The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg prof wins another book prize

UWinnipeg’s history professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, History and Archives, Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, won the Aboriginal History Book Prize, along with co-author Adele Perry.

They earned the prize for their book, Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City, given by the Canadian Historical Association. They were given the award earlier this month at the University of British Columbia during the 2019 Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

The Aboriginal History Book is chosen by the Aboriginal History Group, a committee of the Canadian Historical Association.

Structures of Indifference situates the life and death of Brian Sinclair, an Anishinaabe man who died after waiting 34 hours unseen and untreated in a hospital emergency room in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The  book completes the story left untold by the 2014 inquiry into Sinclair’s death, which omitted any consideration of underlying factors, including racism, and systemic discrimination. 

The committee said, “Structures of Indifference serves as a corrective to the erasure of Sinclair and the denial of the violent roles played by racism and settler colonialism in Canada’s so-called universal health care system. Structures of Indifference is an exemplar for all historians. It illustrates the importance of writing collaboratively, speaking back to settler colonialism, and making our work accessible. Mary Jane McCallum and Adele Perry’s monograph serves as an exceptional standard of rigorous research and offers important analytical contributions to the field.”

This is the second prize awarded to the authors for the book. In April, McCallum and Perry were given the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction at the Manitoba Book Awards.