National Revival or National Burden: A Critical Examination of Discourses on Indigenous Birth, Population Growth and Demography


  • Richard Togman Lakehead University



The dominant Canadian narrative of Indigenous fertility has been told largely from the perspective of non-Indigenous Canadians. Politicians, healthcare professionals, demographers, and economists consistently characterize Indigenous fertility as too high and required to conform to Eurocentric norms. This has resulted in a wide variety of colonial interventions into the reproductive lives of Indigenous peoples. This article will provide a brief overview of the ways in which mainstream Canadian society has characterized Indigenous fertility and explore the subjugated discourse practiced by Indigenous nations in Canada regarding their own fertility, highlighted by original research conducted with Anishinaabe people in Thunder Bay.