The Pavilion

Expo 1967 was the centrepiece of Canada’s 100th birthday. In a country of only 20 million, 50 million people attended Expo '67. Amid the crowds and the pageantry, one building stood out. The Indians of Canada Pavilion. This was more than a tall glass tipi. It revealed (at least partly) Canada's sordid colonial history, and it challenged the myth of Canada being a peace-loving and tolerant society. We tell the surprising story of the historical experts who put this thing together, and the public's reaction to their work.

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The Pavilion

Correction 05/27/2020: In an earlier version of this podcast, we mistakingly mentioned that Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was led by Senator Gordon Sinclair. In fact, it was Senator Murray Sinclair.


Barbara Wilson.  Kii'iljuus is an elected representative of the Council of the Haida Nation. She’s an educator based in Haida Gwaii, and graduated with her masters degree from Simon Fraser University in 2019.

Robert “Bob” Marjoribanks. Bob worked as an editor and journalist before moving into speech writing.  In his obituary, he called his work on the Indians of Canada Pavilion “the most interesting and rewarding work I ever performed”. Bob passed away on Dec. 8, 2009 in Toronto at the age of 87.

Andrew Delisle.  Tanahokate served on the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake as Grand Chief from 1960 to 1982.  He was a major figure in Indigneous politics in Canada, and was instrumental in creating the Assembly of First Nations. Andrew passed away on July 6, 2019 in Kahnawake at the age of 85.


Primary Sources:

Cochrane, Robertson. “Controversy Rocking the Expo Boat.” Toronto Daily Star, April 18, 1967.

“Expo 67 - Main Index to Pavilions, Themes, Etc.” Expo 67 - Main Index to Pavilions, Themes, etc. Accessed 2019.

“Expodition: Expo '67's Indians of Canada.” Expodition. Montreal, Quebec: CBC Radio, August 4, 1967.

“Grace, Grace and Beauty to Greet Expo Visitors”.  The Indian News. April 1967. Volume 10, No. 1: 6-7

Indian Affairs Branch. A survey of the contemporary Indians of Canada: A report on economic, political, educational needs and policies in Two Volumes. (The Hawthorne Report. Prepared by H. B. Hawthorn. lAND Publication No. QS-0603-020-EE-A-18. 1966 

“Indian Pavilion Tries Not to Be Restful.” Globe and Mail. May 1, 1967, second edition, sec. A

Marjoribanks, Robert. In My Mind’s Eye: Selected Recollections of a Writer’s Life. Courtesy of Marjoribanks family

Marjoribanks, Robert. Indians of Canada: Storyline. Report, April 19, 1966. Courtesy of John Moses and the Russ Moses archive 

Moses, John. Personal papers of Russ Moses, from the Russ Moses archive.

NA, RG 69, Vol. 414. National Indian Council. A.J. Cormier, F.A. Clark, J.H. Lagassé “Indian Participation in Centennial Programs” Meeting notes. January 15, 1965

NA, RG 69, Vol. 414. National Indian Council. A.J. Cormier, "Covering Notes For the Guidance of Board Members: Participation in Canada's Centennial by People of Indian Ancestry -- Some Policy Considerations," September 24, 1964.

“Pavilion Tells Indian Story”. The Indian News. April 1967. Volume 10, No. 1: 1-5

“Queen Tours Indians of Canada Pavilion”. The Indian News. August 1967. Volume 10, No: 2

Secondary Sources:

Barker, Adam J, Toby Rollo, and Emma B Lowman. “Settler Colonialism and the Consolidation of Canada in the Twentieth Century.” In The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism, 153–68. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016.

Copeman, Romney. “Unsettling Expo 67 : Developmentalism & Colonial Humanism at Montreal’s World Exhibition.” MA Thesis. Universite de Montreal 2017.

Ellis, Everton G. “A Valorization of White Settler Nationalism? The Canadian Sesquicentennial Anniversary.” Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne De Sociologie 55, no. 1 (2018): 149–52. 

Griffith, Jane. “One Little, Two Little, Three Canadians: The Indians of Canada Pavilion and Public Pedagogy, Expo 1967.” Journal of Canadian Studies 49, no. 2 (2015): 171–204. 

Kicksee, Richard, “Scaled down to size”: Contested Liberal Commonsense and the Negotiation of “Indian Participation in the Canadian Centennial Celebrations and Expo ‘67, 1963-1967”. MA Thesis. Queen’s University. 1995.

Kirkman, Emily. “Fashioning Identity: The Hostesses of Expo 67.” MA Thesis. Concordia University 2011.

Manuel, George, and Michael Posluns. The Fourth World: an Indian Reality. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2019.

Massicotte, Isabelle. “The Architecture of Expo ‘67: National Identities and the Signs of Time”. School of Architecture, Carleton University , 2003.

McFarlane, Peter. Brotherhood to Nationhood: George Manuel and the Making of the Modern Indian Movement. Toronto: Between the Lines, 1993.

Michel Régnier. Indian Memento. 1967. 

Myers, Lisa. “Ahzhekewada [Let Us Look Back] – Revisioning the Indians of Canada Pavilion OCAD University, Toronto, 14–15 October 2011.” Public 46, no. 1 (January 2012): 170–72. 

Raibmon, Paige. Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter From The Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Raibmon, Paige. “Theatres of Contact: The Kwakwakawakw Meet Colonialismin British Columbia and at the Chicago Worlds Fair.” Canadian Historical Review 81, no. 2 (2000): 157–90

Reid, Jennifer. Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada: Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2012.

Rogers, Randal Arthur. “Man And His World: An Indan, A Secretary And A Queer Child: Expo 67 And The Nation In Canada”. MA Thesis. Concordia University. 1999.

Rutherdale, Myra, and Jim Miller. “‘It’s Our Country’: First Nations’ Participation in the Indian Pavilion at Expo 67.” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association Colonialism and Postcolonialism 17, no. 2 (October 2007): 148–73. 

Scheffel, David Z. “Phillips, Ruth B.: Museum Pieces. Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums.” Anthropos 107, no. 2 (2012): 657–58. 

Weaver, Sally M. Making Canadian Indian Policy: The Hidden Agenda 1968-1970. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.


This piece was produced by Polly Leger. Edited by Gordon Katic and Sam Fenn.

Our theme song and original music is by our composer, Mike Barber. With other music by Bear Fox and the Kontiwennenhawi - Akwesasne Women Singers. Dakota Koop is our graphic designer. Our production manager is David Tobiasz, and executive producers are Gordon Katic and Sam Fenn.

Thank you to: the hostesses who shared their time with us, Barbara Wilson, Janice Antoine, Velma Robinson and Vina Starr; Romney Copeman and the Deslile Family; the Marjoribanks family for sharing their father’s memoir; the Russ Moses Archive, and Russ’s son, John Moses; Doreen Manuel and the estate of George Manuel; the York University Archives; Jane Griffith and Greg Spence; and to Clinton L.G. Morin and L. Manuel Baechlin for production help in Ottawa.

This episode was funded in part by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. It’s part of a larger project on the politics of historical commemoration. Professor Eagle Glassheim at the University of British Columbia is the academic lead on that project.

Cited is produced out of the Centre of Ethics at the University of Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. Cited is also produced out of the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia -- that’s on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.