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The Biblio File: Library News

The Biblio File
November 15, 2021

Library patron George Gibson has kindly provided a book review – thank you George!

I have just finished reading J. S. Milloy’s A National Crime, 1999. Pinawa Public Library 371.829 MIL.

Milloy (Oxford scholar, Professor of History and Native Studies at Trent University) was tasked in 1996 with researching and creating a factual report detailing the history of the Residential School System for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The resulting research paper was titled Suffer the Little Children and was published by the Commission in 1999. Later the same year, the author published this revised and adapted version for broader readership. Milloy’s title A National Crime harks back to Dr. P.H. Bryce’s slim publication of 1922 which was titled The Story of a National Crime and which was the first formal publication damning the operation of the schools and calling for major changes.

A National Crime is an eminently credible report on the state of knowledge of the Residential School System at its publication date of 1999 — before the federal apology of 2008, before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report of 2015 (which only added to but did not contradict Milloy), and before the children began to speak from their shallow graves in 2020.

This book should be seen as required reading for anyone who does not have direct experience but who wishes to understand what happened and how it happened, and who wishes to be able to engage in any sort of informed discussion on the topic of indigenous residential schools in Canada.

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