Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Inuit Relocations
Resilience and Reconciliation
The Inuit community has proven resilient to many attempts at assimilation, relocation and evacuation to the south. The Canadian government has apologized for their racist policies.
In a highly visible and appealing format for young readers, this book explores the forced Inuit relocations in the Canadian Arctic between the 1950s and 1990s. Government decisions were often based on misinformation and racist attitudes, and their ill-considered decisions changed Inuit lives forever. This book includes Inuit responses, resilience and strength in the face of these government actions, as well as eventual government apologies for many of the relocations.
The book begins with a look at the traditional life of Inuit of Canada’s North, affected early on by contact with whalers and the development of the fur trade. The collapse of the fur trade following the Second World War led to dramatic changes to the lives of Inuit, including the relocation of Inuit from Inukjuak, Arctic Quebec, to the Canadian High Arctic. But Inuit lives were also uprooted in many other ways. The results included deaths from starvation, separation from family and culture for the treatment of contagious diseases and appalling living conditions as Inuit were forced to adapt from living off the land to permanent settlements.
Other events examined include the killing of sled dogs by the RCMP and the relocation of Inuit children to settlement-based federal day schools. The abuse the students suffered often paralleled what happened to Indigenous children in southern Canada.
Historical photos, primary documents and first-hand accounts of Inuit experiences show these injustices and how Inuit fought back. Readers will discover the resilience of Inuit in maintaining their culture and language and learn of the incredible contribution Inuit continue to make to the richness and diversity of Canadian culture.
About the Authors
FRANK TESTER is a writer, filmmaker, researcher and photographer who has worked extensively in the eastern Arctic with Inuit youth and communities. Frank has worked for the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission. His books include Tammarniit (Mistakes), for which he was awarded the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize. He is also a recipient of the Gustavus Myers Award for his contribution to the study of human rights in North America and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation Trustee’s Award in recognition of his work with Inuit youth and Elders. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Native Studies, University of Winnipeg. Frank lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
KRISTA ULUJUK ZAWADSKI is an Inuk who has focused her education and career on Arctic anthropology and archaeology, museology and collections-based research. She holds a Master's Degree in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and is a PhD candidate at Carleton University in Ottawa. Krista has co-curated exhibits that feature Inuit artists and written articles for the Inuit Art Quarterly and Museum Anthropology. Krista is from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.
A resource guide for the Righting Canada's Wrongs series that provides lessons in historical thinking.(more)
The Righting Canada’s Wrongs series is devoted to the exploration of racist and discriminatory government policies and actions against various groups through our history, the fight for acknowledgement and justice and the eventual apologies and restitution of subsequent governments. The award-winning books in this series make a valuable addition to any classroom or library looking for kid-friendly and appealing resources on social justice and equal rights in Canada.
The engaging and curriculum-based lessons in this Resource Guide will help students to further understand some of the important events in Canada's history that helped shape our current multicultural society. Educators will find support for teaching about Canada's past treatment of minorities and how to approach the topic of racism and discrimination. As well, students will learn about the important roles that these groups have played in Canadian society.
The third edition of the Resource Guide has been updated to include the most recent books in the Righting Canada’s Wrongs series: Africville, Anti-Semitism and the MS St. Louis and The LGBT Purge.
- A different historical thinking concept is introduced in each lesson.
- Each of the main lessons are directly linked to books in the series. The Resource Guide also provides additional sections related to each book.
- Student Blackline Masters are provided for copying.
- Evaluation rubrics for your assessment of student achievement on each lesson are included.
- Video links throughout the guide will supplement your lesson and add another dimension to student learning.
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