During the past two weeks, nearly 1,000 sets of human remains have been found in unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools in Canada. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Indigenous children were taken away from their families and placed in these schools—and now, with public outcry and calls to cancel Canada Day, historians and activists are making renewed demands for accountability and reparations.
To put this history in context, today we speak with cultural anthropologist Dawn Martin-Hill about Indigenous culture in Canada and the difficult work of truth and reconciliation.
Dawn Martin-Hill (Mohawk, Wolf Clan) is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and co-founder of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. She is the principal investigator of Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools and Ohneganos, which are Indigenous-led projects investigating water insecurity through the integration of Western science and Indigenous knowledge. She is the author of The Lubicon Lake Nation: Indigenous Knowledge and Power (University of Toronto Press, 2008) and has produced three documentaries.
Cover photo: R.C. Indian Residential School Study Time, Fort Resolution, N.W.T., public domain