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Indigenous Politics, Law, and Justice

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#IdleNoMore: And the Remaking of Canada
Authors:
Ken Coates
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Idle No More bewildered many Canadians. Launched by four women in Saskatchewan in reaction to a federal omnibus budget bill, the protest became the most powerful demonstration of Aboriginal identity in Canadian history. Thousands of aboriginal people and their supporters took to the streets, shopping malls, and other venues, drumming, dancing, and singing in a collective voice.

It was a protest against generations of injustice, a rallying cry for cultural survival, and a reassertion of Aboriginal identity.

Idle No More lasted for almost a year, and then the rallies dissipated. Many observers described it as a spent force. It was anything but. Idle No More was the most profound declaration of Indigenous identity and confidence in Canadian history, sparked by Aboriginal women and their supporters, sustained by young Indigenous peoples, filled with pride and determination. When the drums slowed, a new and different Canada was left in its wake. Partially stunned by the peaceful celebrations, but perplexed by a movement that seemed to have no centre and no leaders, most Canadians missed the point.

Through Idle No More, Aboriginal people have declared that they are a vital and necessary part of Canada's future. The spirit of the drumming, singing and dancing lives on in empowered and confident young Aboriginal people who will shape the future of this country for decades to come.

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21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.

Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance—and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.

Reviews
"Increasing Canadians' knowledge about the terrible foundation this country has been built on is a critical part of reconciliation. Bob Joseph has highlighted some of the unbelievable provisions of the Indian Act and how they have impacted First Nations in Canada and gives a brief overview of what we may replace it with going forward. His book provides helpful context to the dialogue that needs to take place in Canada." — Kim Baird, O.C., O. B. C.; Owner, Kim Baird Strategic Consulting; Member of the Tsawwassen First Nation; Negotiator of the Tsawwassen First Nation Treaty

"From declaring cultural ceremonies illegal, to prohibiting pool hall owners from granting Indigenous people entrance, from forbidding the speaking of Indigenous languages, to the devastating policy that created residential schools, Bob Joseph reveals the hold this paternalistic act, with its roots in the 1800s, still has on the lives of Indigenous people in Canada in the 21st century. This straightforward book is an invaluable resource. There is much for non-Indigenous people to learn and to do. But equally important, there is much to unlearn and to undo. The time is right for this book. Thank you, Bob Joseph. Gilakasla." — Shelagh Rogers, O.C.; Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Honourary Witness

"Bob’s ability to navigate the complex history of the Indian Act is a wonder to behold. He provides depth and knowledge for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars alike. Whether you are an Indigenous scholar or a neophyte, his articulate, insightful and comprehensive analysis on the history of the Indian Act provides a sound understanding on the present narrative of Indigenous peoples in Canada. By way of the Indian Act, this book provides an excellent analysis of the ongoing relationship and predicament between provincial and federal governments and Indigenous peoples in the 21st century." — JP Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

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160 pages | 5.22" x 8.05"

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Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada: Essays on Law, Equality, and Respect for Difference
Editors:
Michael Asch
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In the last two decades there has been positive change in how the Canadian legal system defines Aboriginal and treaty rights. Yet even after the recognition of those rights in the Constitution Act of 1982, the legacy of British values and institutions as well as colonial doctrine still shape how the legal system identifies and interprets Aboriginal and treaty rights. What results is a systematic bias in the legal system that places Indigenous peoples at a distinct disadvantage.

The eight essays in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada focus on redressing this bias. All of them apply contemporary knowledge of historical events as well as current legal and cultural theory in an attempt to level the playing field. The book highlights rich historical information that previous scholars may have overlooked. Of particular note are data relevant to better understanding the political and legal relations established by treaty and the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Other essays include discussion of such legal matters as the definition of Aboriginal rights and the privileging of written over oral testimony in litigation. The collection also includes an essay that, by means of ethnographic and historical data, raises concerns respecting how the law might be distorted even further if we are not careful in assuring that what is defined as Indigenous today is detached from its own traditions and divorced from contemporary issues.

In sum, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada shows that changes in the way in which these rights are conceptualized and interpreted are urgently needed. This book then offers concrete proposals regarding substantive, processual, and conceptual matters that together provide the means to put change into practice.

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Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defense of Indigenous Struggles
Authors:
Peter Kulchyski
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in this provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights provides much needed conceptual and historical analysis of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada, and offers concrete suggestions to transform the current policy paradigm into one that supports and invigorates indigenous cultures in a contemporary context.

