Indigenous Histories

This October, our Ground Floor Display celebrates Indigenous Histories. Describing the events, experiences and heritage of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, this month’s collection includes narratives, biographies and creation stories from Indigenous authors, as well as resources on treaties and historic events. Common throughout these resources are themes of celebration of identity and resistance.

This Place: 150 Years Retold Foreword by Alicia Elliot, with stories by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and 10 others

This brand new anthology of graphic narratives showcases Indigenous histories, focusing on the last 150 years. In its pages, you will find the stories of “Annie of Red River” – a glimpse into the life of Annie Bannatyne, a prominent charity organizer whose rebellion against a newspaper article attacking Métis women in Red River that may have very well inspired Louis Riel; “Migwite’tmeg: We Remember It”, a story recounting the salmon raids during the 1970’s and 80’s in the Lisstuguj First Nation; and “Warrior Nation”, describing the Oka Crisis, the 78-day standout between Mohawk protestors, Quebec police and the Canadian army for the land between the Haudenosaunee of Kanesatake and Oka in 1990. Other stories include “Like a Razor Slash”, following resistance efforts against the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline led by Fort Good Hope Chief Frank T’Seleie in 1975, and “Kitaskînaw 2050”, a story of Indigenous futurism in a post-apocalyptic world. Each of the ten graphic narratives is prefaced with a contextual description by the author, and a timeline of events framing the emergence of each story.

Thunder in My Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks by Patricia Monture-Angus

At the time of its publication in 1995, Monture-Angus’ biography was the first collection of essays from a Canadian university to specifically address Indigenous experiences with education, racism, feminism and criminal justice. Drawing on her life as a Mohawk lawyer and professor, Monture-Angus uses storytelling to reflect on her experiences of the injustices faced by Indigenous people. Beginning with the essay “Flint Women”, the first section of the book tackles Monture-Angus’ troubling experience at an academic conference, leading on her to reflect on her sense of self and community. Other sections of the book focus on law school, women and politics, and justice for Indigenous peoples, making Thunder in My Soul a multi-disciplinary reading that can be used in a variety of post-secondary classrooms.

Nation to Nation: A Resource on Treaties in Ontario produced by the Union of Ontario Indians

As described in the introduction by Maurice Switzer, “First Nations believe…that their rights to govern their own affairs were given to them by the Creator. These rights include the rights to land, resources, the right to self determination and self-government, and to practice one’s own culture and customs”. This handbook explores how these inherent rights are affected by treaties – agreements between First Nations and colonial governments on sharing land and resources. Nation to Nation unpacks the history of treaties in Canada and Ontario, carrying readers from first contact the present day. Accompanied by photographs, maps and illustrations, this handbook is a useful guide to navigating historical and contemporary issues surrounding the rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The French version De Nation à Nation is also available at OISE.

Travellers Through Empire: Indigenous Voyages from Early Canada by Cecelia Morgan

Beginning in the late 18th century, an influx of Indigenous travellers voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in the British Empire. Focusing on the histories of Ontario First Nations, Travellers Through Empires explores the stories of Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, and Cree people who journeyed to Britain in pursuit of advocacy, missionary and fundraising work, as well as education. Examining the written remnants of their travels including letters, logs, and diaries, Travellers Through Empire relays a narrative of resistance. Stories of the Mississaugas of New Credit peoples including Anishinaabe Methodist minister Peter Jones (Kahkewāquonāby) and missionary Catherine Sutton (Nahneebahwequa) are also recounted.

To borrow these titles and more, visit the Indigenous Ground Lobby Display case on the first floor of the Library. You can take books out directly from the display, or ask a librarian for assistance.

About Jenna Mlynaryk

TALint (Toronto Academic Libraries Intern) at the OISE Library | Master of Information (LIS), 2020 | University of Toronto
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