Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress

Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress

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Edited by Jennifer Henderson and Pauline Wakeham
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
496 Pages
ISBN 9781442611689
Published Apr 2013
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Truth and reconciliation commissions and official governmental apologies continue to surface worldwide as mechanisms for coming to terms with human rights violations and social atrocities. As the first scholarly collection to explore the intersections and differences between a range of redress cases that have emerged in Canada in recent decades, Reconciling Canada provides readers with the contexts for understanding the phenomenon of reconciliation as it has played out in this multicultural settler state.

In this volume, leading scholars in the humanities and social sciences relate contemporary political and social efforts to redress wrongs to the fraught history of government relations with Aboriginal and diasporic populations. The contributors offer ground-breaking perspectives on Canada’s ‘culture of redress,’ broaching questions of law and constitutional change, political coalitions, commemoration, testimony, and literatures of injury and its aftermath. Also assembled together for the first time is a collection of primary documents – including government reports, parliamentary debates, and redress movement statements – prefaced with contextual information. Reconciling Canada provides a vital and immensely relevant illumination of the dynamics of reconciliation, apology, and redress in contemporary Canada.

Jennifer Henderson is an associate professor in the Departments of English and Sociology/Anthropology and the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University.

Pauline Wakeham is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario.


Jennifer Henderson (Carleton University) and Pauline Wakeham (University of Western Ontario)

I. Settler Culture and the Terrain of Reconciliation

Matt James (University of Victoria), “Neoliberal Heritage Redress”

Eva Mackey (Carleton University), “The Apologizer’s Apology”

Jennifer Henderson, “The Camp, the School, and the Child: Discursive Exchanges and (Neo)liberal Axioms in the Culture of Redress”

II. Citizenship, Nationhood, Law

Lily Cho (University of Western Ontario), “Redress Revisited: Citizenship and the Chinese Canadian Head Tax”

Dale Turner (Dartmouth College), “On the Idea of Reconciliation in Contemporary Aboriginal Politics”

James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson (University of Saskatchewan), “Incomprehensible Canada”

III. Testimony and Truth-Telling

Roger Simon, “Worrying Together: The Problematics of Listening and the Educative Responsibilities of Canada’s TRC”

Julia Emberley (University of Western Ontario), “Epistemic Heterogeneity: Indigenous Storytelling, Testimonial Practices and the Question of Violence in Indian Residential Schools”

Dian Million (University of Washington), “Trauma, Power, and the Therapeutic: Speaking Psychotherapeutic Narratives in an Era of Indigenous Human Rights”

IV. Grieving and Grievance, Mourning and Memory

Amber Dean (McMaster University), “Public Mourning and the Culture of Redress: Mayerthorpe, Air India, and Murdered or Missing Aboriginal Women”

Lindy Ledohowski (Carleton University), “The compulsion to tell falls on the next generation’: Ukrainian-Canadian Literature in English and Victims of the Past”

V. Performing Redress

Len Findlay (University of Saskatchewan), “Redress Rehearsals: Legal Warrior, COSMOSQUAW, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards”

Anna Carastathis, “The Non-Performativity of Reconciliation: The Case of ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ in Quebec”

VI. Redress and Transnationalism: Thinking Apology Beyond the Nation

Roy Miki (Simon Fraser University), “Rewiring Critical Affects: Reading ‘Asian Canadian’ in the Transnational Sites of Kerri Sakamoto’s One Hundred Million Hearts

Pauline Wakeham, “From Rendition to Redress: Maher Arar, Apology, and Exceptionality”


A. Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools

  1. Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds, 1879
  2. Testimony of Duncan Campbell Scott, 1920
  3. Duncan Campbell Scott, Notes on Indian Education, 1920
  4. An Act to Amend the Indian Act, 1920
  5. Confession of the Presbyterian Church, 1994
  6. Notes for an Address by the Honourable Jane Stewart, 1998
  7. Open Letter from Chief Phil Fontaine, 2008
  8. House of Commons Apology, 2008

B. Acadian Deportations

  1. Petition to Governor of Nova Scotia from Acadian inhabitants, 1755
  2. Acadian Deportation Order, 1755
  3. Royal Proclamation designating “Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval,” 2003

