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Deepening Knowledge.

Colonization and Assimilation


Books, Fiction

Secret of the Dance

By Andrea Spalding and Alfred Scow, 2006.

An illustrated storybook about a boy who views a secret potlatch at the time when they were outlawed by the Canadian government.  (Grade 1 and up)


Film & Video

Just Get Over It

YouTube video, 2011 (5:48 min)

This video is a call for justice for Aboriginal Peoples from PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada) aboriginal activists explaining the issues behind the union's campaign for justice for Aboriginal people.

Broken Promises: The High Arctic Relocation

From this site: "In the summer of 1953, the Canadian government relocated seven Inuit families from Northern Quebec to the High Arctic. They were promised an abundance of game and fish - in short, a better life. The government assured the Inuit that if things didn't work out, they could return home after two years. Two years later, another 35 people joined them. It would be thirty years before any of them saw their ancestral lands again."

Forgotten Warriors

National Film Board of Canada, 1997. (51 min)

From the NFB website:  “Although they could not be conscripted, when World War II was declared, thousands of Canadian Aboriginal men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Native countrymen. While they fought for freedom for others, ironically the Aboriginal soldiers were not allowed equality in their own country.”

Club Native

National Film Board of Canada, 2008. (78 mins)

From the NFB website: “In Club Native, Deer looks deeply into the history and present-day reality of Aboriginal identity. With moving stories from a range of characters from her Kahnawake Reserve - characters on both sides of the critical blood-quantum line - she reveals the divisive legacy of more than a hundred years of discriminatory and sexist government policy and reveals the lingering “blood quantum” ideals, snobby attitudes and outright racism that threaten to destroy the fabric of her community.”

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson`s Bay Company

National Film Board of Canada, 1972. (43 mins)

From the NFB website:  “The Hudson's Bay Company's 300th anniversary celebration was no occasion for joy among the people whose lives were tied to the trading stores. This film, narrated by George Manuel, president of the National Indian Brotherhood, presents the view of spokesmen for Canadian Indian and Métis groups. There is a sharp contrast between the official celebrations, with Queen Elizabeth II among the guests, and what Indians have to say about their lot in the Company's operations."

The Silence (stream online)

From the PBS website: "Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and church workers in Alaska. The Silence shows how the isolation of the villages and the absolute authority of the church over the Native population created an atmosphere where molestation could go unchecked and unreported."

Missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

U.N. Commissions screens Canadian film on MMIWG Crisis. 

News Articles

When Canada Used Hunger to Clear the West

By James Daschuck, July 2013; The Globe and Mail 

An article addressing what came with the settlement of Canada. 

From the article "[...] a key aspect of preparing the land was the subjugation and forced removal of indigenous communities from their traditional territories, essentially clearing the plains of aboriginal people to make way for railway construction and settlement. Despite guarantees of food aid in times of famine in Treaty Number 6. Canadian officials used food, or rather denied food, as a means to ethnically cleanse a vast region from Regina to the Alberta border as the Canadian Pacific Railway took shape."

John A. Macdonald’s Aryan Canada: Aboriginal Genocide and Chinese Exclusion

By Timothy J Stanley, January 2015; Active History

An article that looks into John A. Macdonald's impact on peoples of Aboriginal and Chinese descent in Canada.

Old Tomorrow’s Bicentennial: Don’t Think Motivation, Think Law

By James Daschuck, January 2015; Active History 

An article that looks specifically at John A. Macdonald's impact on peoples of Aboriginal descent in Canada.

John A. MacDonald was a near genocidal extremist even for his time 

By MacDonald, Dan, & Farber, January 11 2015; National Post. 

Sure, John A. Macdonald was a racist, colonizer and misogynist--but so were most Canadians back then

By Tristin Hopper, January 10 2015; National Post. 


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