With his new book, Canadian sociologist Andrew Woolford joins a small but growing group of scholars bringing genocide studies into conversation with Native American studies. This interdisciplinary dialogue began with the unpublished work of Raphäel Lemkin, the Polish jurist who coined the term genocide in 1944, and has continued, most recently, with the twenty-first-century works of US historian Benjamin Madley. This Benevolent Experiment investigates four Indigenous boarding schools operated by the United States and Canada to argue that such schools were sites of genocide. Woolford is among the first scholars to make this argument in a sustained and comparative fashion, thus setting an important precedent for future scholarship.

Many scholars addressing the question of genocide in Native American history use the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UN Genocide Convention) to define genocide because...

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