Natives and Settlers Now and Then: Historical Issues and Current Perspectives on Treaties and Land Claims in Canada
"Natives and Settlers provides a beginning to what should be (and should have been) a continuing, respectful discussion." -Blanca Schorcht, Associate Professor, University of Northern British Columbia Is Canada truly postcolonial? Burdened by a past that remains 'refracted' in its understanding and treatment of Indigenous peoples, this collection reinterprets treaty making and land claims from Indigenous perspectives. These five essays not only provide fresh insights to the interpretations of treaties and treaty-making processes, but also examine land claims still under negotiation. Natives and Settlers reclaims the vitality of Indigenous laws and paradigms in Canada, a country new to decolonization.
"Natives and Settlers Now and Then is a slim volume that will be of great interest to scholars of Indigenous Studies and Native-Newcomer relations. Its primary focus is on the Canadian Great Plains, but it also touches on broader Indigenous issues in the United States and New Zealand. ... The various essays tackle issues of European-Indigenous contact; treaty making; Native rights and title; land claims; and the processes of colonization, decolonization, and nation building -- from all Aboriginal perspectives. ... Published conference proceedings are often disappointing, but the essays reproduced here resonate with the flavor and passion of the original spoken presentations. ... I would recommend the volume to anyone with an interest in the treaty process in Canada and elsewhere. Most significantly the conference and these published proceedings represent a significant installment in the in the ongoing process of incorporating aboriginal oral knowledge and perspectives, the Indigenous voice, into the evolving written academic discourse in Canada and elsewhere." Michael Cottrell, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Great Plains Research Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall 2008
"Illustrating historical perspectives on treaties and treaty making in Canada, Natives and Settlers is a useful resource for understanding processes that have played an important part in land claims across the country. The authors draw from a range of sources including oral traditions, personal anecdotes, archival records, modern laws, original treaties, and published works to create a well-rounded and well-researched volume. This range of sources produces a blend of information that unites both the cultural and the academic, creating an enriching volume that is practical and educational. ... While the focus of this book is historical, it can be used in various academic settings, including but not limited to political science, anthropology, native studies, and Canadian studies. The various topics explored in this book create this broad appeal' for instance, the authors discuss such diverse topics as Canadian and International law, identity, and culture. The wide academic appeal is also based on the various backgrounds of authors who contributed to the volume. Each of these authors conveys their own unique perspective as well as their disciplinary specialty. Venne is a lawyer active in representing natives in land claims, Cardinal was a political leader who dedicated his life to native issues, and the remainder of the authors are specialists of Aboriginal studies from various academic departments (English, literature, anthropology, native studies, and history)." - Christine Boston, H-AmIndian (February, 2009)
"Presented as a collection that will make a difference in many fields and places, Natives and Settlers, Now and Then is a timely and valuable contribution to the literature on Native treaty and land claims. The essays argue for the need to embrace the deconstruction of racist colonial paradigms caused, as editor DePasquale sees it, by persistent modes of thinking in the broader society. Hence DePasquale's introduction briefly references the state of Native treaties and land claims in former colonial countries such as Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Patricia Seed's essay presents an international perspective on treaty making and points out the range in interpretations, despite similarities in colonization regimes. Sharon Venne's contribution is an exposé of Treaty Six based on the oral evidence of Cree elders. With their investigation of the Metis scrip system, Frank Tough and Erin McGregor make a valuable contribution to the explanation of this seemingly complex government land policy. This essay reaches historically and socially significant conclusions in that there is little doubt that claims to equity, fairness, and impartiality of the scrip system may be challenged. It is a must read for anyone interested in this complex and much misunderstood land policy. Harold Cardinal's contribution is a thoughtful summative reflection on the convergences of traditional and Western knowledge in light of the colonization experience. The essays will encourage continued dialogue on the Canadian treaties and land claims. They make the legitimate point that treaties were an international practice related through cultural conventions, suggesting that much may be gleaned from international comparisons in future treaties and land claims studies." W. Keith Regular, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2009
"The academic community must engage in a major reconceptualization of the historical chronology before it can come to terms with the violent, racist, and discriminatory past still evident within the dominant culture today. For Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, there is a responsibility to go beyond history, to generate solutions to challenges for subsequent generations. The book is a forthright and stimulating read." Robin Quantick, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Volume 28-2, 2008
"Tough and McGregor present a fascinating study of Métis scrip. Although the role of scrip in dispossessing Aboriginal peoples from their land is well-known, the authors present some preliminary hypotheses of how the land transfer process may have been subject to widespread fraud and may raise questions about the honour of the Crown and whether Métis interests in the land can, in fact, be said to have been extinguished. While the overall tone of the book cannot be said to be optimistic about future developments, it will be of interest to those looking to move beyond the existing paradigms that stem from the colonial era." David Mardiros