Colonialism in Canada

"Settler colonialism is a distinct type of colonialism that functions through the replacement of indigenous populations with an invasive settler society that, over time, develops a distinctive identity and sovereignty." (A. Barker & E. Battell Lowman, Global Social Theory: Settler Colonialism, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0​)

Colonialism in Canada - selected books & articles 

âpihtawikosisân/C. Vowel. Indigenous Issues 101 Primers

Anderson, M. C., & Robertson, C. L. (2011). Seeing red: a history of Natives in Canadian newspapers. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba.

Asch, M., Borrows, J. & Tully, J. (eds). (2018). Resurgence and reconciliation: Indigenous-settler relations and earth teachings. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (print)

Backhouse, C., Milton, C.E., Kovach, M., & Perry, A. (2021). Royally wronged: the Royal Society of Canada and Indigenous Peoples. Mcgill-Queen's Press.

Barker, A. J. (2012). Locating settler colonialism. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 13(3):

Barker, A.J. (2009). The Contemporary Reality of Canadian Imperialism: Settler Colonialism and the Hybrid Colonial State. The American Indian Quarterly 33(3): 325-351

Belanger, P. (2019). Rhetoric and settler inertia: strategies of Canadian decolonization. Lexington Books. (print) 

Belanger, Y. D. (2018). Ways of knowing: an introduction to Native studies in Canada. (3rd edition). Toronto: Nelson Education. (print)

Bolduc, D., Gordon-Corbiere, M., Tabobondung, R., & Wright-McLeod B. (Eds). (2021). Indigenous Toronto: stories that carry this place. Toronto: Coach House Books.

Cannon, M. J. & Sunseri, L. (eds). (2011). Racism, colonialism and indigeneity in Canada: a reader. Don Mills, ON: OUP Press. (print)

Cariou, W., Vermette, K., & Sinclair, N. J. (eds). (2017). Impact: colonialism in Canada. Winnipeg: Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. (print)

Cavanagh, E. & Verancini, L. (eds). (2017). The Routledge handbook of the history of settler colonialism. New York: Routledge. (ebook)

Centennial College. Our Stories: First Peoples in Canada. PressBooks, (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License): (ebook)

Cote-Meek, S. (2014). Colonized classrooms: racism, trauma and resistance in post-secondary education. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. (print)

Daschuk, J. W. (2013). Clearing the Plains: disease, politics of starvation, and the loss of Aboriginal life. Regina: University of Regina Press.

Datta, R. (2020). Reconciliation in practice: a cross-cultural perspective. Fernwood Publishing.

Dorries, H., Henry, R., Hugill, D., McCreary, T., & Tomiak, J. (eds). (2019). Settler city limits: Indigenous resurgence and colonial violence in the urban Prairie West. University of Manitoba Press. (print)

Elliott, A. (2019). A mind spread out on the ground. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. (print)

Frideres, J.S. (2019). Arrows in a quiver: Indigenous-Canadian relations from contact to the courts. University of Regina Press. (print)

Graham, K.A. & Newhouse, D. (eds). (2021). Sharing the land, sharing a future: The legacy of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. University of Manitoba Press. (print)

Harris, C (2020) A Bounded Land : Reflections on Settler Colonialism in Canada. University of British Columbia Press.  (print)

Henry, F., Dua, E., James, C. E., Kobayashi, A., Li, P., Ramos, h., & Smith, M. S. (eds). (2017). The equity myth: racialization and indigeneity at Canadian Universities. Vancouver: UBC Press.  (print)

Joseph, R.P.C. (2019). Indigenous relations: insights, tips & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality. Indigenous Relations Press. (print)

King, T. (2013). The Inconvenient Indian: a curious account of native people in North America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. (print)

Krasowski, S. (2019). No surrender: the land remains Indigenous. Unviersity of Regina Press.  (print)

Ladner, K. L., & Tait, M. J. (Eds.) (2017). Surviving Canada: Indigenous peoples celebrate 150 years of betrayal. Winnipeg: ARP Books.  (print)

Leroux, D. (2019). Distorted descent: white claims to Indigenous identity. Unviersity of Manitoba Press.

