Conversations with a Dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott

Conversations with a Dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott

by Mark Abley


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As a poet and citizen deeply concerned by the Oka Crisis, the Idle No More protests, and Canada’s ongoing failure to resolve First Nations issues, Montreal author Mark Abley has long been haunted by the figure of Duncan Campbell Scott, known both as the architect of Canada’s most destructive Aboriginal policies and as one of the nation’s major poets. Who was this enigmatic figure who could compose a sonnet to an “Onondaga Madonna” one moment and promote a “final solution” to the “Indian problem” the next? In this passionate, intelligent and highly readable inquiry into the state of Canada’s troubled Aboriginal relations, Abley alternates between analysis of current events and an imagined debate with the spirit of Duncan Campbell Scott, whose defense of the Indian Residential School and belief in assimilation illuminate the historical roots underlying today’s First Nations’ struggles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553656098
Publisher: D & M Publishers
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mark Abley studied literature at the University of Saskatchewan and, after winning a Rhodes Scholarship, at St. John’s College, Oxford. Among his books are Beyond Forget: Rediscovering the Prairies, Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, and The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English. The author of a language column for the Montreal Gazette, he lives in Montreal.

Table of Contents

1 Even Beyond the End 11

2 Heart's Blood on the Feathers 27

3 Treatment That Might Be Considered Pitiless 52

4 Obsolete as the Buffalo and the Tomahawk 78

5 The Crushed Essence 102

6 The Sacredness of Treaty Promises 126

7 A Glimpse of Real Savages 151

8 I Have Done So Little 174

9 The Sin of Blindness 198

A Note to the Reader 223

Sources 225

Acknowledgments 240

Index 243

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