Guest Blog Post
What does Indigenous History Month mean to me?

This is a month were everyone, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are encouraged to reflect on and learn about the unique history, traditions, culture and sacrifices of each First Nations, Inuit, and Metis People. For many, this month is the only opportunity to learn something new, or further educate themselves. The real, and at times difficult, story of Canada’s first peoples is still largely missing from Canada’s history books and most school curriculums.

The Federal Government’s assimilation and segregation of Indigenous People created a large disconnect. It erased Indigenous Peoples relationship with our traditional lands, cultural practices, language, and spirituality. For many years Indigenous People were made to feel ashamed of their identity.        

The month of June is an opportunity for us as Canadians to come together and celebrate Indigenous contributions to Canada and the rich and diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you for giving me opportunity to write this.

Brett Gerolamy

The Library has several books and learning resources available to you. Some of the ones I would recommend starting with are:
Indian School Days
Indian School Days by Basil H. Johnston

“This book is the humorous, bitter-sweet autobiography of a Canadian Ojibwa who was taken from his family at age ten and placed in Jesuit boarding school in northern Ontario.”

My grandfather attended the Residential School featured in this book.

Phyllis' Orange Shirt
Phyllis’ Orange Shirt by Phyllis Webstad

“When Phyllis was a little girl she was excited to go to residential school for the first time. Her Granny bought her a bright orange shirt that she loved and she wore it to school for her first day. When she arrived at school her bright orange shirt was taken away. This is both Phyllis Webstad's true story and the story behind Orange Shirt Day which is a day for us all to reflect upon the treatment of First Nations people and the message that Every Child Matters.“

Surviving CanadaSurviving Canada : indigenous peoples celebrate 150 years of betrayal edited by Kiera Ladner & Myra Tait

“A collection of reflections about Indigenous peoples' complicated, and often frustrating, relationship with Canada, and how the fight to have treaties implemented and Aboriginal rights respected continues 150 years after Confederation.”

Five little IndiansFive little Indians by Michelle Good

“With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.” A fictional story, but one that is much too real for many.



With your library card, you can also get free access to Transparent Language Online and embark on an Indigenous language learning journey.

This year, Library Staff have committed to learning more about Indigenous History and are enrolled in a 3 hour online self-paced multimedia course. Check out the trailer to the course: “4 Seasons of Reconciliation” from the First Nations University of Canada and Reconciliation Education.

Coursera hosts a free online Indigenous Canada course offered by the University of Alberta. “From an Indigenous perspective, this 12 lesson course explores complex experiences Indigenous peoples face today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.”

Information is also available from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada websites.