Friday, January 15, 2021

John A Macdonald and his band of 150

A recent CTV News story gives substantial, and I think balanced, coverage to Monday's open letter from 150 public figures and historians defending the record and reputation of John A Macdonald. 

The CTV story gives detailed treatment to the letter itself (published at the website of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute). CTV also contacted mostly Indigenous scholars to drive the response to the letter's claim about matters such as Macdonald's "documented concern for and friendship with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada." Much of the critique of the letter's claims for Macdonald is driven by indigenous professors Robert Alexander Innes, Omeasoo Wahpasiw, and Crystal Fraser (whom I suspect to be considerably younger than the mean age of the signatories, for what that is worth.)

In a nicely historical touch, the CTV story links both to Richard Gwyn's full throated 2015 endorsement of Macdonald (in the Toronto Star) and to Timothy Stanley's vigorous critique of Macdonald, also from 2015 (at Active History).

In its response to the recent revisions to Macdonald's reputation, the open letter reverts to a traditional Creightonesque view of Macdonald. In the letter he really is the man on the pedestal. Consider its bulleted list of claims about Macdonald, with my annotations. The letter declares that Macdonald:

  • Re-imagined British North America as Canada and did so with courage, wisdom and integrity.  (Note the single-combat warrior image. Can Macdonaldians ever accept that confederation was the achievement of a broadbased, multi-party coalition, and that Macdonald was not an initiator of confederation and was notably late to the bandwagon?)
  • Dissuaded aggressive American expansionism. Macdonald, with Cartier, stared down opponents of Confederation in Quebec and Nova Scotia.  (As did every other member of the confederation coalition, many at much greater risk than Macdonald.)
  • Acquired territory that made Canada the second largest country in the world. (In the CTV story, indigenous scholar R. A. Innes points out acidly that "acquired" doesn't mention "how the land was taken.") 
  • Persuaded Manitobans, British Columbians and Prince Edward Islanders to join Confederation. Brought economic stability, with a farsighted Bank Act and an economic National Policy. (Persuaded Manitobans?  Wasn't there a little war and conquest in there? And in point of fact, PEI joined confederation under a Liberal federal government. Again the letter's single-protagonist model runs up against historical evidence everywhere.)
  • Spearheaded the building of a railway to the Pacific. (Again the letter glosses over Macdonald's long hesitations about the railroad project.)
  • Championed unity between English and French, Protestant and Catholic. (Indeed --mostly; he always had the Orange Lodges to fall back on -- but hardly alone.)
  • Promoted freedom of expression and the press. (As opposed by...?)
  • Launched policies that failed, as happens to all national leaders. This is certainly the case with the establishment of a national policy on Indian Residential Schools. Even though widely supported at the time, the schools had a dark legacy that hangs over the country to this day. (It's alarming how this point sustains the notion that "reconciliation" is solved by apologies for residential schools, as if there is no need to address such fundamental matters as self-government, treaty rights, and title to land.)
  • Made many other mistakes respecting Indigenous peoples and policies Canadians today strongly disapprove; we understand the frustrations of the descendants of those affected by these mistakes. (Surely this handwaving "many other mistakes" amounts to historical malpractice, made shameful by the cheerleading "but on the other hand" that makes up the extended remainer of this point.)  Macdonald’s failures must, however, be weighed against an impressive record of constitution and nation building, his reconciliation of contending cultures, languages and religions, his progressivism and his documented concern for and friendship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

The more I read the letter, the more I think the Macdonald defence has two problems. The first, its blinkered denial of the indigenous critique, is the most combatative and most distressing. But the second, in some ways deeper, one is the insistence on a Macdonald-is-Canada, Canada-is-Macdonald, one-man-made-us, put-up-more-statues vision of Canada. It is both bad history and useless as a vision for modern Canadians to build from. 

Pointing out that Macdonald was not the lone and sole creator of the Canadian nation no doubt invites the Macdonaldians' rejoinder, see, they all did it, why blame Macdonald? And that may be a valid and accurate statement, but not one that coheres with the Put Out More Statues ideology that prevails here.

I should say I have (and hope to retain) a fair number of friends and people I admire on the list of signatories to the Macdonald-Laurier letter. (The "Friends of Canadian History" is also credited, but when I Googled that organization, nothing came up except Canadian Quakers.) Friends, I'm okay with you not having approached me for a signature.  

