The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
Confronting the truths of Canada’s Indian Residential School system has been likened to waking a sleeping giant. In this book, David B. MacDonald uses genocide as an analytical tool to better understand Canada’s past and present relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples. Starting with a discussion of how genocide is defined in domestic and international law, the book applies the concept to the forced transfer of Indigenous children to residential schools and the "Sixties Scoop," in which Indigenous children were taken from their communities and placed in foster homes or adopted.
Based on archival research and extensive interviews with residential school survivors, officials at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and others, The Sleeping Giant Awakens offers a unique and timely perspective on the prospects for conciliation after genocide, exploring how moving forward together is difficult in a context where many settlers know little of the residential schools and the ongoing legacies of colonization, and need to have a better conception of Indigenous rights. It offers a detailed analysis of how the TRC approached genocide in its deliberations and in the Final Report.
Crucially, MacDonald engages critics who argue that the term genocide impedes understanding of the IRS system and imperils prospects for conciliation. By contrast, this book sees genocide recognition as an important basis for meaningful discussions of how to engage Indigenous-settler relations in respectful and proactive ways.
- Series: UTP Insights
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 224 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationDavid B. MacDonald is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph and Research Leadership Chair for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
Table of contents
1. Understanding Genocide: Raphael Lemkin, the UN Genocide Convention, and International Law
2. Pluralists, Indigenous Peoples, and Colonial Genocide
3. Forcible Transfer as Genocide in the Indian Residential Schools
4. The Sixties and Seventies Scoop and the Genocide Convention
5. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Question of Genocide
6. The TRC, Indigenous Death, Inside and Outside the Residential Schools
7. Indigenous Genocide: Remembering, Commemorating, Forgetting
8. Indigenous Peoples and Genocide: Challenges of Recognition and Remembering
9. Reconciliation, Resurgence, and Rollback in the Aftermath of Genocide
Subjects and Courses