Lowman, E. B. (2015). Settler: identity and colonialism in 21st century Canada. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. (print)

Lux, M. K. (2016). Separate beds: a history of Indian hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  (print)

Mann, C. C. (2005). 1491: New revelations of the Americas before Columbus. New York: Knopf. (print)

Maracle, L. (2015). Memory serves: oratories. Edmonton: NeWest Press. (print)

Metcalfe-Chenail, D. (ed). (2016). In this together: fifteen stories of truth & reconciliation. Victoria: Brindle & Glass.  (ebook)

Milloy, J. (2008). Indian Act Colonialism: A Century of Dishonour, 1869-1969. Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance.

Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network. (2019). Indigenous Ally Toolkit.

Neegangwedgin, E. (2012). "Chattling the Indigenous Other": A historical examination of the enslavement of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 8(1): 15-26.

Neu, D. E., & Therrien, R. (2003). Accounting for genocide: Canada's bureaucratic assault on aboriginal people. Black Point, NS: Fernwood. (print)

Rutherford, S. (2020) Canada's Other Red Scare : Indigenous Protest and Colonial Encounters During the Global Sixties. McGill Queens. (ebook)

Rutherdale, M., Abel, K. & Lackenbauer, P. W. (eds). (2018). Roots of entanglement: essays in the history of native-newcomer relations. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  (print)

Sellars, B. (2016). Price paid: the fight for First Nations survival. Vancouver: Talon Books. (print)

Stevenson, A.D. (2021). Intimate integration: a history of the Sixties Scoop and the colonization of Indigenous kinship. University of Toronto Press. (ebook)

Talaga, T. (2018). All our relations: finding the path forward. Toronto: House of Anansi Press.  (print)

Veracini, L. (2015). The Settler Colonial Present. New York: Palgrave.  (ebook)

Vowel, C. (2016). Indigenous writes: a guide to First Nations, Metis and Inuit issues in Canada. Winnipeg: Highwater Press.

Weatherford, J. (1990). Indian givers: how the Indians of the Americas transformed the world. New York: Fawcett Columbine.  (print)

Wilson, Raybould, J. (2019). From where I stand: rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a stronger Canada. Purich Books. (print)

Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native. Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4): 387-409.

Woolford, A., & Benvenuto, J. (eds). (2017). Canada and colonial genocide. London: Routledge. (print)

Colonialism in Quebec - selected books and articles

Alfred, G.R. (1995). Heeding the voices of our ancestors : Kahnawake Mohawk politics and the rise of native nationalism. Don Mills: Oxford University Press. (print)

Guyot, Brittany The meaning of force: Investigations reveal anti-Indigenous sentiments in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. in The Anti-Indigenous Handbook, Atone, Trisan, et al. eds.  . 

Dumont, M. (author) Gray, R., Gros-Louis Monier, M. (Eds) (2010). Collection of life stories of the survivors of the Quebec Indian Residential Schools. Wendake: First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.  (print)

Goodleaf, D.K. (1995). Entering the war zone: a Mohawk perspective on resisting invasions. Penticton: Theytus Books. (print)

Johansen, B.E. (1993). Life and death in Mohawk country. North American Press. (print)

Kalant, A. (2004). National identity and the conflict at Oka: Native belonging  and myths of postcolonial nationhood in Canada. New York: Routledge.

Nungak, Z. (2017). Wrestling with colonialism on steroids: Quebec Inuit fight for their homeland. Montreal: Vehicule Press. (print)

Scott, C. (ed). (2001). Aboriginal autonomy and development in northern Quebec and Labrador. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Simpson, L. & Ladner, K.L. (eds). (2010). This is an honour song: twenty years since the blockades: an anthology of writing on the "Oka Crisis". Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. (print)

St-Amand, T. (2018). Stories of Oka: land, film, and literature. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press. (ebook) 

Swain, H. (2010). Oka: a political crisis and its legacy. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.