Update, same day:  Jerry Bannister writes

Enjoying your blog, as always, and just wanted to point out that the list of signatories includes only a handful (perhaps less than a handful, depending on how one counts) of non-retired academic historians. There is a crucial difference, I think, between retirees who devote themselves fully to their own research and those of us who balance research with teaching, supervision, and administrative work. The list of signatories includes plenty of people who research and write about Canadian history but few people who actually teach, supervise, and mentor students.

 Thanks, Jerry.  Hmmm. I'm one who does not "actually teach, supervise, and mentor students." And while I don't doubt your stats, I have to say I incline to the view that anyone can and should develop views on historical questions, and be responsible for them. That's a quality of citizenship and culture, I like to think, not one's profession or employment status.  






Wednesday, January 13, 2021

History of -- and by -- Chinese railroad workers

For almost 140 years, the voices of the thousands of Chinese who built the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) have been silent.

That's a statement that strikes me as true. In all the writing about the building of the CPR, even by those who wished to say something vivid and detailed about the lives and perspectives of its labour force, first- person testimonies have been scarce. That's the case for labourers of European and North American origins, but even more so for the imported Chinese work force. Even those who may have wished to overcome the neglect and disparagement of the Chinese workers in railroad history, I think, have been hardpressed to present much in the way of first hand accounts. 

But here is a new source. The quotation at the top is from a review by May Q. Wong in the Ormsby Review of the recently published Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from Gold Mountain by Dukesang Wong, translated by his granddaughter Wanda Joy Hoe, in a new publication edited by David McIlwraith.

Editor McIlwraith notes that "pervasive myths tend to dissuade the searcher: the Chinese were illiterate, the Chinese didn’t keep diaries, their diaries could not have survived the decades, it was all destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, and so on." But Dukesang Wong's diary exists, and it is an important find. He was there, and he took notes:

Autumn 1881 — The people working with me are good, strong men. There are many of us working here, but the laying of the railroad progresses very slowly. It seems we move two stones a day!  
Early autumn 1883 — My soul cries out…. Many of our people have been so very ill for such a long time, and there has been no medicine nor good food to give them. Even the strongest of us are weak without medicine to fight against these diseases, which spread very rapidly…. These are troubled times for us Chinese.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Tiktok's short history of coups d'etat

 Trust me on this one.


Thomas B. Symons, Canadian Studies founder, 1929-2021 RIP

Briefly a professor of history, Tom Symons, who died recently at 91, was principally known as an academic leader, a Red Tory progressive, and as the founder of Canadian Studies. He was the principal author of To Know Ourselves (1970), the report of the Commission on Canadian Studies. He also launched the first Indigenous Studies program at a Canadian university, according to the Globe and Mail obituary

As the longtime president of Trent University, where a college is named for him, he had a clear vision of what it should be:

“At a time when higher education is moving toward mass production, huge institutions, huge classes, and depersonalization of the whole process of higher education, this university is moving in the other direction. [We want] as small classes as we can possibly manage, toward as much opportunity as possible for faculty and students to know one another and work together, and toward the best possible opportunities for the individual student to develop in an individual way.”

A good idea while it lasted. 

I see from the obituary he was a grandson of William Perkins Bull, possibly forgotten author of a raft of local histories of Peel County and surroundings, including one of my favorite alltime history titles: From Paganism to Davenport United.

Friday, January 08, 2021

History of the Macdonald anniversary

Monday, January 11, marks the 206th birthday of John A. Macdonald. It's not the event it was a few years ago, that's for sure. The National Post is marking it with a series of essays, mostly on the themes, it seems, of, well, he was not as bad as people are saying, and presentism is dangerous. 

An impressive roster of historians has contributed already: Pierre Anctil, Frédéric Bastien, Patrice Dutil, Barbara Messamore, J.R. Miller, Donald B. Smith. I have not read far in them, but you may find them worth grappling with.


History of the Crown

Google "maple crown" and the first
page of hits is all whisky ads 

Over the holidays, we got through to the end of "The Crown" (more yet to come, I guess). God, was I sick of those people by the end of it. Not the program so much as the people it portrays. 

