Dr. Vianne Timmons, Indspire Award winner, shares why Canadians should read Clearing the Plains

Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice chancellor at the University of Regina, received the 2019 Indspire Education Award for her achievement in supporting Indigenous students.
Dr. Vianne Timmons recommends reading Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk. (Indspire Awards, University of Regina Press)

Dr. Vianne Timmons received the 2019 Indspire Education Award for her achievement in supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis students in her role as president and vice chancellor at the University of Regina.

The Indspire Awards annually honour Indigenous success and achievement. A simulcast of the 2019 Indspire Awards will broadcast on CBC Radio, CBC Television and CBC Gem on June 23, 2019 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT).

In celebration of Indigenous Book Club Month and National Indigenous History Month, Timmons shared a book she thinks Canadians should pick up: Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk.

"Although it is not by an Indigenous author, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life by Dr. James Daschuk of the University of Regina is especially meaningful to me.  This book exposes a disturbing part of our history that has been largely ignored, if not actively hidden — Canada's early attempts  to marginalize and even exterminate Indigenous peoples. 

"The complex long term effects of these horrific policies can be seen even today, and Dr. Daschuk's book provides historical context that can help in the important and necessary process of reconciliation that we are undertaking in Canada.

"The Globe and Mail, which named Clearing the Plains a 'Book of the Year' after its publication in 2013, said that the book 'should make us question what it means to be Canadian.' It has done exactly that for me, and I hope it continues to do so for thousands of others in our country."