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Sarah A. Nickel

Sarah A. Nickel is Tk’emlupsemc (Kamloops Secwépemc), French Canadian, and Ukrainian. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan and has contributed to American Indian Quarterly and BC Studies.

Assembling Unity: Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Established narratives portray Indigenous unity as emerging solely in response to the political agenda of the settler state. But unity has long shaped the modern Indigenous political movement. With Indigenous perspectives in the foreground, Assembling Unity explores the relationship between global political ideologies and pan-Indigenous politics in British Columbia through a detailed history of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. Sarah Nickel demonstrates that the articulation of unity was heavily negotiated between UBCIC members, grassroots constituents, and Indigenous women’s organizations. This incisive work unsettles dominant political narratives that cast Indigenous men as reactive and Indigenous women as apolitical.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of history, BC studies, and Indigenous studies, particularly those with an interest in gender and politics. It will also find an audience among Indigenous communities, activists, and political leaders.

"Assembling Unity is a much needed resource that should be read by those wanting to learn about the historical issues BC Indigenous communities have faced – the same issues we continue to raise with current Canadian governments with little improvement." - Francyne Joe, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada and member of the Shackan First Nation

Educator Information
Related Topics: BC Studies, Indigenous Studies, Canadian History, Gender & Sexuality Studies, History, Regional Studies, Women's Studies.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Pan-Indigenous Unity
1 Unity: “United we stand, divided we perish”
2 Authority: “Ordinary Indians” and “the private club”
3 Money: “A blessing and a golden noose”

Part 2: A Philosophical Revolution and Competing Nationalisms
4 Refusal: “Empty words and empty promises”
5 Protest: Direct Action through “Militant May”
6 Sovereignty: “If you really believe that you have the right, take it!”


Additional Information
236 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 1 b&w photo, 2 maps, 3 tables 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text