I know it's fiction and simplified and exaggerated for dramatic purposes. Can any human being, let alone the hyper-entitled Prince of Wales, actually hunch and cringe as much as the actor who plays Prince Charles does?). But what struck me most throughout was how foreign a story it all was. What horrible people they all are. And how unCanadian, thank heaven.

We have a lot of homegrown undesirables, sure. But Canada simply does not have a society even remotely similar to the one in which "The Crown" unfolds. British people remain used to their countryside being filled with ancient palaces, their public events dominated by titled nonentities, their newspapers busy with the doings of the offspring of dukes and countesses, their politics shaped by the House of Lords and the royal courtiers. They have a state church, for God's sake. They do live in a functioning monarchical society.

None of that exists, or even has resonance, in Canada. We do have a government "based on the well-understood principles of the British Constitution," but our two countries, being different societies, have always run differently. By now the gulf has become unbridgeable. For all practical purposes, the monarchy has long since ceased to exist in Canada.

Indeed, all the monarchy now does is inhibit the workings of our constitution.  Philippe Lagasse argued the other day that if a Canadian prime minister acted as President Trump has, the Crown is empowered to step in and dismiss him or her. But in our present circumstances, any minor-league Trumpish PM could easily discredit action by, on the one hand, an elderly English aristo living in a London palace or, on the other hand, by a governor-general forever condemned to second-tier status behind a largely imaginary monarch. 

And yet.... John Fraser and Nathan Tidridge urge us to see how important it is that in 2022 we properly observe a "platinum jubilee" (that's a thing?) "fit for a queen."  What we really need to prepare is a suitable mechanism for establishing the Canadian Governor General as the true and only head of state. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Prize Watch: Historians at the Order of Canada

John Borrows
Good to see John Borrows, fine and prolific scholar of Canadian/indigenous legal and historical matters, named an Officer of the Order of Canada in the recent appointments. John is a law professor at the University of Victoria and a member of the Chippawa of Nawash. He's also (no connection to his O.C!) an interviewee in my recent article on Treaties and Reconciliation in Canada's History.

Also of note among the appointees:  the medical historian Dr Jacalyn Duffin of Queen's University, author of several terrific works on Upper Canadian and Canadian medical history, and Guy Bertiaume, scholar of ancient Greek history in Montreal before serving as Archivist and Librarian of Canada 2014-19.

Among other appointees whose work relates more or less directly to historical subjects, notons John Geiger, journalist, writer of Arctic exploration history, and officer of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Daniel Heath Justice, the Cherokee/American/Canadian scholar of indigenous Canadian literature at UBC (also at the Officer level), and Carolyn King, dynamic elder and activist, for her work raising the status and profile of the Mississauga of New Credit in the history of southern Ontario. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Book Notes: Heidi Bohaker on Doodem and Council Fire

Christmas Day afternoon we got a call from the concierge desk where we live: they had a package for us. We thought we knew what it was, because a relative had promised to drop off a misplaced gift. 

Instead, it was the annual members' book from the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Heidi Bohaker's Doodem and Council Fire: Anishinaabe Governance through Alliance. We laughed: they think we need this on Christmas Day? (It had probably come a few days earlier, and the guys at the desk were just catching up with backlog. The cousin came through on Boxing Day) 

But even among the other pile of Christmas gift books (I did well, thanks, hope you did too.), I found myself reading Bohaker. And while I have not finished it, it resonates so closely with the issues raises in the book I had been reading before Christmas, the subject of yesterday's post, Kent McNeil's Flawed Precedent, that I feel obliged to blog it here and now.

It was one of McNeil's key points that Chancellor Boyd, the Ontario judge who presided in the trial court that first heard St. Catherine's Milling, concluded with absolute confidence and no evidence, that the Saulteaux, an Anishinaabe people of northwestern Ontario, lived in a primitive condition without any government or law that a court of law needed to consider or any Canadian government needed to respect. With one or two dissents, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had little trouble accepting Boyd's conclusion as good law.

