Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts Its History
Published: September 2017© 2017
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 368 Pages
Illustrations: 20 b&w illustrations
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
368 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, 20 b&w illustrations
Since the 1980s, successive Canadian institutions and federal governments as well as Christian churches have attempted to grapple with the malignant legacy of residential schooling through official apologies, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
In Residential Schools and Reconciliation, award-winning author J.R. Miller tackles and explains these institutional responses to Canada’s residential school legacy. Analysing archival material and interviews with former students, politicians, bureaucrats, church officials, and the Chief Commissioner of the TRC, Miller reveals a major obstacle to achieving reconciliation – the inability of Canadians at large to overcome their flawed, overly positive understanding of their country’s history. This unique, timely, and provocative work asks Canadians to accept that the root of the problem was Canadians like them in the past who acquiesced to aggressively assimilative policies.
Note on Terminology
Introduction: "We Did Not Hear You"
Part One: Exposing the Problem
1. The Churches Apologize
2. The State Investigates: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
3. The State Responds: Gathering Strength and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation
Part Two: Finding a Solution
4. The Bench Adjudicates: Litigation
5. The Parties Negotiate
6. Implementing the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
Part Three: Redress and Reconciliation
7. Truth and Reconciliation
8. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
"Professor Jim Miller of the University of Saskatchewan pulls back the curtain on the historical blame game. Residential Schools and Reconciliation documents Ottawa’s handling of Aboriginal issues. This is not ancient history. It just happened."Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter
"As colonial nations around the world seek pathways to post-conflict reconciliation, J.R. Miller’s timely work is an important reminder of both the potential obstacles and the healing possibilities of such initiatives."
Leigh Anne Williams, Publishers Weekly
‘For those who want to understand Canadian reconciliation attempts and their historical context specifically pertaining to residential schools, Residential Schools and Reconciliation is where they should turn.’Cory Kapeller, Saskatchewan Law Review
"Miller’s study does not examine the history of residential schools or draw upon horrors recounted by survivors; rather, it looks at what churches, courts, and the state itself have done in reaction, sometimes haltingly. Here his scholarship breaks new ground: few scholars have traced the nitty-gritty of how reconciliation was and is negotiated or set it so firmly in a historical context."Susan Neylan, Wilfrid Laurier University, The Canadian Historical Review
"In this book, Miller provides Canadians with an invaluable, insightful, and accessible resource on reconciliation in Canada."Joanna Dawson, Canada’s History
"Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts Its History explains how, in a quarter of a century, the Indigenous peoples’ version of the history of Indian Residential Schools has left the margins and moved to the centre of our understanding of Canadian history."Donald B. Smith, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Calgary
"J.R. Miller conceives of reconciliation as an ongoing consideration of how we relate to one another when we share our interpretations of Canadian history. Residential Schools and Reconciliation’s contribution is substantial in that it challenges all Canadians to think about what reconciliation can be."Jonathan Anuik, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
"J.R. Miller has done it again: a cogent, fair-minded analysis of a significant moment in Canada's hesitant and bumpy journey to truth and reconciliation. Few scholars have done more to enlighten us about this critical relationship."Bob Rae, Distinguished Professor at the Victoria University and the University of Toronto School of Governance and Public Policy
- Short-listed -
The Sir John A. Macdonald Prize