Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on First Nations/Native Peoples
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to Indigenous/First Nations issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
and indigenous peoples.
How can one begin to excavate the horrors of a radical resocialization project (from roughly 1876 to 1986) to transform "savages" into "civilized" citizens? In turning First Nations societies upside down, the government and the churches ended up turning themselves upside down, evident in the spiritual and moral degradation of themselves and students under their care.
Goldminers have invaded Yanomami lands in northern Brazil, probably emboldened by Bolsonaro's war against Indigenous rights. They have brought disease to uncontacted peoples and are poisoning the environment.
A look at some scholarly histories of residiential schools that put paid to Canada's kinder, gentler reputation.
In southern Mexico, a multi-ethnic network of towns has halted the construction of a mega-dam. Now they are organizing to manage their own natural resources and revitalize their culture as native water protectors.
Focusing on the the NgäbeBuglé in Panama, a look at the Indigenous people who have their way of life is destroyed by capitalism.
Indigenous people in Argentina live with the constant threat of eviction on land to which they own no title. Much of their predicament is due to colonial laws and attitudes that persist even though constitutional changes now recognize Indigenous land rights as an urgent issue. Deforestation due to expanding agriculture exacerbates this conflict.
A discussion of Stephanie Woodard's book "American Apartheid: The Native Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion" and looking at how present-day colonial practices impact Native people in the US.
A look at the efforts of Jessie Housty, an Indigenous woman from British Columbia, who is helping to change the diet of her community that is overwhelmingly dominated by industrial food products.
Map is the first to detail evidence of more than 150 massacres involving almost every aboriginal clan between 1788 and 1872.
Leonard Peltier writes about his own case and about the 500 years of violence and injustice directed at indigenous peoples.
On June 26, 2014, the Tsilhqotin Nation's 25-year court battle came to an end when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled the nation holds title to approximately 1,900 square kilometres of its traditional territory.
Imagine a village with all its children gone. For aboriginal peoples all across Canada, this was their lived reality, not the stuff of imagination. The story of what happened to the children -- who were forcibly removed from their families and sent to military-style camps that were euphemistically called "schools" -- has at last been told, compiled in the monumental six-volume Truth and Reconciliation Report on residential schools for aboriginal children released in 2015.
The Mojave National Preserve is run by the National Park Service, which, in contrast to previous times, has been including more Indian history in its displays and programs.
In recent years, the popular tourist attraction of Semuc Champey in the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz has become a point of social conflict for the indigenous Q'eqchi' Mayan communities surrounding the site. On February 8, tensions erupted and led to the occupation of the municipality building of Lanquín by over 200 members of the communities near the tourist attraction. Community members demanded the recuperation of the site. Since that day, residents have maintained management of the park.
The rapid development of digital media, which began during the last decade of the 20th century, has had unanticipated effects at the beginning of the 21st century. Peoples, whose cultures and languages were marginalized and displaced by the Nation-State, have appropriated -- slowly, but surely -- these media to reassert their cultural and linguistic presence in cyberspace.
India's neoliberal government is attempting the mass seizure of indigenous lands, commons and forests in order to hand them over for corporate exploitation with mines, dams and plantations. But tribal communities are rising up to resist the takeover, which is not only morally reprehensible but violates India's own laws and international human rights obligations.
With all our talk about police violence aimed at poor and minority communities, we have yet to talk about the group most likely to be killed by law enforcement: Native Americans.
Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men and Native American women are sent to prison at six times the rate of white women.
With authorities ineffective, the 2,200-strong Ka'apor, in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, are taking on the illegal loggers with technology and direct action. Now the Ka'apor are seeking support through NGOs and the media.
Residential school survivors rebuild through small acts of hope and resistance.
The summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: the product of a five-year process of hearing from survivors and compiling evidence. The report calls the schools agents of "cultural genocide" responsible for enormous abuses and lasting damage. It calls for education and reconciliation; according to commission head Murray Sinclair, "The survivors need to know that, having been heard and understood, that we will act to ensure the repair of damages is done."
The native peoples of the Amazon are employing the tactics of the Occupy movement against oil companies, gold miners and illegal loggers. Lacking the protection of the state, they fight their own battles. Recent campaign successes owe much to outside support.
The Internet has emerged as a space where many in Mexico can communicate online using indigenous languages, as well as to create new digital content instead of being just consumers of content.
Indigenous activists burned down a bridge in British Columbia, Canada, to prevent Imperial Metals from starting a lead and zinc mine on the lands of the Secwepemc peoples. Local tribes say that the mine may severely impact the one of the largest remaining sockeye salmon populations in the world.