With my copy of McNeil not even returned to the library, I was able to take up Bohaker. She's a historian at the University of Toronto, and her book is not about cases like St. Catherine's Milling; it is not concerned with the clash between peoples like the Anishinaabe and courts like Boyd's. It is about the Anishinaabe -- a historian's booklength effort to understand and elucidate, in all their sophistication and complication, just how Anishinaabe nations -- like the Saulteaux of St Catherine's Milling -- ran their affairs, settled their differences, allocated their territories, and determined leadership and authority across an enormous territory across the Great Lakes lowlands. It starts with an extraordinarily detailed and well documented account of a ... well, a parliament, that Anishinaabe groups from around Georgian Bay, Lake Ontario and adjacent regions, held somewhere near what is now Parry Sound, Ontario ... in 1642.   

St. Catherine's Milling, and Boyd, and the twists and turns of Canadian law on aboriginal title do not appear in Bohaker's text. Their concerns are irrelevant to the concerns of her history. But there could hardly be a more effective refutation of the assumptions built into St Catherine's Milling than the history recounted in Doodem and Council Fire. Well done, Heidi Bohaker.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Book Notes: McNeil on St Catherine's Milling: UPDATED with comment

(When the American economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman returns to questions of specialised economics, he will label his posts "Wonkish."  Fair warning: for this blog, this post may be "wonkish")

Before the holiday break, I was reading Kent McNeil's Flawed Precedent, a booklength study of the 19th century court case called "St. Catherine's Milling."* For almost a century St Catherine's Milling was the key precedent in Canadian law for the holding that, treaty or no treaty, First Nations had never been masters of the lands they occupied within Canada: it was all crown land under the sovereign. McNeil makes a vigorous case that the Supreme Court of Canada's overthrow of St Catherine's in the 1970s, beginning with Calder and Sioui, was not so much a making of new law as a finding that St. Catherine's was no precedent because it had been wrongly decided in the first place: aboriginal title to land was and always had been a legal reality.

McNeil's argument is that judges and courts, even in 1885, should have been open to legal arguments that indigenous peoples held title to land, but that the trial court in Ontario failed to hear evidence on that vital question. The trial judge's conclusion, that the Saulteaux people did not hold title to their land, was based simply on his ill-informed prejudices, which were then unquestioningly accepted all the way up to and including the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Somewhat to my surprise, McNeil shows that the Privy Council was quite capable of being respectful of local and indigenous land laws in many places throughout the British Empire. Privy counsellors were rather proud of their ability to suss out the outlines of local law on questions such as landholding. McNeil cites several cases from Ireland, India, and Africa where the JCPC upheld the validity of local law and local custom regarding the ownership of land, even when English law and precedent would have forced a different conclusion. In St.Catherine's Milling, he argues, they were misled by the confident assertion of the Ontario trial judge, who heard no evidence on this point, that the Saulteaux of Treaty 3 territory in northwestern Ontario were simply too primitive to have any law or governance whatsoever, regarding land or anything else. The JCPC therefore applied a strictly English legal understanding of title. 

McNeil finds, in other words, that St. Catherine's Milling was bad law in the 1880s as well as in the 1970s.

McNeil's argument that the JCPC's decision here was an aberration from an otherwise respectable jurisprudential tradition surprised me. I'm familiar with the long tradition in Canadian historical writing which holds that JCPC decisions, particularly on questions of federalism, were generally driven by ignorance and hypocrisy. Here, suddenly, was a Canadian scholar broadly admiring of the JCPC's legal acumen. 

And in fact, St. Catherine's was a federalism case as much as an aboriginal rights case. Indeed, while McNeil is interested almost exclusively in the aboriginal rights implications of St. Catherine's, I came to his book mostly to sort out the federalism aspects of it. The St. Catherine's case was not started by the Saulteaux or their advocates. At the time it was mostly a fight between Ontario and Canada. Ontario argued that the signing of Treaty 3 confirmed that the Saulteaux territory it covered was Ontario crown land. Canada wanted to own and manage that territory as Canadian crown land. In effect, it was two pillagers quarreling over the spoils, you might say.

