Power through Testimony

Reframing Residential Schools in the Age of Reconciliation

Edited by Brieg Capitaine and Karine Vanthuyne

  • Published: 2017. Paperback November 2017
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 252 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Power through Testimony documents how survivors are remembering and reframing our understanding of residential schools in the wake of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which includes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a forum for survivors, families, and communities to share their memories and stories with the Canadian public. The commission closed and reported in 2015, and this timely volume reveals what was happening on the ground. Drawing on field research during the commission and in local communities, the contributors reveal how survivors are unsettling colonial narratives about residential schools and how churches and former school staff are receiving or resisting the new "residential school story."
Brieg Capitaine is professor of sociology at the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa. Karine Vanthuyne is associate professor of anthropology at the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa. Contributors: Janice Cindy Gaudet, Cheryl Gaver, Robyn Green, Jula Hughes, Lawrence Martin/Wapistan, Charles R. Menzies, Arie Molena, Ronald Niezen, Simone Poliandri, and Eric Taylor Woods
Foreword / Ronald Niezen
Introduction / Brieg Capitaine and Karine Vanthuyne

Part 1: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Action
1. On the Making of a National Tragedy: The Transformation of the Meaning of the Indian Residential Schools / Eric Taylor Woods
2. Telling a Story and Performing the Truth: The Indian Residential School as Cultural Trauma / Brieg Capitaine
3. Loving to Reconcile: Love as a Political Emotion at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission / Robyn Green
4. Learning through Conversation: An Inquiry into Shame / Janice Cindy Gaudet and Lawrence Martin/Wapistan

Part 2: Conflicting Memories and Paths of Action
5. Surviving as Mi'kmaq and First Nations People: The Legacies of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia / Simone Poliandri
6. "National Memory" and Its Remainders: Labrador Inuit Counterhistories of Residential Schooling / Arie Molena
7. Remembering Residential Schools, Accounting for Decolonization through Development: Conflicting Viewpoints / Karine Vanthuyne

Part 3: (Un)reckoning with Historical Abuses
8. The New Victims: Perpetrators before the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission / Jula Hughes
9. Residential Schools in Canada: Why the Message Is Not Getting Across / Cheryl Gaver

Epilogue / Charles R. Menzies