MacDonald, David B.
The Sleeping Giant Awakens
Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
Pilot project. eBook available to selected US libraries only.
Aims and Scope
The Sleeping Giant Awakens considers how residential school Survivors and other Indigenous peoples, settlers, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada approached the question of genocide in the Indian Residential Schools system. It assesses prospects for conciliation in the aftermath of genocide.
- 256 pages
- UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS
- Indigenous Studies;Canadian history;Genocide Studies;Indian Residential Schools;Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada;TRC;transitional justice;international law;human rights;settler colonialism;reconciliation;conciliation;Sixties Scoop
- College/higher education;Professional and scholarly;
"The Sleeping Giant Awakens offers the most robust consideration of the genocide question in Canada to date. It provides a clear view of the complex origins of the genocide concept, as well as its applicability to Indian residential school and scoop-related child transfers in Canada. MacDonald’s lengthy engagement with this topic and his keen, inquisitive mind are evident on every page of the book." He has travelled widely in Canada, read broadly, and, most importantly, listened carefully to Survivors and Elders. For this reason, he focuses not only on naming the harms of settler colonialism but also on what a deeper sense of conciliation might mean for Indigenous-settler relations."
Paulette Regan, senior researcher and lead writer on the reconciliation volume of the TRC Final Report and author of Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada :
"The Sleeping Giant Awakens probes the decolonizing, transformative potential of (re)conciliation between Indigenous and settler peoples in Canada through the lens of settler colonial genocide. MacDonald argues that the United Nations Genocide Convention (UNGC) applies to Canada’s Indian residential school system and Sixties/Seventies Scoops, deepening our understanding of how genocidal systems and structures function over time in settler colonial states. Documenting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s work and challenging Canada’s settler colonial historical and multicultural narratives, he MacDonald makes a compelling case for why Canadians must confront a hard truth − that government actions to destroy Indigenous peoples’ cultures, governance systems, and laws through forcible child removals and land dispossession constitute genocide. Settler peoples must then accept responsibility for taking up the TRC’s calls to action in ways that roll back state rights to fully recognize Indigenous rights of self-determination and resurgence and ensure the return of Indigenous lands. A must-read for all those who care deeply about the ongoing journey of truth, justice, and reconciliation in post-TRC Canada and beyond."
Mike DeGagné, President and Vice-Chancellor, Nipissing University, and Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation:
"The Sleeping Giant Awakens presents a thorough and forceful examination of Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples. By exploring the colonial, even genocidal, legacy of the Indian residential school system, This book represents a tough, timely, and thoughtful account. Our progress towards reconciliation depends on a true and unflinching acknowledgment of this dark chapter in Canadian history."
Shelagh Rogers, OC, TRC Honorary Witness, Chancellor, University of Victoria:
"David B. MacDonald incites the reader to do some serious soul searching about the true nature of Canada. Canadians are called upon to engage in fresh thinking and create a new, right, and respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples. It will involve deep questioning of the status quo, vision, and imagination to clear the new path. The Sleeping Giant Awakens is a catalyst for necessary change."
Robert Alexander Innes, Department Head of Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan:
"The Sleeping Giant Awakens is a significant assessment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. It comes at a watershed time in Canadian history. While grounded firmly in the academic literature, MacDonald uses language that will be easily accessible to a general audience and draws upon the insights of Indigenous scholars and writers in making his argument. It will be an important resource in talking about historical truths that continue to resonate today and which need to be acknowledged if there is any hope for reconciliation in this country."