For Immediate Release

June 22, 2021

In recognition of National Indigenous History Month, University of Toronto Press (UTP) and University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) added two recent, widely lauded Indigenous Studies titles – Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law by Cheryl Suzack and Words Have a Past: The English Language, Colonialism, and the Newspapers of Indian Boarding Schools by Jane Griffith to their Open Access (OA) program, which makes research monographs freely available to readers around the world.

Recent events remind us of the pressing need to make educational resources easily accessible to classrooms everywhere, from middle schools to graduate schools. In a survey commissioned by the Canadian Race Relation Foundation and the Assembly of First Nations, two-thirds of Canadians said that they knew very little – or nothing – about this country’s residential school system until the remains of 215 students were discovered in Kamloops, British Columbia. Three-quarters of respondents also said they want to learn more about the Indigenous experience.

In Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law, Cheryl Suzack explores how Indigenous writers in the post-civil rights period use storytelling to engage with social justice activism. Situated at the intersection of critical race, social justice, and Indigenous feminist theory, Suzack’s reading of these texts highlights the way Indigenous women respond to the narrow vision of law by recuperating other relationships – to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation.

Words Have a Past by Jane Griffith examines a little-known feature of Indigenous residential schools in Canada and the US. Over almost 100 years, the students who lived at these schools produced newspapers read by settlers, government officials, and Indigenous parents. These newspapers were used as a settler colonial tool, yet within these tightly controlled narratives there also existed sites of resistance. Griffith traces colonial narratives of language, time, and place from the nineteenth century to today, post-Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Founded two years ago, the UTP-UTL free reading partnership is modeled after collaborative efforts like that of TOME: Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem, a joint initiative by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses). Like its predecessors, the UTP-UTL OA venture seeks to increase the amount of high-quality, peer-reviewed humanities and social science scholarship online, underscoring the global value of this work.

If you are interested in making your work open, please visit utorontopress.com/resources/open-access/.


University of Toronto Press has published landmark scholarship since 1901. One of the largest university presses in North America, UTP releases over 180 new scholarly, course, and general interest books in both print and ebook format and 47 journals each year. In addition, UTP also operates UTP Distribution through warehouses in Toronto and Buffalo along with campus bookstores across the University of Toronto. For more information, visit utorontopress.com.


The University of Toronto Libraries System is the largest academic library in Canada and is ranked sixth among peer institutions in North America. The system consists of 42 libraries located on three university campuses: St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough. This array of college libraries, special collections, and specialized libraries and information centres supports the teaching and research requirements of over 280 graduate programs, more than 60 professional programs, and about 700 undergraduate degree programs. In addition to more than 15 million volumes in 341 languages, the library system currently provides access to millions of electronic resources in various forms and over 31,000 linear metres of archival material. More than 150,000 new print volumes are acquired each year. The Libraries’ data centre houses more than 500 servers with a storage capacity of 1.5 petabytes.


Lynn Fisher, Vice President, Book Publishing
University of Toronto Press

Stephanie Orfano, Head, Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office
University of Toronto Libraries