York, G. & Pindera, L. (1991). People of the pines: the warriors and the legacy of Oka. Boston: Little Brown. (print)

Colonialism in Canada - selected films

Québékoisie - 2014: Streaming (81 min with English subtitles)

Why are so many Quebecers so ignorant of the First Nations, even though studies show that more than half of them have at least one aboriginal ancestor? Why are clichés and prejudices so persistent? How can the situation be improved? By getting on their bikes and heading out along the North Shore of the St. Lawrence, where they meet all kinds of people (both spontaneously and not), the two young people try to get a firmer grasp on relations between Quebec’s aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples.

One more river: the deal that split the Cree - 2004: Streaming (92 min)

A documentary about the decision making process of Quebec Crees to allow another mega-hydro project to be built on their land. This dramatic, behind-the-scenes look at the deal that split the Crees dispels romantic notions of how decisions are made in Aboriginal communities.

Napagunnaqullusi – So That You Can Stand - 2015: Streaming (82 min)

A David-versus-Goliath tale, seen with Inuit eyes, of the tense negotiations that led to the signing of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement in November 1975. It's the story of a small band of young aboriginal people, fighting a rearguard battle against an all-powerful government-corporate behemoth, determined to usurp their rights, their land and the Inuit way of life.

Echo of the last howl  (English version) - 2005: YouTube (54 min) - original Inuktitut version available via Taqramiut Nipingat

Beginning in the 1950s and until the late 1960s, a series of dog slaughters were undertaken or ordered to be undertaken by Canada and Quebec government officials or their representatives in several Nunavik communities. This Makivik Corporation film (whose premier was attended by 800 community members as well as Quebec politicians) played an important part in the official inquiry into the slaughter. It features documentary footage and re-enactments and depicts what the slaughter of the sled dogs and their loss meant to the Inuit of Nunavik.

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Company - 1972: NFB Streaming (43 min)

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s 300th-anniversary celebration in 1970 was no occasion for joy among the people whose lives were tied to the trading stores. Narrated by George Manuel, then president of the National Indian Brotherhood, this landmark film presents Indigenous perspectives on the company whose fur-trading empire drove colonization across vast tracts of land in central, western and northern Canada. There is a sharp contrast between the official celebrations, with Queen Elizabeth II among the guests, and what Indigenous people have to say about their lot in the Company’s operations. 

Dancing Around the Table, Part One - 1987: NFB Streaming (57 min) & Dancing Around the Table, Part Two - 1987: NFB Streaming (50 min)

A two-part documentary about the Conferences on the Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (1983-85), focusing on the concept of self-government.

Broken Promises - The High Arctic Relocation - 1995: NFB Streaming & DVD (52 min)

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, with the assurance that if things didn't work out, they could return home after two years. Two years later, another 35 people joined them. There they suffered from hunger, extreme cold, sickness, alcoholism and poverty. It would be thirty years before any of them saw their ancestral lands again. Interviews with survivors are combined with archival footage and documents to tell the poignant story of a people whose lives were nearly destroyed by their own government's broken promises.

Highway of Tears - 2015: DVD (80 min)

Highway of Tears is about the missing or murdered women along a 724 kilometer stretch of highway in northern British Columbia. In Canada, over 600 Aboriginal women have been reported missing or been murdered since the 1960s. Viewers will discover what the effects of generational poverty, residential schools, systemic violence, and high unemployment rates have done to First Nations reserves and how they tie in with the missing and murdered women in the Highway of Tears cases. 

1491 : the untold story of the Americas before Columbus - 2018: DVD  8 part series (6 hours)

This film brings to life the complexity, diversity and interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. Presented from an Indigenous-perspective the series is a journey along a timeline that dates from 20,000 years ago to 1491. The origins and history of ancient Indigenous societies in North, Central and South America are interpreted by leading Indigenous scholars and cultural leaders in the fields of archaeology, art history, ethnology, genetics, geology, and linguistics.

Finding our talk series - Aboriginal Peoples Network: 3 Seasons, 13 episodes each

Search for specific seasons and episodes in our Medial streaming media server

Many Aboriginal languages have disappeared or are disappearing. Others are threatened. The loss of language threatens the roots of family life and social structure in most aboriginal communities. Finding Our Talk One examines the state of Aboriginal languages within Canada and celebrates the many individuals, communities and organizations that are reclaiming their language, culture, stories and often, their very existence as a people.


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