By Sean Kheraj
"Since there was so much public interest in twentieth-century history of Aboriginal people in Canada last week, I thought I would compile a list of ten open-access scholarly publications that provide insights into this history. Here are ten things you might not have known about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada in the twentieth century:
1. In the 1950s, the federal government relocated Inuit people to experimental colonies in the Arctic archipelago.
2. In 1933, the National Research Council subjected Aboriginal children of the Qu’Appelle reserve in southern Saskatchewan to experimental trials of BCG vaccines for tuberculosis.
3. Aboriginal people have fought for Canada in every overseas conflict in the twentieth century.
4. Throughout the entire twentieth century, Aboriginal people in British Columbia have organized politically for recognition of traditional land rights.
5. From 1969 to 1971, the federal government conducted “Project Surname” a program to assign second names to Inuit people in the Northwest Territories who traditionally did not have surnames. Prior to this project, the government designated so-called disc numbers to Inuit people for identification and tracking purposes.
6. From 1913 to 1931, all levels of government participated in the removal and erasure of nearly every Coast Salish village and Indian reserve in the City of Vancouver.
7. In 1962, the British Columbia government agreed to end enforcing ethnic controls on alcohol sales in the Indian Act, which prohibited the sale of alcohol to Aboriginal people.
8. During the 1946-48 public inquiry on federal administration of Indian Affairs, the Indian Association of Alberta first argued that treaty rights should be the foundation for Aboriginal citizenship in Canada.
9. In Ontario in the 1950s and 1960s, Noranda Mines operated a sulphuric acid plant on Serpent River First Nation territory that processed uranium from the nearby Elliot Lake mines. The detrimental environmental effects of sulphuric waste from the plant devastated the Aboriginal community in the years since the closure of the plant.
10. In 1922, Dr. Peter Bryce, Canada’s first chief medical health officer, published The Story of a National Crime, a book that outlined statistical evidence that Canada’s Aboriginal population was being destroyed by tuberculosis and the federal government had the means to stop it. The government ignored Bryce’s warnings and fired him for publishing reports on the tuberculosis crisis.
If you have other open-access publications to recommend, please post the citations and links in the comments section below.
Via Stillwater Historians