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Indigenous history and human rights

Discover. Learn. Reflect.

Discover the stories of Indigenous people and communities. Learn about Canada's history of colonialism and genocide. Reflect on how we can collectively work towards reconciliation.

A carved wooden box, showing the carved face of a person with a painted red hand over their mouth. Partially obscured.

Photo: CMHR, Aaron Cohen

What Is Two‐Spirit? Part One: Origins

By Scott de Groot

Discover the history and meaning of Two‐Spirit. The term speaks to community self‐determination, rejects colonial gender norms and celebrates Indigenous sexual and gender diversity.

A poster featuring large artwork depicting two faces in dramatic colours and patterns, with background imagery including hands, standing figures and geometric shapes. A large title at the top reads “The 10th Annual International Two Spirit Gathering” and text at the bottom reads “August 27-31, 1997. Onamia, Minnesota.”

Heartbeat of a People

By Dave McLeod

First Nation, Inuit and Métis music has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability throughout history. Music by the people is still at the heart of who they are, as it has been for millennia.

Close-up on a group of people wearing beaded jackets and vests performing on stage. In the centreer, a man wearing glasses, a hat, and a large, beaded medallion sings into a microphone.

Treaty 3: Honouring its truths

By Carlie Kane

Treaties were meant to ensure peaceful co‐existence between settlers and Indigenous peoples. But they became instruments of colonial control. Together, we can return to the original goal of mutual respect and care.

Mist rises off a large, calm lake surrounded by an evergreen forest.

Nursing and Indigenous peoples’ health: reconciliation in practice

By Maureen Fitzhenry

Nurses’ long‐time partnership shows that decolonizing our health care systems is necessary for enhancing respect, fairness and social justice for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

A group of Indigenous women nurses stand together outside.

The murder of Elzéar Goulet and the struggle for Métis rights

By Karine Duhamel

Elzéar was raised in the Métis trapping and trading tradition and was killed for his role in the Red River Resistance. His story reflects the long struggle for Métis rights that includes the founding of Manitoba.

Riders on horseback with arrows and lances drawn ride across a rolling prairie landscape towards a herd of buffalo.

Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket

Large artwork consisting of objects set in cedar frames.

Dick Patrick: An Indigenous veteran’s fight for inclusion

By Steve McCullough and Jason Permanand

A snow-covered country road with mountains in the background.

Peace, friendship and respect

By Karine Duhamel

An image being projected onto a curved wall that is about nine feet tall. It is made up of many small squares and has the appearance of Indigenous bead work or a mosaic. The image is mainly made up of white squares, but it also features two thick blue horizontal lines that run parallel to each other.

Childhood denied

A story about Indian residential schools and their legacy

A group of boys in pyjamas kneel on single beds, heads bowed and hands clasped as if in prayer. A woman stands in the room, her hands clasped in the same way.

Bringing the potlatch home

By Matthew McRae

A black and white image of an elderly woman with white hair holding a mask that is shaped and painted to represent a bird’s head. It features a long beak with an open mouth and feathers attached to the top of the head. The woman is looking directly at the mask she is holding.

Lighting the flame

By Rhea Yates

Fifty years ago, 10 young Indigenous athletes ran an 800‐kilometre relay from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, carrying the torch that would open the 1967 Pan American Games.

A man carrying a torch stands on a ladder to light a flame within a copper cauldron.

Why reconciliation? Why now?

By Karine Duhamel

Since the publication of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report in 2015, more and more Canadians seem focused on the idea of reconciliation.

Carved wooden faces