Canadian history books have increasingly adopted “Indigenous perspectives” that are based on colonial documents, such as accounts from fur traders and priests. As a result, many Anishinaabe elders don’t feel that their stories are being fully told: their oral traditions and languages are not the main source of these accounts. Anishinaabe conceptualizations of time, toponymy (the study of place names), literacy, orality, mnemonics, discourse and history and historical authenticity have not been fully analyzed or incorporated.
As Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America, Dr. Alan Corbiere hopes to “re-right” and “re-write” Indigenous history. He and his research team are using oral traditions and Anishinaabemowin and material culture (museum collections) to re-interpret colonial records. Their aim is to weave these sources together to revitalize Indigenous language, culture and knowledge to ensure it plays a central role in our understanding of the past.