Historic Pamphlets and Booklets on First Nations Topics

Skeena River pole ca. 1920s: On back: ""Named Waum Gana'o 14' high / erected 1845 / 4 Bottom figure, is of the big hog, upside down." Source: USASK."

The University of Saskatchewan has a comprehensive Indigenous Studies portal, with links to a massive corpus of published and unpublished documents – some of which are available online, free of institutional restriction.  One section which I found interesting was the large collection of pamphlets and booklets.  I know this web site isn’t always 100% archaeological – but you can’t separate the practice of archaeology from the social context in which it occurs. Among these pamphlets are:

  • CBC Radio and Department of Indian Affairs 1939: The Indians Speak to Canada (transcript of a remarkable series of 1939 CBC radio broadcasts in which aboriginal people address the nation; Haida representative Rev. Peter Kelly starts on page 28; White Man’s Burden is found in the closing remarks by the Minister of Mines and Resources)

Other interesting reads include:

I’m going to reiterate my familiar complaints: these documents should be downloadable as single PDFs, and they should be scanned at a higher resolution.  There are some curious errors, such as repeatedly placing the Skeena River and parts of the Plateau within Treaty 8.  Apart from that, the portal is a great resource and the pamphlet collection an interesting glimpse into popular and official representations of First Nations from the middle of the last century.

Kitwanga Poles, 1920s. Source: USASK.

2 responses to “Historic Pamphlets and Booklets on First Nations Topics

  1. Very intersting to read those radio interviews, such as the Rev. Peter Kelly one you linked to. To highlight the drift of time, here is an interview with Rev. Kelly’s grandson Clealls John Medicine Horse Kelly who was active in BC archaeology in the early 1990’s.

    [audio src="http://www.spacesplacesandfaces.ca/shows/20100218-JohnKelly_2010Olympics.mp3" /]


  2. You’re right — that’s a good interview which succinctly expressed community-based research and a nice discussion of the Olympic-First Nations relationships as well as political correctness vs respect.


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