Since the 1980s, successive Canadian institutions and federal governments as well as Christian churches have attempted to grapple with the malignant legacy of residential schooling through official apologies, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
In Residential Schools and Reconciliation, award-winning author J.R. Miller tackles and explains these institutional responses to Canada’s residential school legacy. Analysing archival material and interviews with former students, politicians, bureaucrats, church officials, and the Chief Commissioner of the TRC, Miller reveals a major obstacle to achieving reconciliation – the inability of Canadians at large to overcome their flawed, overly positive understanding of their country’s history. This unique, timely, and provocative work asks Canadians to accept that the root of the problem was Canadians like them in the past who acquiesced to aggressively assimilative policies.
About the author
J.R. Miller is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Saskatchewan. He is the author of numerous works on issues related to Indigenous peoples including Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens and Shingwauk’s Vision, both published by University of Toronto Press.
- Short-listed, The Sir John A. Macdonald Prize
"Miller’s study does not examine the history of residential schools or draw upon horrors recounted by survivors; rather, it looks at what churches, courts, and the state itself have done in reaction, sometimes haltingly. Here his scholarship breaks new ground: few scholars have traced the nitty-gritty of how reconciliation was and is negotiated or set it so firmly in a historical context."
<em>The Canadian Historical Review</em>
"Professor Jim Miller of the University of Saskatchewan pulls back the curtain on the historical blame game. Residential Schools and Reconciliation documents Ottawa’s handling of Aboriginal issues. This is not ancient history. It just happened."
‘For those who want to understand Canadian reconciliation attempts and their historical context specifically pertaining to residential schools, Residential Schools and Reconciliation is where they should turn.’
<em>Saskatchewan Law Review </em>
"As colonial nations around the world seek pathways to post-conflict reconciliation, J.R. Miller’s timely work is an important reminder of both the potential obstacles and the healing possibilities of such initiatives."
"In this book, Miller provides Canadians with an invaluable, insightful, and accessible resource on reconciliation in Canada."