In the 1880s, this aspect of the St Catherine's case -- did provinces or Canada control lands acquired by treaty from First Nations? -- was much more pressing to Canadians than the rights of the Saulteaux or any other First Nation. Ontario was on the verge of becoming prosperous and powerful on the basis of immense revenues from the forests, mines, and waters of Ontario crown lands. If Canada had been able to claim territory acquired by treaty as federal crown land, those revenues would have flowed to Ottawa instead. Prime Minister Macdonald's aspiration to redefine Confederation as a unitary state -- with the provinces having only subsidiary, quasi-municipal powers -- would have taken a giant step toward realization. By concluding that ownership and title (as opposed to sovereignty) over the Treaty 3 lands was Ontario's because it had never been the Saulteaux's, the JCPC made a decision that was as crucial to Canadian federalism as it was to aboriginal rights.

So McNeil's argument that the JCPC judges were generally pretty good lawyers on questions of indigenous title in the Empire (though misled in this case) intrigued me. But McNeil does not extend that view of their juriprudence to federalism questions. In a brief consideration of how St. Catherine's was a victory for Ontario over Canada on the federalism issue (p. 105ff), he follows the Canadian tradition of assuming the JCPC, far from being a skilled and competent tribunal, was biased in favour of the provinces because they always wished to weaken Canada and strengthen Imperial (and their own) authority.  

Now I certainly hold that the long continuation of the JCPC over Canadian law (not ended until 1950) was unfortunate. As a self-governing society, Canada should have determined its own laws in its own courts. But it has always seemed to me that, for all the flaws of the JCPC, there was sound basis for the federalism decisions that often sustained provincial authority against federal claims. Simply put, they were reading the British North America Act correctly.

The JCPC judges may not have understood much about Canada from their perches in London, but they did understand parliamentary democracy. In a parliamentary system, which the BNA Act plainly established for Canada and for its provinces, parliaments are sacred things.They are the place in which the people are represented, the places in which the Crown's government is held accountable. It follows that parliaments cannot function if they are dependent and subservient, within the sphere of their authority, to arbitrary control from outside powers.That has always seemed to me the bright line the JCPC followed in Canadian federalism cases. It defended provinces from the invasion of their parliamentary powers by Canada because that's how parliamentary government works, not because it hated Ottawa. (It also from time to time defended the Canadian government from interference by the British government, I would suggest for the same reasons.)

(I was reading another book on indigenous governance over the holidays.  Maybe I'll get to that one tomorrow.)

*Superwonkish: I thought the case name should be spelled "St. Catharine's" with two a's, and that the legalists were in error in failing to note the milling company had taken its name from the two-a town of St. Catharine's in southern Ontario. Indeed the Ontario case report was styled "St. Catharine's," but in fact the company spelled its name with an e and an a: "St. Catherine's," and most case reports followed that usage. McNeil sorts all this out in an elegant footnote on page 194.

Update, January 5, 2021:  Thomas Bergbusch comments:

(I post pieces like this one hoping that it is just possible that there really may some overlap between the circle of people who would take an interest in these matters and the circle of people who see this blog.  So I was immensely heartened this morning to find the following comment from Tom Bergbusch, a reader of this blog with whom I have occasionally corresponded. His comment is posted here in its entirety. - CM) 

I have just read your most recent post – “Book Notes: McNeil on St Catherine's Milling” – with great interest. (I read all of your posts with great enthusiasm and interest.) You relate McNeil’s argument as follows: “Somewhat to my surprise, McNeil shows that the Privy Council was quite capable of being respectful of local and indigenous land laws in many places throughout the British Empire. Privy counsellors were rather proud of their ability to suss out the outlines of local law on questions such as landholding.”

This struck me as very interesting because it relates directly to the chapter I am re-reading in Bonny Ibhawoh’s brilliant 2013 book, Imperial Justice: Africans in Empire’s Court.   As this is precisely your area of expertise, I reckon you probably have some acquaintance with Ibhawoh’s work (he is a prof at McMaster). Anyway, what struck me is that this distinction – that some peoples were too primitive to have their landholding laws considered valid – appears to have been a common distinction drawn (often for imperial convenience) by the JCPC.  Here is what Ibhawoh writes about (and quotes from) the JCPC in this matter:

 "In its judgment, the JCPC famously noted that determining the status of native land rights in Africa was ‘inherently difficult’ because of the peculiar and varied character of indigenous customary land tenure systems. Lord Sumner stated in 1919:

"'Some tribes are so low in the scale of social organization that their usages and conceptions are not to be reconciled with the institutions or the legal ideas of civilized society.  Such a gulf cannot be bridged. It would be idle to impute to such people some shadow of the rights known to our law and then to transmute it into the substance of transferable rights of property as we know them…  On the other hand, there are indigenous people whose legal conceptions, though differently developed, are hardly less precise than our own. When once they have been studied and understood, they are no less foreseeable than rights arising under English law.'

