History of Aboriginal Canada
May 2, 2011 2:54 AM   Subscribe

What are some great books on the history of aboriginal Canada?

I'm currently living in Berlin, and often field questions about this aspect of Canada. I don't know nothing, but I've come to realize that I really don't know much. More importantly, I don't trust my own understanding enough to be able to find those right books which are free of the various kinds of bullshit that can surround these issues.

I don't need anything too fancy. Just solid books to ground me in native histories before European arrival, the relationships with the Europeans pre confederation (in some ways this is what I'm most interested in), and the factors that have led to the difficult state of affairs in modern confederated Canada.

Much obliged.
posted by Alex404 to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, a great and depressing account of the residential schools system (which might fit into " the factors that have led to the difficult state of affairs in modern confederated Canada") is A National Crime, by John Milloy. He was my prof for a few years and is an inspired lecturer. He also works on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is a good read for someone interested in the state of modern Aboriginal affairs.
posted by hepta at 5:35 AM on May 2, 2011

A thirteen year old memory from university suggests that "Skyscrapers hide the heavens" was pretty good. Maybe search that one out.
posted by deadwax at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2011

Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation

I haven't read this yet (waiting for it to become available at our local library) but it looks like an interesting alternative take on the current situation
posted by canoehead at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011

Returning to the Teachings by Rupert Ross is a hugely affecting book covering issues around Aboriginal approaches to justice and healing. It's very readable and I highly recommend it.

Shingwauk's Vision may be more focused on the residential school system that you want, but understanding that period of history will go a long way to helping you understand the current state of Aboriginal affairs in Canada. It's a pretty big book though - be warned!
posted by just_ducky at 9:33 AM on May 2, 2011

Response by poster: These all look like great recommendations. Thanks!
posted by Alex404 at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2011

I recently used this as as a reference for a piece on land rights, but it gives good general info on colonization and also covers equal rights. Sorry on iPhone so can't link -

posted by nothing too obvious at 5:16 AM on May 3, 2011

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