Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Indigenous Resources

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day

September 30 was recently named as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is also Orange Shirt Day which was created in 2013 as “an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind” (Orange Shirt Day Society). It is up to all of us to stand in solidarity with Indigenous families, communities and Nations by becoming educated on the history and intergenerational impacts of the Indian Residential School system. #EveryChildMatters  
Learn more through the Orange Shirt Day Society and hear from Phyllis Webstad, "the original orange shirt", as she tells her story.   

 

Where to find support if you need it: Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 (Indigenous folks), or Lambton College Counselling Services (all).

 

Non Fiction

A National Crime

For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the "circle of civilization"...

...the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse... 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.

They Called Me Number One

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school...

 These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only--not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

Warrior Life

In a moment where unlawful pipelines are built on Indigenous territories, the RCMP make illegal arrests of land defenders on unceded lands, and anti-Indigenous racism permeates social media... wade through media misinformation and government propaganda and get to the heart of key issues lost in the noise...

From one of the most important, inspiring, and fearless voices on Indigenous rights, decolonization, Canadian politics, social justice, earth justice, and beyond, Warrior Life is an unflinching critique of the colonial project that is Canada and a rallying cry for Indigenous Peoples and allies alike to forge a path toward a decolonial future through resistance and resurgence.

From Where I Stand

...Jody Wilson-Raybould has represented both First Nations and the Crown at the highest levels and she is not afraid to give Canadians what they need most - straight talk on what has to be done to move beyond our colonial legacy and achieve true reconciliation in Canada...

The good news is that Indigenous Nations already have the solutions. But now is the time to act and build a shared postcolonial future based on the foundations of trust, cooperation, recognition, and good governance.

Indigenous Writes : A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada

In Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel initiates myriad conversations about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada...

An advocate for Indigenous worldviews, the author discusses the fundamental issues the terminology of relationships; culture and identity; myth-busting; state violence; and land, learning, law and treaties along with wider social beliefs about these issues. She answers the questions that many people have on these topics to spark further conversations at home, in the classroom, and in the larger community.

A Knock on the Door

It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer. So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years...

...and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)... In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools

In this book, author Pamela Rose Toulouse provides current information, personal insights, authentic resources, interactive strategies and lesson plans that support Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners in the classroom.

This book is for all teachers that are looking for ways to respectfully infuse residential school history, treaty education, Indigenous contributions, First Nation/Métis/Inuit perspectives and sacred circle teachings into their subjects and courses. The author presents a culturally relevant and holistic approach that facilitates relationship building and promotes ways to engage in reconciliation activities.

Videos

                Beyond 94 truth and reconciliation in Canada            the secret path

Fiction

Five Little Indians

Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school...

Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can't stop running and moves restlessly from job to job--through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps--trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. 

Birdie

Bernice Meetoos, a Cree woman, leaves her home in Northern Alberta following tragedy and travels to Gibsons, BC. She is on something of a vision quest, seeking to understand the messages from The Frugal Gourmet (one of the only television shows available on CBC North) that come to her in her dreams...

She is also driven by the leftover teenaged desire to meet Pat Johns, who played Jesse on The Beachcombers, because he is, as she says, a working, healthy Indian man. Bernice heads for Molly's Reach to find answers but they are not the ones she expected. With the arrival in Gibsons of her Auntie Val and her cousin Skinny Freda, Bernice finds the strength to face the past and draw the lessons from her dreams that she was never fully taught in life. Part road trip, dream quest and travelogue, the novel touches on the universality of women's experience, regardless of culture or race.

Keeper'n Me

When Garnet Raven was three years old, he was taken from his home on an Ojibway Indian reserve and placed in a series of foster homes. Having reached his mid-teens, he escapes at the first available opportunity, only to find himself cast adrift on the streets of the big city...

Having skirted the urban underbelly once too often by age 20, he finds himself thrown in jail. While there, he gets a surprise letter from his long-forgotten native family. The sudden communication from his past spurs him to return to the reserve following his release from jail. Deciding to stay awhile, his life is changed completely as he comes to discover his sense of place, and of self. While on the reserve, Garnet is initiated into the ways of the Ojibway -- both ancient and modern -- by Keeper, a friend of his grandfather, and last fount of history about his people's ways. By turns funny, poignant and mystical, Keeper'n Me reflects a positive view of Native life and philosophy -- as well as casting fresh light on the redemptive power of one's community and traditions.

Tilly and the Crazy Eights

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket-list road trip, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said good-bye to her family and is on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict... 

... just as it will for the elders who soon dub themselves "the Crazy Eights." The Crazy Eights each choose a stop--somewhere or something they've always wanted to experience--on the way to their ultimate goal, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque. Their plan is to travel to Las Vegas, Sedona, and the Redwood Forests, with each destination the inspiration for secrets and stories to be revealed. The trip proves to be powerful medicine as they laugh, heal, argue, and dream along the way. By the time their bus rolls to a stop in New Mexico, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, with friendships forged and hearts mended, feel ready for anything. But are they?

Podcasts

Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation Podcast 
This podcast presents a series of six live panel presentations delivered at the Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation workshop at Queen’s University in September of 2019. The series theorizes the justifications for land rights from indigenous perspectives and investigates how these understandings challenge and enrich theories in the Western tradition. 

 

Secret Life of Canada  
The Secret Life of Canada is a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. Hosted by Falen Johnson and Leah Simone Bowen.

 

The Henceforward 
The Henceforward is a podcast that considers relationships between Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples on Turtle Island. They take an open and honest look at how these relationships can go beyond what has been constructed through settler colonialism and antiblackness and investigate what our mutual obligations and possibilities for contingent collaboration are, and much more. 

 

Unreserved 
Intelligent, Insightful, Indigenous. Stories, music, culture. Unreserved is the true voice of Indigenous Canada. 2020/21 hosted by Falen Johnson. 

 

Warrior Life
Hosted by Mi’kmaq lawyer, professor, activist and politician Pam Palmater, this podcast talks about what it means to live the ‘warrior life’ through discussion on various topics with Indigenous guests from all over Canada. 

 

2 Crees in a Pod
Terri Sunjens and Amber Dion host this podcast on Indigenous social work, education, and other relevant topics with special guests from across the country.