Indigenous Children’s Rights and Settler Colonial Wrongs: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, Australia, and the United States

The United States has its own Stolen Generations, but outside of Indian country and Native American Studies conferences, there is little public awareness of Indian child removal, let alone official inquiries or truth and reconciliation commissions.

Lecture Description

This lecture examines recent fraught efforts to acknowledge the painful history of Indigenous child removal and to promote reconciliation in Australia, Canada, and the United States. From 2009 to 2015 the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission gathered testimony from Indigenous people who as small children had suffered separation from their families, often forcibly, to attend Indian residential schools. In the 1990s, during its Decade of Reconciliation, Australia launched an Inquiry into the “Stolen Generations,” Aboriginal children who had experienced a similar forcible removal from their families. The United States is now beginning to reckon with its own Stolen Generations and its history of Indian boarding schools and other Indigenous child removal. This lecture contemplates what the U.S. might learn from truth and reconciliation processes in Australia and Canada.


American Indian Transnational and Comparative

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