 "… This hierarchy of native difference required the judge to evaluate in each instance whether a native community met the required standards of civilization and legal reconcilability to sustain a claim in court. Judges effectively needed to differentiate between indigenous cultures where these rights were recognized and those where they were not.”

I hope this is not just a lot of detail you already know (apologies if that is the case).  Ibhawoh provides all sorts of interesting instances where the JCPC decided one way or another.  However, reading this attitude back into the context of 1885, it seems to me that the Ontario trial judge (vile racist though he was) was doing precisely what the JCPC expected of him: articulating hierarchies of native difference.   He was a racist, but his judgement was probably not an “anomaly.”

Finally, Ibhawoh quotes Lord Sumner as saying (in 1919): “the old state of things, whatever its exact nature has passed away and… better has been established in lieu of it.  Whoever now owns the unalienated lands, the natives do not.”  (That is on page 128 of my edition of Ibhawoh’s book.)

 All the best and keep on posting!

The only mistakes you make here, Tom, are, I think, to call this topic my "area of expertise" and to guess I would be familiar with Bonny Ibhawoh's work. Let me make clear that until I received your email, I had never heard of Professor Ibhawoh or his work. I wrote this piece not out of expertise but to try to sort out a lot of things I had not previously thought about at all seriously. 

I think you are correct, and that Kent McNeil might agree, that the JCPC was working within a racial/cultural hierarchy in which some of the subject peoples of the British Empire were judged sophisticated enough to have their concepts of land ownership respected, while others were not. The law they accepted as existing in some Indian and African societies, they did not ascribe to, say, the indigenous peoples of Australia or, as here, the Anishinaabe of northwestern Ontario.  I want to take that error up more directly in tomorrow/today's post on Heidi Bohaker's new bookDoodem and Council Fire.

Thanks for enriching this discussion.   


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Holiday wishes

Quiet little Christmas here like everywhere so, while we are taking a short break here, blogging will probably resume soonish. Meanwhile, greetings to all who gather here, and best wishes for 2021. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Leo Panich 1945-2020 RIP

 Leo Panitch was a political scientist by academic label but, maybe because of his Marxist orientation, a lot of his work was deeply historical, including his magnum opus, The Making of Global Capitalism of 2012.  He was ill with cancer when he contracted Covid-19 in hospital on December 19.  

Panitch was part of the early boomer generation of scholars. He came of age when universities and academic jobs were expanding rapidly. Born in Winnipeg, just as the Second World War ended, to a Jewish socialist immigrant family, Panitch was all through his apprenticeship (at the London School of Economics) by 1972 and secured a professorship at the age of 27, first at Carleton in Ottawa and from 1984 at York in Toronto. His first book was published in 1976 and he remained an active scholar, teacher, and journal editor all his life.  He was widely influential and admired in Canadian progressive circles throughout his career. Wikipedia biography here.

There are probably other historians who have been part of the Covid death toll, but I think Panitch is the first I have heard of.   

Monday, December 21, 2020

William Osler and Rick Hill

I used to have a copy of Michael Bliss's biography of William Osler, but it was one of the casualties of a big downsizing of my library I did a couple of years ago, so I haven't able to consult it after the Toronto Star began publicizing new exposures about Osler's racist statements and his donations of aboriginal skulls, (some labelled " dug up near Caledonia") to medical/anthropological collections, where they remain. (The Star stories make no reference to Bliss's book, though the article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal does, briefly.)  I recall Bliss found Osler a highly admirable personality, but I don't know if these aspects appeared in his account.

The Star's related story, about the half century of work by Rick Hill, the Six Nations historian, curator, and activist, in recovering and repatriating indigenous skeletal collections from around the world for respectful burial, reminds me of the tributes due to this remarkable historical scholar and activist, who ought to be honoured for his remarkable career beyond just when a headline story involves him. 


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