A book review of King's "The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America," and Dunbar-Ortiz's "An Indigenous People's History of the United States."
Sarawak, Malaysia, is home to thousands of endemic species, forty indigenous groups, and one of the largest transboundary rainforests remaining in the world. The state is also suffering from one of the world's highest rates of deforestation; only 5% of its primary forests remain. Now, Sarawak's forests and their inhabitants face another threat: the damming of its rivers for hydroelectric power.
The remains of hundreds of Aboriginal people, dug up from sacred ground and once displayed in museums all over the world, are now stored in a Canberra warehouse. When will they be given a national resting place?
The First Nations-led movement Idle No More emerged in Canada in December 2012 to protest legislation that threatened both the rights of First Nations and environmental protections. The movement has since spread into the U.S. and beyond and has become one of the central voices in the struggle for Indigenous and ecological justice.
Amazon tribes in Peru's rainforest are at risk of 'massive deaths' from new diseases to which they lack immunity, gas company Pluspetrol admits - as it tries to expand its Camisea gas project into a Reserve for isolated indigenous people.
It is yet another year. It seems like a thousand years ago but only a year in time in reality from the last time I dictated one of these statement for the day of mourning so, again, I want to say as last time, that I am honoured that you would want to hear my words.
The remarkable Idle No More movement is the biggest and most important national outpouring of grass roots aboriginal anger ever seen in Canada.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
There needs to be unity on the ground with coordinated political actions between First Nations Peoples in order to protect, defend and advance First Nation pre-existing sovereignty, and First Nation Aboriginal and Treaty rights to lands and resources. Divide and conquer tactics can only be met with new strategies of alliance-building, and by bringing the leadership back down to the land.
The master plan for damming the Amazon river system, which includes Belo Monte and the Xingú dams, was originally created in the 1970s by the military dictatorship then in power. It essentially treats the Amazon as a reservoir of natural resources to be extracted without regard for the destruction of its riverine and forest environment or the displacement and pauperization of its indigenous and local Brazilian inhabitants.
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
The extraction of oil from tar sands is perhaps the most ecologically insane idea on the planet. Four First Nations representatives from Canada travelled to Britain to participate in the London climate camp and the country's biggest annual gathering of climate activists. Organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network and supported by the New Internationalist, the group's aim was to internationalize the campaign for a complete tar sands moratorium.
I have found that when a person has faced racism and discrimination, he can never forget it, it stays with him always. Seeing my mother treated with such disrespect and rudeness, only because of her race, was worse than being discriminated against myself. It burned into my soul, and it will never go away.
Radiation and health experts across the world charge that toxic materials and radioactivity released by the mining and processing operations are causing widespread infertility, birth defects and cancers.
Lazy journalists are great friends of the corporations. They are known as "armchair journalists" because they sit in comfort and rewrite press releases from politicians and corporations. To spice it up a bit, they dial a few numbers, get a few comments and call it a news story. They are the "darlings of the energy companies," as Buffy Sainte Marie says.
Afro-descendant communities in Colombia are fighting to retain control of their ancestral goldmines in the face of pressure from private interests.
Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence.
Climate change is being felt in northwest Canada, and in a wide circle at the top of the world, stretching from Alaska through the Siberian tundra, into northern Scandinavia and Greenland, and on to Canada's eastern Arctic islands, a circle of more than 300,000 indigenous people.
A letter by the Partisan Defense Committee sent to the United States Parole Commission.
Leonard Pletier is a political prisoner who has spent more than 33 years in U.S. prisons for a crime he didn't commit.
It is no accident that most of the remaining natural resources are on indigenous land. First the white world destroys their own environment, then they come asking for the last pieces of land they have put us on, the earth we have protected.
In Colombia, campesinos are mostly non-indigenous family farmers who have often been pitted against indigenous people by wealthy landowners and corporations. Yet despite being traditional rivals, the Barí and campesino communities have been driven to a partnership by common enemies, including multinational mining companies, complicit Colombian regulatory agencies, and the US government.
People are organized across many sectors that have never chosen to step out into the popular movement before. For example, indigenous peoples in the last 10 years or so have made a determination that they could no longer organize just as indigenous but had to become part of the so-called anti-globalization movement.
The struggle for land has started to pit the Zapatista rebel movement against ecologists who want to save the remains of the forest. The Zapatistas declared war on Mexico's government nearly nine years ago over the poverty of peasants in Chiapas. Today the movement criticizes efforts to conserve the bioreserve as a "war of extermination against our indigenous communities."
