The University of Winnipeg



Indigenous scholars launch Indigenous history website

Mary Jane McCallum - photo supplied

Mary Jane McCallum – photo supplied comes to life on National Indigenous Peoples Day   

WINNIPEG, MB- is a new platform for Indigenous historians to gather as an e-community and share their ideas or works in progress. The website was founded and directed by seven Indigenous historians including Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum (University of Winnipeg) Dr. Robert Innes, Head of the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan steered the project with Noah Favel, an undergraduate student at the McGill University in History and Indigenous Studies.

This new platform is entirely Indigenous conceived, created, and controlled.  Though there are many history websites in Canada and abroad that attempt to convey Indigenous perspectives, their managing boards, advisory councils, editors, staff, and contributors are all (or nearly all) people who reflect the relative homogeneity and whiteness of the historical profession. While these sites offer opportunities for Indigenous writers and scholars to contribute pieces for special Indigenous-focused issues or invite Indigenous scholars to act as guest contributors, they are not sites where Indigenous peoples have a stake in the production or curation of intellectual discourses. This new a resource is dedicated to contemporary issues related to Indigenous history. It will include features, podcasts and videos, and creation of a bibliography and links to other Indigenous scholars for educators and the general public.

“While it is important for Indigenous historians to find our way into spaces dominated by non-Indigenous scholars, it is equally important for us to carve out spaces where our work is centered and in conversation with other Indigenous historians. Shekon Neechie is one such space,” says Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, Professor (History) at UWinnipeg.

Dr. McCallum, a member of the Munsee Delaware Nation in southern Ontario, is the inaugural UWinnipeg Indigenous Research Scholar Award recipient. Her research grant allowed her to contribute to the collaborative new website. For the launch of the site, McCallum posted an essay entitled “Indigenous People, Archives and History” based on the Weweni Lecture she gave at the University of Winnipeg earlier this year.  This essay will join several other contributions by Alan Corbiere, and Drs. Robert Innes, Brenda Macdougall, and Kim Anderson as well as a guest contribution by writer, cultural worker and commentator Paul Seesequasis.

In addition to her essay, McCallum developed a bibliography of recent publications of Indigenous history authored by Indigenous people, with University of Winnipeg Research Associate Dr. Erin Millions. This bibliography responds to the many requests McCallum and other Indigenous scholars have received for recommendations of publications on Indigenous history by Indigenous scholars for course work and research, and as a way to encourage people to engage with the scholarship of Indigenous people.  Too often, she finds, people’s assumptions about Indigenous people are barriers to their engagement with the kinds of records, analysis and knowledge about the past that Indigenous people produce.

“Dr. McCallum and her colleagues are showcasing Indigenous innovation and how scholarship and transmitting knowledge(s) are pivotal in transforming our academic institutions and disciplines,” says Dr. Jaime Cidro, Acting Indigenous Academic Lead, UWinnipeg.

And just what does “Shekon Neechie” mean? Visit the site and find out! 


Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

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