University of Saskatchewan professor wins national award

University of Saskatchewan history professor awarded one of Canada’s top awards.
University of Saskatchewan history professor awarded one of Canada’s top awards.

SASKATOON – A University of Saskatchewan (U of S) history professor is concluding his career with one of Canada’s most prestigious awards.

On Wednesday, Professor James Miller was one of five recipients awarded a Killam Prize, which is accompanied by $100,000.

Awards in various fields are issued by the Canada Council for the Arts annually in acknowledgement of outstanding researchers who have made contributions with national or international impact.

Miller was chosen for the humanities award this year on the basis of his research career and lifetime of contributions as a leading expert in Native-newcomer relations and public service.

He said his research was always driven by a desire to understand the poor relations that exist between indigenous and non-Native people today.

“All my research for the last 30 years has tried to explain how and why relations went sour sometime after Europeans came to the northern part of North America,” said Miller.

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His insights on the ways in which Aboriginal peoples have been affected by governments and Christian churches provide a revealing window on this challenging dimension of Canadian history.

Miller is a respected consultant to both government and First Nations organizations on residential school issues. His current research project explores the issue of reconciliation with and for survivors.

In 1989, he wrote Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens, the first comprehensive history of Native-newcomer relations in Canada.

The U of S history professor is retiring this spring.

Miller is Saskatchewan’s second recipient of these awards. Feroze Ghadially, of the U of S, received a Killam Prize in 1981.

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