Seen but Not Seen: Influential Canadians and the First Nations from the 1840s to Today
Throughout the nineteenth and most of the twentieth century, the majority of Canadians argued that European "civilization" must replace Indigenous culture. The ultimate objective was assimilation into the dominant society.
Seen but Not Seen explores the history of Indigenous marginalization and why non-Indigenous Canadians failed to recognize Indigenous societies and cultures as worthy of respect. Approaching the issue biographically, Donald B. Smith presents the commentaries of sixteen influential Canadians – including John A. Macdonald, George Grant, and Emily Carr – who spoke extensively on Indigenous subjects. Supported by documentary records spanning over nearly two centuries, Seen but Not Seen covers fresh ground in the history of settler-Indigenous relations.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 488 pages
- Illustrations: 69
- Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.5in x 8.9in
"Seen but Not Seen is a meticulously-researched and beautifully written documentary of the great contradiction of our national life."
"The book is excellent, balanced and illuminating. While it is factually very rich, as well as researched and referenced, it is very readable and accessible."
“The quality of scholarship is very high. Donald B. Smith is meticulous, building on decades of extensive and careful research and thoroughly documenting his writings and conclusions.”
Jennifer S.H. Brown, University of Winnipeg
“Offering revelation after revelation, each indicting the rich, privileged, and elite society of Canada, shackled in their own times, Donald B. Smith skillfully and poignantly reveals stories illuminating the truth. No celebrations here, and nowhere to hide as one ponders and copes with what could have been. Miigwech (thank you), Donald, for elevating us to our stage in time where we can own the imperative that yes, we can!”
Dean M. Jacobs, Walpole Island First Nation
“Donald B. Smith’s Seen but Not Seen could not possibly be more timely – and more welcome. This is the lifework of one of the country’s greatest historians. Canadians will see themselves in this book; they will not like much of what they see, but they will finish with a sense that reconciliation with First Nations is possible – so long as we first face the truths. These truths are here, in a remarkable work that covers everything from a re-evaluated John A. Macdonald to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is peopled with remarkable characters, many admirable, some despicable – Duncan Campbell Scott, John McDougall, Crowfoot, Long Lance, Kathleen Coburn, Emily Carr, Pauline Johnson, Harold Cardinal – and is wonderfully illustrated with archival photographs and maps.”
Roy MacGregor, columnist and feature writer for The Globe and Mail
“Impeccably researched, much like everything Donald B. Smith has written over his impressive career. This work is a gift from an historian on the cusp of retirement, who shares his archive to help us understand the history of Canada and outlines the gaps left for future, especially Indigenous, researchers to tackle.”
Deanna Reder, Simon Fraser University
Author InformationDonald B. Smith is a professor emeritus of History at the University of Calgary.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
Note on Terminology
1. John A. Macdonald and the “Indians”
2. Rev. John McDougall and the Stoney Nakoda
3. George Grant: An English Canadian Public Intellectual and the “Indians”
4. Chancellor John A. Boyd and a Fellow Georgian Bay Cottager, Kathleen Coburn
5. Duncan Campbell Scott: Determined Assimilationist
6. Paul A.W. Wallace and the “White Roots of Peace”
7. Quebec Viewpoints: From Lionel Groulx to Jacques Rousseau
8. Attitudes on the Pacific Coast: Franz Boas, Emily Carr, and Maisie Hurley
9. Alberta Perspectives: Long Lance, John Laurie, Hugh Dempsey, and Harold Cardinal
Epilogue: The First Nations and Canada’s Conscience
Subjects and Courses