Conference “Creation Stories, Ethnic Cleansing and Imaginary Indians: A Guide to Nation Building in Canada and the USA”, Dr. Carmen Robertson and Dr. Mark Cronlund Anderson (University of Regina, Canada) | 11 February 2015

11 February 2015 | 15.00 | ISCAP


The chatter of nation-building has always preoccupied Canadians and Americans. How could it not? Nations remain forever under construction and reconstruction. For example, the recent discovery of one of the ships from the 1845 Franklin expedition in Canada’s Arctic has been interpreted by the media and described by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as “a key moment in our country’s history” (Globe & Mail 13 September 2014). That a British expedition seeking to chart the Northwest Passage decades prior to Confederation can be claimed as a key moment of Canada’s collective story requires not inconsiderable and particular imagination that speaks directly to the ongoing practice of “our” Canadian nation-building. The United States, too, makes constant reference to and practice of ongoing nation-building in what Robert Kagan in the New York Times (14 October 2011) has called “our national pastime.” For a moment, just consider a handful of semiotically loaded phrases: the American Revolution, the War of 1812, Remember the Alamo, God Save the Queen, circle the wagons, the Civil War, Confederation, the Indian Wars, the North-West Rebellion…Wounded Knee, Oka, and so on. Nation-building in short thrives, as one might expect. This lecture will introduce themes and ways we plan to approach research questions we hope to address as we begin research on a book-length project that has emerged from our previous book project, Seeing Red, A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers.


Dr. Carmen Robertson is an Associate Professor of Art History at University of Regina. Co-author of the award-winning Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers, she has just completed a study of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morriseau that will be published next year.

Dr. Mark Cronlund Anderson has published five books, including the award-winning Cowboy Imperialism and Hollywood Film. His study Holy War: Cowboys, Indians and 9/11s is set for release next year. He is a professor of History at the University of Regina.