Below you will find links to select resources – podcasts, books, documentaries, reports, articles, films and free online courses – to begin or continue your journey of education regarding Indigenous Peoples in Canada. MSVU encourages its students, faculty, staff and broader community members to actively engage in learning about Indigenous history, culture and contemporary issues.

This is a living repository; we welcome suggestions.

May this journey of learning be rooted in truth and a celebration of the beauty, resiliency, and multitudes of our people.” – Alyssa McIntyre, Aboriginal Student Centre Coordinator, MSVU

“My greatest wish is that there will be more writing from my people, and that our children will read it. I have said again and again that our history would be different if it had been expressed by us. … Being strangers in our own land is a sad story, but, if we can speak, we may turn this story around.” – Rita Joe, Mi’kmaw Poet

Residential schools

Note: This content may be distressing. For support, the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419.

For more than a century, Residential Schools separated Indigenous children from their families and communities – more than 150,000 children before the last of the institutions was closed in 1996. Untold thousands of Indigenous children did not survive their time at the institutions. Two primary objectives of the Residential School system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate children into the margins of the dominant culture. As part of this system, 139 formally recognized federally-supported schools were located across Canada.

The cruelty enacted upon Indigenous children who attended residential schools has passed down across generations, and intergenerational trauma continues to be experienced by survivors, and their families and communities.

Together with the federal government, the operation of many residential schools was led by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. Part of MSVU’s truth is that the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, the founders and previous owners of Mount Saint Vincent University had members who staffed the Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia, which was open from 1930 to 1967 and the Cranbrook Residential School in British Columbia, which operated from 1890 to 1970. The Sisters of Charity Halifax have recently apologized to residential school survivors and their families, as well as all Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Today, their congregational leader serves as the Chancellor at MSVU, with other congregation representatives serving on the Board of Governors.

Understanding the history and continuing impacts of Canada’s residential school system is critical to advancing truth and reconciliation efforts.

The Shubenacadie Residential School

Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School, by Chris Benjamin

Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, 4th Edition, by Isabelle Knockwood

Podcast: Nutritional Research and Human Experimentation at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Historical Context, by Ian Mosby

“The complex truth: Intersections between Day Schools and the Shubenacadie Residential School,” Active History.ca, by Martha Walls

Search the MSVU Library’s resources

Academic works

Works by Dr. Marie Battiste, Professor Emerita, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan, from the Potlotek First Nation in Nova Scotia

Works by Dr. Pam Palmater, Associate Professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University from the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick

Academic Well Being of Racialized Students  

Unsettling Settler Colonialism: The discourse and politics of settlers, and solidarity with Indigenous Nations,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Corey Snelgrove, Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Jeff Corntassel

A Bibliography on Indigenous Peoples and the History of the Atlantic Region, John R.H. Matchim

MSVU’s Teaching and Learning Centre has compiled a list of Indigenous teaching resources for faculty and staff (log-in required).

The MSVU Library’s Indigenous Studies Guide includes a section on teaching resources which can be found under “Open Educational Resources.”

Search the MSVU Library’s resources

Language

Mi’kmaw Pronunciations for Teaching About the Mi’kmaq from the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre

Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk: Aboriginal Language

Land acknowledgement guides – Canadian Association of University Teachers and Native Governance Center

MSVU land acknowledgement: MSVU is located on unceded ancestral Mi’kmaq territory. This territory is covered by the Covenant Chain of Treaties of Peace and Friendship signed between 1725 and 1779. We pay respect to the knowledge embedded in the Indigenous custodians of this land and to the Elders, past, present, and future.

Podcasts

All My Relations, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation)

Media Indigena, hosted by Rick Harp (Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation)

The Red Nation Podcast, hosted by Nick Estes and Jen Marley

While Indigenous, provided by the NDN Collective

Documentaries

Films and TV series

APTN lumi is a streaming service from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network that “gives viewers unprecedented access to an extensive, and ever-expanding, catalogue of programs in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages.

Indian Horse (Film)

Mohawk Girls (TV series, APTN)

Monkey Beach (Film)

Rhymes for Young Ghouls (Film)

Reservation Dogs (TV series – coming soon to Disney+)

Rutherford Falls (TV series)

Trickster (Film)

Wildhood (Film)

Celebrations

Mi’kmaq History Month (October)

Project 562, Matika Wilbur: “A multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States resulting in an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans.”

Embracing the Spirit of Inclusion: San Francisco’s Two Spirit Pow Wow

APTN Indigenous Peoples Day Live (June 21 of each year): Explore the hosts and artists featured during past events, including Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Alan Syliboy & Thundermakers, Andrina Turenne, Buffy Saint-Marie, Neon Dreams, and more.

Wi’kapaltimk Aqtapuk or Mi’kmaw Mid-Winter Feast: “The Mi’kmaw Mid-Winter Feast is an ancient Mi’kmaw Feast. It was traditionally celebrated shortly after the first new moon of Punamuiku’s (January). Mid-winter was the end of the year and the start of the new ceremonial year for the ancient Mi’kmaq. The Mid-Winter Feast purpose was the presentation of thanksgiving to all the spiritual forces, especially to the Great spirit, for the blessings of life, health, and sustenance and the privileges of social life.” (source: Potlotek First Nation)