UTP and UTL make Indigenous titles available as free reading

In recognition of National Indigenous History Month, University of Toronto Press (UTP) and University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) added two recent, widely lauded Indigenous Studies titles – Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law by Cheryl Suzack and Words Have a Past: The English Language, Colonialism, and the Newspapers of Indian Boarding Schools by Jane Griffith to their Open Access (OA) program, which makes research monographs freely available to readers around the world.     

Recent events remind us of the pressing need to make educational resources easily accessible to classrooms everywhere, from middle schools to graduate schools. In a survey commissioned by the Canadian Race Relation Foundation and the Assembly of First Nations, two-thirds of Canadians said that they knew very little - or nothing - about this country's residential school system until the remains of 215 students were discovered in Kamloops, British Columbia. Three-quarters of respondents also said they want to learn more about the Indigenous experience.  

In Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law, Cheryl Suzack explores how Indigenous writers in the post-civil rights period use storytelling to engage with social justice activism. Situated at the intersection of critical race, social justice, and Indigenous feminist theory, Suzacks reading of these texts highlights the way Indigenous women respond to the narrow vision of law by recuperating other relationships – to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation.   

Words Have a Past by Jane Griffith examines a little-known feature of Indigenous residential schools in Canada and the US. Over almost 100 years, the students who lived at these schools produced newspapers read by settlers, government officials and Indigenous parents. These newspapers were used as a settler colonial tool, yet within these tightly controlled narratives there also existed sites of resistance. Griffith traces colonial narratives of language, time, and place from the nineteenth-century to today, post-Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Founded two years ago, the UTP-UTL free reading partnership is modeled after collaborative efforts like that of TOME: Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem, a joint initiative by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses).Like its predecessors, the UTP-UTL OA venture seeks to increase the amount of high-quality, peer-reviewed humanities and social science scholarship online, underscoring the global value of this work.   

For more information and updates on UTP publications visit utorontopress.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.   

If you are interested in making your work open, please visit utorontopress.com/ca/for-book-authors.