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From the archives

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

Heather Menzies

Heather Menzies has written ten books, including Reclaiming the Commons.

Articles by
Heather Menzies

Jigging for Answers

Scratched records of a Métis family March 2021
Three underlying facts propel this poetic and often poignant book: in September 1870, an anti-Métis militia stoned to death Elzéar Goulet, an uncle of the author’s great-grandfather, the fiddler Léon Joseph Robert Goulet; family photos and records were deliberately burned decades later; and a fear has been passed down from generation to generation. “Be careful,” a respected elder tells the author: “you’ll be criticized for / speaking out for / the Métis for / your people / for telling your story.” Approaching Fire is an exploration of…

The Treaties

Ottawa negotiated in bad faith October 2019
Read our lips: we agree to share the land, not surrender it. That, according to this fine, careful study, is what Indigenous parties were trying to say during the negotiations of Treaties One through Seven on the prairies 150 years ago. Compare this with what was written down in the final texts, and the implications are huge — not just for who “owns” Canadian land but for what “sharing” it means…

More Than Words

The legal implications of Indigenous languages June 2019
When I headed off with a river otter as she went looking for lost human tongues, it helped that I was already heading her way — metaphorically speaking, that is. Increasingly over the past decade, I’ve been stripping the bindings off the history I grew up with. I’ve been absorbing the truth that when my great-great-­grandparents came to what is now southwestern Ontario in the early…

The Line Aquatic

Counternarratives of the much-mythologized waters at our border June 2017
The dominant narrative of Canada’s biggest waterway, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, has been that of empire building, nation building and, more recently, globalization. As historian Donald Creighton boldly asserted in his classic The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence—quoted in the new anthology Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship —“the dream of the commercial empire of the…