C. Black Loyalist and Africville Injustices

  1. Nova Scotia Resolution, 1834
  2. A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1957
  3. Resolution 39, 1995
  4. “Lessons from Africville,” 2001
  5. Report on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: Addendum Mission to Canada, 2004
  6. Bill 213: An Act to Address the Historic Injustice Committed Against the People of Africville, 2005
  7. Africville Apology and Agreement to Commemorate the Historic Community, 2010

D. Chinese Canadian Immigration Restrictions

  1. The Chinese Immigration Act, 1885 and 1923
  2. Draft Letter from the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, 1896
  3. Mack et al. v. The Attorney General of Canada, 2000
  4. Open Letter from the Chinese Canadian National Council,2005
  5. House of Commons Apology, 2006

E. Indian passengers on the Komagata Maru

  1. An Act Respecting Immigration, 1910
  2. The Court of Appeal: Re Munshi Singh, 1914
  3. British Columbia Legislative Assembly Apology, 2008
  4. House of Commons Motion M-469, 2008
  5. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Apology, 2008

F. WWI Internments

  1. The War Measures Act, 1914
  2. Order in Council of October 28, 1914
  3. Report on Internment Operations, 1914-1920
  4. Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act, 2005

G. WWII Internments

  1. Italian Canadian Internment
  1. Defence of Canada Regulations, 1939
  2. Order in Council of June 10, 1940
  3. A National Shame: the Internment of Italian Canadians, brief presented by the National Congress of Italian Canadians to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, 1990
  4. Address by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to the National Congress of Italian Canadians and the Canadian ItalianBusiness Professional Association, 1990
  5. Letter from Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, 1994
  6. Agreement-in-Principle between the Government of Canada and the Italian Canadian Community, 2005
  1. Japanese Canadian Internment and Relocation
  1. National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945
  2. "We Must Fight Deportation," The New Canadian, 1945
  3. Co-operative Committee on Japanese Canadians, Memorandum for The Members of the House of Commons and Senate of Canada on The Orders-In-Council P.C. 7355, 7356, 7357, 1946
  4. National Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, Submission to Prime Minister Re: Bird Commission, 1950
  5. National Association of Japanese Canadians, Democracy Betrayed: The Case for Redress, 1984
  6. House of Commons Apology, 1988
  7. Terms of Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the National Association of Japanese Canadians, 1988
  8. Emergencies Act, 1988

H. Jewish Refugees on the SS St. Louis

  1. Canadian government policy brief on Jewish refugees,1938
  2. Petition to allow the S.S. St. Louis to land in Canada, June 7, 1939
  3. Letter between O.D. Skelton and George M. Wrong,June 19, 1939

I. Doukhobor Residential Schools

  1. Righting the Wrong, report of the Ombudsman of British Columbia, 1999
  2. Statement of Regret to Doukhobor Children, 2004

“A crucial resource for classrooms, researchers, and anyone wanting to understand the dynamics of Canada’s culture of redress, Reconciling Canada offers important resources for setting Canada’s projects of apology and reconciliation in context. The editors have collected in one volume timely insights from some of Canada’s leading scholars on the possibilities and problems in Canada’s many and manifold projects of reconciliation. The volume also reproduces historical documents on key apologies to remind readers of the long and diverse history of apology in Canada.”

Daniel Coleman, Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University

“This serious engagement with the challenges posed by the culture of redress in Canada is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand our history and for imagining alternative futures.… A milestone in Canadian interdisciplinary scholarship, this book repays the effort it demands. If Northrop Frye was correct in diagnosing the central Canadian question as “where is here?” then this book shows “here” to be a complex place in which healing and hope are yet to be achieved but can be imagined differently. “

Diane Brydon, Distinguished Professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies, University of Manitoba, University Affairs, December 3, 2014.

Reconciling Canada is the first text to comprehensively unpack Canada’s unique position in history, marking it as an important contribution to both Canadian and reconciliation studies.’

David Gaertner, Canadian Literature Spring 2014

‘”A historicization of redress” is a stated objective of the collection, and the editors have marshalled expertise from across the disciplines to achieve this end.’

Forrest D. Pass, University of Toronto Quarterly vol 84:03:2015