- Cree Agenda Becomes Part of Federal Election (1999)
The politicians of all parties are acting as if Aboriginal rights are irrelevant to this question of Quebec secession. Not only is it relevant: it is, in fact, central to the whole question. And if the politicians would only admit this frankly, the terms of the whole debate would be changed overnight.
Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. This report is a tribute to the strength and struggles of many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by forcible removal. We acknowledge the hardships they endured and the sacrifices they made. We remember and lament all the children who will never come home.
- Quebec Agrees to Negotiate, Kidnap Crees First But "Negotiate" (1997)
Canadians as a whole seem to be unaware of the depth of the double standards advocated by the separatist leaders. We Crees are only too grimly aware of them, however, since we will be the first and most deeply affected community if the separatists ever get a chance to put their current secessionist policies into practice.
- Matthew Coon Come Speech, September 19, 1994 (September 19, 1994)
The status and rights of the James Bay Crees in the context of Quebec secession from Canada.
- Christopher Who? -- Discovering the Americas (1990)
Columbus seen as a conqueror.
- Manifest Destiny? A Native Perspective on 1992 (1990)
1992 will be a year of mourning for North American Indians; a mourning for the fragmentation and loss of our traditional way of life.
- 1992 The Theology of Self-Discovery Offers Hope (1990)
The Self-Discovery campaign does not confine itself to the struggles of Indigenous People but addresses the concerns of all social and racial groups who have experienced social/cultural destruction under the yoke of colonialism.
- Connexions Annual Overview: Native Peoples (October 1, 1989)
Natives have been intensifying their resistance, and more militant forms of protest are becoming increasingly common. Canadians concerned with social justice can also be working in solidarity with the Native peoples in their struggle for justice.
- Akwesasne (September 1, 1989)
The history of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and the events and conditions that led up to the violence of 1989.
The native American radical tradition, originating ultimately in the radical religious currents who "lost" at the very dawn of capitalism, and their meeting with the non-Western peoples--Indian and African--who shaped early American culture as much as white people, might have something very unique to contribute to the current and still completely unresolved crisis of the international revolutionary left.
A message given by the Hau de no sau nee (or traditional Six Nations council at Onondaga) also called the Iroquois Confederacy to the Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in September, 1977.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with First Nations and Native issues in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
and indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights news.
Reznet is a Native American news, information and entertainment Web site that also trains and mentors American Indian college students around the country as they prepare for journalism careers.
An international organization involved in efforts to defend the world's rainforests. Works to secure the lands and livliehoods of forest peoples and fights commercial logging, dams, mining, plantations and other interferences that threaten the survival of these people and their habitat.
Other Links & Resources
Lists aboriginal publications (past and present) held in print or microform in the collection of Library and Archives Canada.
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on Native, Aboriginal and First Nations topics in the Sources directory for the media.
Promotes healthy, engaged, independent Native communities by strengthening and expanding Native American media capacity and by empowering a strong, proud Native American voice.
Resources for indigenous cultures around the world.
More Websites and Organizations
- The national representative organization of the First Nations in Canada.
- A resource and venue for people to learn and talk in depth about various matters concerning Onkwehonweh (Indigenous People), Activists, Social Movements, NGOs and Governments.
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to Native peoples in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
and indigenous peoples.
- Aboriginal Ontario
Historical Perspectives on the First Nations
Author: Rogers, Edward S.; Smith, Donald B. (eds.)
Essays on the history of Ontario's native people.
Author: Lean, Victoria (diirector)
Vicki Lean has crafted a stunning documentary about the community of Attwapiskat and its stories of risistance, following the impact that diamond mining and decades of government underfunding have had on the environment and the community.
Author: Dewey, Myron
Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet.
Author: Fontaine, Theodore
A two-part excerpt from Theodore Fontaine's book Broken Circle, a memoir of surviving the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School in Manitoba -- and pursuing his own path to healing.
- Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
An Indian History of the American West
Author: Brown, Dee
A well documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian.
- Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire Building
Author: Drinnon, Richard
From John Endicott's war on the Niantics and Pequots, to the horrors of the My Lai massacre, Drinnon illustrates how Indian-hating in the Americas became a national pastime, and how that same hate was turned against the native populations of the Phillipines and Southeast Asia.
- Five Centuries of Imperialism and Resistance
Vol. 8: 1492-1992
Author: Bourgeault, Ron et. al.
A collection of poems and essays giving various perspectives on resistance to imperialism and capitalism.
- 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance
Author: Hill, Gord
A comprehensive chronicle of the resistance by Indigenous peoples in North and South America, which limited and shaped the forms and extent of colonialism.
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Author: Mann, Charles. C.
A portrait of human life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus.
