About This Reading List

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada defines reconciliation as “coming to terms with the events of the past in a manner that overcomes conflict and establishes a respectful and healthy relationship among people, going forward.”

The titles in this bibliography are intended to help readers develop cultural competency and work toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. This bibliography is highly selective and is only a sampling of the available sources on this topic.


The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America
King, Thomas

The Inconvenient IndianOriginally published in 2012, the book sparked a national conversation about the history and the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Settlers. This new edition is illustrated with many images (including art as well as archival images and monuments). They trace the depiction of Indigenous Peoples and how they have been seen, understood, and represented in North America.

A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

A Knock on the DoorThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established in 2008. Its mandate was to document the history and legacy of the residential school system on Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This volume is based on the content of the reports prepared by the members of the Commission, which were the result of gathering personal testimonies of the survivors and their families and studying the content from primary and secondary sources related to the schools.

The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
MacDonald, David Bruce

The Sleeping Giant AwakensIn this book, MacDonald uses genocide as an analytical tool to better understand Canada’s past and present relationships between settlers and Indigenous Peoples. Starting with a discussion of how genocide is defined in domestic and international law, the book applies the concept to the forced transfer of Indigenous children to residential schools and the “Sixties Scoop,” in which Indigenous children were taken from their communities and placed in foster homes or adopted.

Mixed Blessings: Indigenous Encounters with Christianity in Canada
Bradford, Justin Tolly, and Chelsea Horton

Mixed BlessingsA collection of essays from scholars in history, Indigenous studies, religious studies, and theology, illuminating the diverse and multifaceted ways that Indigenous communities and individuals across Canada have interacted (and continue to interact) with Christianity. The book includes a chapter on Eliza Field Jones (1804–1890), examining her involvement in the missionary work of her spouse, Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby; 1802–1856), an Ojibway chief, missionary and educator.

Mississauga Portraits: Ojibwe Voices from Nineteenth-Century Canada
Smith, Donald B.

Mississauga PortraitsThe word "Mississauga" is the name British Canadian settlers used for the Ojibwe on the north shore of Lake Ontario, now the most urbanized region in Canada. The Ojibwe of this area in the early and mid-nineteenth century lived through a time of considerable threat to the survival of the First Nations, as they lost much of their autonomy, and almost all of their traditional territory. Mississauga Portraits recreates the lives of eight Ojibwe who lived during this period all of whom are historically important, including Peter Jones, or Kahkewaquonaby (1802–1856); George Copway or Kahgegagahbowh (1818–1869); Henry Steinhauer, or Shahwahnegezhik (ca. 1817–1884); Catharine Sutton, or Nahnebahnwequay (1824–1865), and others.

Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada
Lowman, Emma Battell, and Adam J. Barker

SettlerA critical examination of what it means to be a Settler. The authors argue that accepting this identity is an important first step towards changing the relationships between Canada and the Indigenous Peoples.

From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians
Poelzer, Greg, and Ken S. Coates

From Treaty Peoples to Treaty NationThe authors challenge Canadians to take up their responsibilities as treaty people: they explain that the treaty system is a pact between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians (and not only a collection of legal documents). As such, it entails Canadians to treat Indigenous People with respect and understanding. This well-researched book outlines practical approaches to achieving reconciliation.

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Joseph Bob, and Cynthia F. Joseph

Indigenous RelationA practical guide to learning how to respect cultural differences, improve personal relationships and business interactions with Indigenous Peoples, and work toward reconciliation. The book analyzes the historical legacy of the Indian Act and explains the intricacies of Aboriginal Rights and Title and the treaty process. The detailed appendices include a detailed glossary of terms related to reconciliation and additional resources.

Reconciliation in Practice: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
Datta, Ranjan, editor

Reconciliation in PracticeThe authors (many of whom are themselves immigrants and refugees) explore what reconciliation is and what it means to live in relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Writing in this volumes examines respecting Indigenous Treaties, learning the role of colonized education processes, protecting our land and environment, creating food security and creating an intercultural space for social interactions, among other topics.


Locating Additional Resources

Please consult one of our reference librarians or schedule a research consultation if you have questions about the resources listed in the guide or if you would like to find additional books, articles or online sources related to reconciliation.

compiled by: Agatha Barc, 17 September 2021