This content is also available in French. View the French version of the Stolen Lives book.


This chapter examines the forces that have shaped Indigenous identities in Canada. In particular, we will consider the ways in which Canadians of European descent responded to both real and imagined differences between themselves and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.





Get an overview of the central themes you will explore in these readings on membership.

Reading 1 of 5
Genocide & Mass Violence

“I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind”

Thomas King's poem explores the difference between stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples and how these people live their lives in contemporary Canada.

Reading 2 of 5

The Idea of the "Indian"

Learn about the ideas the first Europeans brought with them to Canada that determined their responses to the Indigenous Peoples they encountered.

Reading 3 of 5

From "Noble Savage" to "Wretched Indian"

Examine the differing ideas about Indigenous Peoples conveyed in a painting by George Catlin and an excerpt from Charles Dickens.

Reading 4 of 5

Race Theory

Learn about the development of race science in the nineteenth-century and its role in the history of racism.

Reading 5 of 5

They Have Stolen Our Lands

Read this 1910 statement by chiefs of the Shuswap, Okanagan, and Couteau nations that sheds light on how Indigenous Peoples viewed Europeans during this period.

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