The Indigenous History Book Prize
Lianne C. Leddy, Serpent River Resurgence: Confronting Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022)
Serpent River Resurgence expands our understanding of environmental history by integrating archival sources, oral histories, and Indigenous ways of knowing into an assessment of uranium mining in the midst of the Cold War. Central to this analysis is a demonstration of how members of Serpent River First Nation negotiated complex systems of governance and socio-economic development to maintain sovereignty over their traditional territories in the context of national and international pressures.
This book integrates oral histories and community knowledge from Valerie Commanda, Arnelda Jacobs, Betty Jacobs, Terry Jacobs, Peter Johnston, Frank Lewis, and Gertrude Lewis. By centering these voices, Leddy presents a complex historical narrative that requires the reader to reconceptualize the question of ‘land use’ and the holistic relationship between a people and their territories.
Annette W. de Stecher, Wendat Women’s Arts (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022).
Wendat Women’s Arts, by Canadian art historian Annette W. de Stecher, furthers the historical narratives of the Wendat people. De Stecher draws on art historical approaches in a framework of community knowledge to centre Wendat women’s influence in geopolitics, diplomacy, and economics, as well as cultural and social life.
The work was made possible through the support and encouragement of many. With great generosity and kindness, members of the Wendat community shared their knowledge and insights, their time, and their artwork: Mme Hélène Gros-Louis, Mme Diane Picard, Mme Yolande Okia Picard, Mme Linda Sioui, Mme Mireille Siouï, Mme Manon Sioui, Mme Sabryna Godbout, Mme Sylvie Paré, Mme Francine Picard, M. Teharihulen Michel Savard, M. Yves Gros-Louis, M. Jonathan Lainey, and Dr Louis Lesage, all of the Wendat Nation, as well as Mr Richard Zane Smith of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
Wendat Women’s Art features biographical photographs, paintings, and images from archival holdings of moccasins, shot pouches, headdresses, playing card boxes, and many more gorgeous Wendat art pieces. These works, together with de Stecher’s interpretations grounded in community knowledge, allow their artistic, ceremonial, and spiritual intent to take the spotlight as teachers and transmitters of ancestral knowledge.
Carry the Kettle First Nation, Owóknage: The Story of Carry The Kettle Nakoda First Nation(Regina: University of Regina Press, 2022).
Owóknage: The Story of Carry The Kettle Nakoda First Nation is a history by the Nakoda Nation for the Nakoda Nation. Owóknage is a significant work utilizing a wide range of sources from community oral histories and archival documents to the land itself to provide critical insights into how the Nakoda experienced the destruction of the bison, the interconnected ecosystems on the plains, and the aftermath of the Cypress Hills Massacre and its subsequent “trail of tears” which forced the community into its current location. The book covers a remarkable amount of time including life before contact with Europeans, migration in the face of colonization, and life after the introduction of the reserve system in Saskatchewan until present day.
The book was a collaborative project guided by the Chief of the Carry the Kettle First Nation, Elise Jack, and Jim Tanner, and supported by Tracer Tanner, David R. Miller, and Peggy Martin McGuire. Owóknage illustrates the value and importance of community driven histories.