Books – Indigenous Studies
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.
Government Repression of Indigenous Religious Ceremonies on the Prairies
Religious ceremonies were an inseparable part of Aboriginal traditional life, reinforcing social, economic, and political values. However, missionaries and government officials with ethnocentric attitudes of cultural superiority decreed that Native dances and ceremonies were immoral or un-Christian and an impediment to the integration of the Native population into Canadian society. Katherine Pettipas presents a critical analysis of the administrative policies and considers the effects of government suppression of traditional religious activities on the whole spectrum of Aboriginal life, focussing on the experiences of the Plains Cree from the mid-1880s to 1951, when the regulations pertaining to religious practices were removed from the Indian Act.
Among the most dynamic Aboriginal peoples in western Canada today are the Ojibwa, who have played an especially vital role in the development of an Aboriginal political voice at both levels of government. Yet, they are relative newcomers to the region, occupying the parkland and prairies only since the end of the 18th century. This work traces the origins of the western Ojibwa, their adaptations to the West, and the ways in which they have coped with the many challenges they faced in the first century of their history in that region, between 1780 and 1870.
Hydroelectric Development and Native Communities
Waldram examines the politics of hydroelectric dam construction in the Canadian northwest, focussing on the negotiations and agreements between the developers and the Native residents. He shows the parallels between the treatment of Natives by the government of Canada in these negotiations and the treaty process a century earlier.