- 1492-1992 -- Five Centuries of Imperialism and Resistance
Author: Bourgeault, Ron; Broad, Dave; Brown, Lorne; Foster, Lori
Articles critiquing the "Columbus myth, and chronicles the repression of North America's original indigenous inhabitants.
- The Gaia Atlas of First Peoples
Author: Burger, Julian
Entries on indigenous peoples from around the globe, focusing on three main areas: their way of life, the present crisis, and the future.
- Halfbreed; A Proud and Bitter Canadian Legacy
A Proud and Bitter Canadian Legacy
Author: Campbell, Maria
- I Have Lived Here Since the World Began
An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People
Author: Ray, Arthur J.
Ray shows that Native culture played an important -- and largely unrecognized -- part in Canada's economic development. Rather than being "civilized" by European explorers, the indigenous people were already accomplished traders, artisans, farmers and hunters.
- A Long and Terrible Shadow
White Values, Native Rights in the Americas 1492-1992
Author: Berger, Thomas R.
Against the odds, Native peoples have waged a tenacious struggle to survive and the re-emerge as distinct cultures.
- A National Crime
The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879-1986
Author: Milloy, John
Milloy chronicles the heart-breaking realities of the Residential School. This institiution separated thousands of Native children from their families in the Canadian Government's pursuit of "aggressive civilization."
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Indigenous Peoples
Author: Hughes, Lotte
- The Other Slavery
The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
Author: Reséndez, Andrés
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - February 19, 2020
Taking a Stand
Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance. George Orwell called it double-think. Some of us might call it organized hypocrisy. Call it what you will, it surrounds us. The government proclaims its commitment to 'reconciliation' with indigenous people, and says that its relationship with them is its most important relationship. At the same time the RCMP, following an order by a colonial court, invades unceded indigenous land and arrests people for occupying their own land. Governments mouth platitudes about the importance they place on dealing with the climate emergency while at the same time they build new pipelines and approve massive new tarsands projects. The biggest polluter on the planet - the U.S. military - meanwhile receives constant increases in its budget, even while it pursues demented schemes to take us to the edge of war, mostly recently by deploying a new generation of "low-yield" thermonuclear weapons on submarines. All this is business as usual. Fortunately many people across the country, and around the world, are saying no to business as usual. They are taking a stand and disrupting business as usual.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - June 5, 2015
Author: Diemer, Ulli (editor); Rickwood, Darien Yawching (production)
This issue of Other Voices focuses on residential schools. As documented by the just-released report of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, residential schools were set up to forcibly 'assimilate' Native children by taking them away from their parents and communities, and depriving them of their language, culture, history, and emotional supports. Based as they were on a system of arbitrary power and cruelty, it is not surprising that they also fostered physical and sexual abuse of the children forced into the schools. We spotlight the report and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as films, books, and survivor stories. Also in this issue: the Orwellian language and tactics being used to sell 'anti-terrorist' legislation, mind-boggling subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and, on the other side of the ledger, stories of courage and resistance.
- People of Terra Nullius
Betrayal and Rebirth in Aboriginal Canada
Author: Richardson, Boyce
- The Reconciliation Manifesto
Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy
Author: Manuel, Arthur; Derrickson, Grand Chief Ronald
A look at the historical and current relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians, and what needs to be done to accomplish true reconciliation.
- Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest
Author: Restall, Matthew
Restall explodes myths that were long taken for historical truth and points to a larger and more complex interaction between the indigenous people and the Europeans. He shows how Indian culture adapted and displayed post conquest vitality.
- The Seventh Fire
The Struggle for Aboriginal Government
Author: Smith, Dan
Describes the struggles of aboriginal people to run their own affairs.
- Stolen Continents
The "New World" Through Indian Eyes
Author: Wright, Ronald
A history of the Americas through Native eyes.
- Struggle For The Land
Indigenous Resistance To Genocide Ecocide And Exproporiation In Contemporary North America
Author: Churchill, Ward
Documents the struggle by North America's Indigenous Peoples for values and justice in land claims.
- Viva Yasuni! Life vs Big Oil
New Internationalist July 2008
A look at the Yasuni rainforest in Ecuador and its imminent destruction by oil companies.
- We Were Not the Savages
Collision between European and Native American Civilizations
Author: Paul, Daniel N.
The horrors of history still rain upon the First Nations people of the present.
Learning from our History
- The native American radical tradition, originating ultimately in the radical religious currents who “lost” at the very dawn of capitalism, and their meeting with the non-Western peoples – Indian and African – who shaped early American culture as much as white people, might have something very unique to contribute to the current and still completely unresolved crisis of the international revolutionary left.
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
- A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
- A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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