Why did the duck go to the Canadian supreme court?

How was it really?

13-04-2021 • 34 min

Sometimes progressive politics and good intentions create unexpected consequences for the marginal groups they are supposed to help. In this HWIR Sydney historian, Miranda Johnson, talks with Nick and Sophie about indigenous identity in Canada, land rights, and stories that resonate powerfully with the experience of aboriginal people in Australia. How did the concept of the "Treaty Indian" emerge? What is "Treaty Talk"? How does language erase some people's experience while giving licence and agency to others? And what happened when indigenous Dene man, Michael Sikyea, shot the Million Dollar Duck?

About Miranda Johnson - Dr Miranda Johnson is a leading historian of the modern Pacific world who focuses on issues of race, indigeneity citizenship and identity. She author of The Land is Our History: Indigeneity, Law and the Settler State (Oxford University Press, 2016), which won the 2018 Hancock Prize from the Australian Historical Association. Since this HWIR was recorded, Dr Miranda Johnson, a historian in the History Department at the University of Sydney, has returned to her original home in New Zealand. She is now at the University of Christchurch. The conversation in this episode draws on a major article by Miranda Johnson that was published in the American Historical Review. Find it here: Reading for this episode Miranda Johnson, ‘The Case of the Million-Dollar Duck: A Hunter, His Treaty, and the Bending of the Settler Contract’, The American Historical Review 124, no. 1 (1 February 2019): 56–86, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhy576.