence and self-determination deteriorated into a tragic cycle of discrimination, poverty, alcoholism and violent death. In Night Spirits, the survivors, including those who were children at the time of the move, as well as the few remaining elders, recount their stories. They offer a stark and brutally honest account of the near-destruction of the Sayisi Dene, and their struggle to reclaim their lives. It is a dark story, told in hope.
The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986
Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. 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.
Anishinaabe Texts told by Angeline Williams
These are a collection of 20 stories, dictated in 1941 to Bloomfield’s linguistics class, edited from manuscripts now in the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution, and published for the first time. In Ojibwe, with English translations by Bloomfield. Ojibwe-English glossary and other linguistic study aids.
ana kâ-pimwêwêhahk okakêskihkêmowina
Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw was a respected Cree Elder from Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, who spoke only Cree and provided these original counselling discourses.
Power, Wisdom, and Strength
Women of the First Nations examines various aspects of Aboriginal women’s lives from a variety of theoretical and personal perspectives. The authors discuss standard media representations, as well as historical and current realities. They bring new perspectives to discussions on Aboriginal art, literature, historical, and cultural contributions, and they offer diverse viewpoints on present economic, environmental, and political issues. This collection counters the marginalization and silencing of First Nations women’s voices and reflects the power, strength, and wisdom inherent in their lives.
âtalôhkâna nêsta tipâcimôwina
This is the first major body of annotated texts in James Bay Cree, and a unique documentation of Swampy and Moose Cree (Western James Bay) usage of the 1950s and 1960s. Conversations and interviews with 16 different speakers include: legends, reminiscences, historical narratives, stories and conversations, as well as descriptions of technology.