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Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada
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Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In 2008 the Canadian government apologized to the victims of the notorious Indian residential school system, and established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission whose goal was to mend the deep rifts between Aboriginal peoples and the settler society that engineered the system. In Unsettling the Settler Within, Paulette Regan, a former residential-schools-claims manager, ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by UBC Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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4.23  · 
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 ·  102 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-school
This book was a pretty good read but I skipped mush of it. Regan goes into depth and length quoting many sources to supplement her understanding of the decolonization process. I skipped much of this because I used to work with Indigenous communities regularly. Of course, I was working under the Indian Act so whatever I was doing was already part of the colonial system. I was at a meeting where our DM was noted saying, "The Indian Act cannot be stripped down; it is like the roots of the tree. You ...more
Krista McCracken
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well written, thoughtful, and informed look at the idea of reconciliation in Canada. Regan does an excellent job of balancing personal experience, recent events in First Nation-Settler relations, and scholarly opinions. This is book is a great call to all Canadians to look at our conceptions of history, peacekeeping, and reconciliation. Regan challenges readers to acknowledge their settler bias and accept a complete history of Canada.
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Turns the gaze away from the subject, Aboriginal peoples, to the settlers. With the intention of achieving 'genuine' reconciliation, the author aims to have Canadian settlers see themselves, not as peaceful and tolerant administrators, but colonisers deploying all the tools that colonisers use upon original inhabitants.
Laurie Siblock
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me a long time to read this book (a year and a half) because it was dense with learning and I needed to pause after sections to absorb the information before I moved on. In 2014, I participated in a courageous and imaginative event, a Reconciliation Event, that was the vision of the youth of a fly-in only Northern Ontario First Nation community called Kitchenuhmayooosib Inninuwug (KI) or Big Trout Lake. I went with 30 other "ordinary Canadians" and lived with a family for a week and part ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a difficult book to read, and, I imagine, a hard one to write. Paulette Regan has made an extensive study of decolonization writings and put them into practice in her work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was interesting and instructive to read about her own experiences as a settler-Canadian as she came to terms with the shattering of the myth of Canadians as peacemakers in the context of the violence done to Indigenous communities of Canada by the residential school sys ...more
Nikki Reads A Lot
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dense read, but necessary for any settler wishing to decolonize their minds & hearts & dismantle the colonial project of Canada. Gives pedagogical guidance for settlers who wish to work in solidarity with indigenous peoples towards peace, justice and truth, without reinscribing the deeply entrenched colonizer-colonized relationship. Took some time, but glad I read it.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good! It was well-written and meaningful and truly inspiring. Without leaving any illusions about the breadth of the problem the ending was still infused with hope.
Bradley  West
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this title, among many others, as a personal recommendation from Senator Murray Sinclair, on what books to read, as part of my own learning journey in reconciliation.

As a settler, who is also an immigrant to Canada; who is the son of immigrants to Australia; who were themselves the children of immigrants; from a family who has benefited from colonisation in a number of locations- I wanted to be an active participant in the Calls to Action, from the TRC [ Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
"If the current quest for reconciliation is no different from settler practices of the past - a new colonial tool of oppression - it has now become imperative to challenge Canada's peacemaker myth. Peeling back the layers of myth reveals that we must confront our own repressed and unscrutinized past as a necessary part of our own truth telling." (p. 67)

Paulette Regan's calls upon settler Canadians to take responsibility for their own decolonization, starting with letting go of Canada's peacemake
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A really important book with a lot of great insight from a voice of experience and intelligence. I mainly wish it had been written more accessibly, less academically. Because every settler Canadian should read this kind of book and think about it. But for many it would be too much of a slog to do so. Hopefully though this book serves as the start of an ongoing conversation.

Because as Regan says, there is no "Indian problem." There is rather a "Settler problem."
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.75 -> Read for class. Some very interesting points were made.
Magdalena Milosz
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: colonialism
From the research director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada comes a thoughtful analysis of settlers' role in reconciliation with Indigenous people and decolonization. Regan provides a well-researched "historical counter-narrative" illuminated by accounts of her personal experiences working through these processes.
Lindsey Pattinson
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well written and researched. A good start for understanding important issues surrounding truth and reconciliation from the perspective of a non- Native, 'settler-ally '. Quality content. Interesting insights. A little hard to read but not really.
Not as transformative as I had expected. Very thoroughly researched and the history of the reconciliation process was interesting - how wrongfully it started. I appreciate the hopeful tone at the end.
Mar 09, 2017 added it
Mixed feelings, good intentions: a helpful and necessary book, but a good one? Unresolved questions abound.
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thesis-related
accessible and decolonizing call for everyone.
Steven Tannock
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
hard, hard read. So good.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This a is great book and should become a part of basic school reading for everyone. will be buying a copy to own.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most powerful and profound books I have ever read
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book to be insightful and meaningful; however, I wish that the book could have been written in layman's language rather than as a dissertation or thesis for the academically inclined. I think this book has a lot of value, it contains a lot of research, & I think that all Canadians should try to read it; however, again, because of the way it is written, not many will want to put the effort into reading this, which is just a shame.

It is a book that encourages you to listen, to hea
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A MUST read for any settler in Canada!
Jan Andrews
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Academic but made me change my thinking about our relationship between "white settlers" and our Indigenous peoples.
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Yvette Cowan
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Nov 13, 2017
Jessica Bound
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May 26, 2015
Anthony Bigornia
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Sep 15, 2011
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May 10, 2019
Laina Parkes
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Jan 08, 2017
Karl Lindgren-Streicher
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Jun 10, 2017
Eden Haber
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Dec 31, 2016
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