Adams, Howard, Images and Papers

Howard Adams Image Collection

Howard Adams was one of the most important Aboriginal thinkers and activists to emerge from the radical cauldron of the 1960s.  Imbued with anger at the centuries-old colonization of Canada’s Aboriginal population and infused with the self-determining ideology of the American Indian Movement, he developed Indigenous colonization theory for a Canadian context.  To date, his books are perhaps the most searing indictment of Canada’s failed colonial policy towards its First Peoples. In his capacity as a Native Studies professor and author, he instructed hundreds of Aboriginal people to be proud of their heritage and history and provided them with the intellectual framework to decolonize themselves. Howard Adams was also a self-identified “Halfbreed” patriot and a Métis icon: he was the first Métis to obtain a PhD; and he was, for a time, the President of the Métis Society of Saskatchewan and the founder of the longest-running Métis-specific publication, New Breed Magazine.  Later in life he was a much beloved Native Studies professor in GDI’s Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program.

In November 2005, the Gabriel Dumont Institute published Howard Adams’ posthumous autobiography entitled HOWARD ADAMS: OTAPAWY! The Life of a Métis Leader in His Own Words and in Those of His Contemporaries. Passionate and engaging, Howard Adams: OTAPAWY! has been  an immense contribution to our knowledge of modern Métis political consciousness and activism.  After the book was published, Marge Adams, Howard’s widow, graciously donated dozens of images of her late husband, friends and family to the Institute’s archives.   The photographs that are presented in this section are a sampling of this donation.