Historian Awarded $1.4 Million for Residential School Research

Released: 6/12/2008 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Saskatchewan
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Newswise — University of Saskatchewan history professor James Miller has been awarded $1.4 million from the federal Canada Research Chair (CRC) program to advance his study of how churches and the federal government have attempted to make amends with residential school victims.

As a leading expert on residential school abuse, Miller's CRC renewal comes as no surprise. His research is receiving national media attention as he has become a valuable source for thoughtful commentary on today's federal apology to residential school victims at the House of Commons.

Miller hopes that forums such as the federal apology to residential school survivors and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will provide victims with emotional relief and help them move forward in healing the damage done.

Already a CRC in Native-newcomer relations, Miller and his graduate student team have seven more years of funding to analyze public apologies to residential school victims, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and recent court settlements. By delving into these documents and historical records, Miller hopes the books he writes will contribute to policymaking and public understanding surrounding residential schools' legacy.

"I started research in the field of Native-newcomer relations because I was perplexed by what I saw around me," says Miller. "Like most Canadians who think about the matter today, I wondered why things were so messed up, why were relations so bad between us, and why do Aboriginal communities very often have such serious socio-economic and health problems? How did it get like this?"

Miller's reputation for balanced Native-newcomer research stretches back 25 years. He has authored seven books, including Shingwauk's Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools, co-winner of the 1996 Saskatchewan Book Award and named an "Outstanding Book" by the Gustavus Myer Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.

This CRC renewal was included in a $113-million national funding announcement of 127 new appointments and renewals made yesterday by federal Minister of the Environment John Baird on behalf of Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program.

The U of S has 24 Chairs under the CRC program, designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world. For more profiles of U of S Canada Research chair holders, visit http://www.usask.ca/crc/ or the national CRC website at http://www.chairs.gc.ca.

To view a video of Jim Miller describing his CRC research on residential schools, visit http://www.usask.ca/research/100yrsinnovation/videos.php.

Located in the heart of Saskatoon, the U of S is one of the leading medical doctoral universities in Canada. With 58 degrees, diplomas and certificates in over 100 areas of study, the University is uniquely positioned in the areas of human, animal and plant studies. World-class research facilities, renowned faculty and award-winning students make the U of S a leader in post-secondary education.


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