Since the 1960s, the Native peoples of northeastern Canada, both Inuit and Innu, have experienced epidemics of substance abuse, domestic violence, and youth suicide. Seeking to understand these transformations in the capacities of Native communities to resist cultural, economic, and political domination, Gerald M. Sider offers an ethnographic analysis of aboriginal Canadians' changing experiences of historical violence. He relates acts of communal self-destruction to colonial and postcolonial policies and practices, as well as to the end of the fur and sealskin trades. Autonomy and dignity within Native communities have eroded as individuals have been deprived of their livelihoods and treated by the state and corporations as if they were disposable. Yet Native peoples' possession of valuable resources provides them with some income and power to negotiate with state and business interests. Sider's assessment of the health of Native communities in the Canadian province of Labrador is filled with potentially useful findings for Native peoples there and elsewhere. While harrowing, his account also suggests hope, which he finds in the expressiveness and power of Native peoples to struggle for a better tomorrow within and against domination.
Gerald M. Sider is Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. His books include Between History and Tomorrow: Making and Breaking Everyday Life in Rural Newfoundland and Living Indian Histories: Lumbee and Tuscarora People in North Carolina, both in second editions.
Preface Acknowledgments 1. Historical Violence 2. Owning Death and Life: Making "Indians" and "Eskimos" from Native Peoples 3. Living within and against Tradition, 1800-1920 4. The Peoples without a Country 5. Mapping Dignity 6. Life in a Concentration Village 7. Today May Become Tomorrow 8. Warriors of Wisdom Notes References Index