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UBC Press announces “Mixed Blessings: Indigenous Encounters with Christianity in Canada” edited by CUE’s Tolly Bradford and Chelsea Horton

Posted on: Jul 11, 2016

Congratulations to Concordia's Dr. Tolly Bradford and Chelsea Horton on the publication of their latest book. Mixed Blessings transforms our understanding of the relationship between Indigenous people and Christianity in what is now Canada.

While acknowledging the harm of colonialism, including the trauma inflicted by church-run residential schools, this book challenges the portrayal of Indigenous people as passive victims of malevolent missionaries who experienced a uniformly dark history. Instead, the authors – scholars in history, Indigenous studies, religious studies, and theology – illuminate the diverse and multifaceted ways that Indigenous communities and individuals across Canada have interacted, and continue to interact, meaningfully with Christianity.

Ranging widely across time and place, these insightful case studies explore why some Indigenous people – including prominent leaders such as Louis Riel and Edward Ahenakew – historically aligned themselves with Christianity while others did not. It also plumbs the processes and politics involved in combining spiritual traditions and reflects on the role of Christianity in Indigenous communities today.


"This is an outstanding collection. My perspective on the place of Christianity in the lives of Indigenous peoples was thoroughly reshaped by this book. The authors not only show how Indigenous people fashion and refashion power within themselves and among their communities but also cast new light on the larger transnational narrative of Indigenous-Christian encounters."

– Mark A. Nicholas, co-author of First Americans: A History of Native Peoples