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Accounting for Genocide
Authors:
Dean Neu
Richard Therrien
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Accounting for Genocide is an original and controversial book that retells the history of the subjugation and ongoing economic marginalization of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Its authors demonstrate the ways in which successive Canadian governments have combined accounting techniques and economic rationalizations with bureaucratic mechanisms—soft technologies—to deprive Native peoples of their land and natural resources and to control the minutiae of their daily economic and social lives. Particularly shocking is the evidence that federal and provincial governments are today still prepared to use legislative and fiscal devices in order to facilitate the continuing exploitation and damage of Indigenous people’s lands.

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$29.95

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Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

This code cracking book is written for people who wish to become culturally literate in the Anishinaabe worldview. This book is suitable for both Anishinaabeg and settler allies seeking greater understanding of a worldview, tradition, and knowledge philosophy once criminalized by the Canadian Government and consequently forced underground. It is also suitable for academics, both undergraduates and graduates, interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Indigenous governance traditions.

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$19.95

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Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action In and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Arts of Engagement focuses on the role that music, film, visual art, and Indigenous cultural practices play in and beyond Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools. Contributors here examine the impact of aesthetic and sensory experience in residential school history, at TRC national and community events, and in artwork and exhibitions not affiliated with the TRC. Using the framework of “aesthetic action,” the essays expand the frame of aesthetics to include visual, aural, and kinetic sensory experience, and question the ways in which key components of reconciliation such as apology and witnessing have social and political effects for residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, and settler publics.

This volume makes an important contribution to the discourse on reconciliation in Canada by examining how aesthetic and sensory interventions offer alternative forms of political action and healing. These forms of aesthetic action encompass both sensory appeals to empathize and invitations to join together in alliance and new relationships as well as refusals to follow the normative scripts of reconciliation. Such refusals are important in their assertion of new terms for conciliation, terms that resist the imperatives of reconciliation as a form of resolution.

This collection charts new ground by detailing the aesthetic grammars of reconciliation and conciliation. The authors document the efficacies of the TRC for the various Indigenous and settler publics it has addressed, and consider the future aesthetic actions that must be taken in order to move beyond what many have identified as the TRC’s political limitations.

Educator Information
This book would be useful for Art, Art & Politics, Social Science, and Indigenous Studies courses.

Additional Information
382 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 24 colour illustrations, 2 printed music items

Edited by Dylan Robinson and Keavy Martin

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$39.99

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Athlii Gwaii: Upholding Haida Law on Lyell Island
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: University/College;

“This is Haida land, you all know that, and we’re here to uphold the decision of the Haida Nation. This is Haida land and there will be no further logging in this area.” - Kilsli Kaji Sting, Miles Richardson Jr., on the line at Athlii Gwaii, 1985

In 1985, the Haida Nation refused to accept the relentless industrial logging practices that were ravaging Gwaii Haanas, the southern part of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Designating the area a Haida Heritage Site, they drew a line that stands to this day. Guided by Haida law and trusting in their culture, the Nation upheld their responsibility to Haida Gwaii with unwavering clarity. Canada and the province of British Columbia pushed back and seventy-two people were arrested, including many Elders. But the Haida held firm in their stand, and with the support of friends from around the world, logging was stopped. Negotiations between the Haida Nation and Canada ensued, resulting in the ground-breaking Gwaii Haanas Agreement in which both Nations agree to disagree on Title to the region, and instead focus on its protection for the benefit of all future generations.
Filled with rich political and personal stories from upwards of 40 authors, along with intimate images from this critical moment in history, Athlii Gwaii pays homage to Haida Gwaii and its people, upholds Indigenous Rights and Title, bears witness to how non-violence works and reminds us of ... the possible.

About the Authors
Contributors include Miles Richardson Jr.; Guujaaw; Diane Brown; Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson; David Suzuki and many more.

Additional Information
184 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | Edited by Jisgang Nika Collison.

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$32.95

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Beyond the Indian Act
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

While land claims made by Canada's aboriginal peoples continue to attract attention and controversy, there has been almost no discussion of the ways in which First Nations lands are managed and the property rights that have been in place since the Indian Act of 1876. Beyond the Indian Act looks at these issues and questions whether present land practices have benefited Canada's aboriginal peoples. Challenging current laws and management, this illuminating work proposes the creation of a new system that would allow First Nations to choose to have full ownership of property, both individually and collectively.

The authors not only investigate the current forms of property rights on reservations but also expose the limitations of each system, showing that customary rights are insecure, certificates of possession cannot be sold outside the First Nation, and leases are temporary. As well, analysis of legislation, court decisions, and economic reports reveals that current land management has led to unnecessary economic losses. The authors propose creation of a First Nations Property Ownership Act that would make it possible for First Nations to take over full ownership of reserve lands from the Crown, arguing that permitting private property on reserves would provide increased economic advantages.

An engaging and well-reasoned book, Beyond the Indian Act is a bold argument for a new system that could improve the quality of life for First Nations people in communities across the country.

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Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream
Authors:
Charlie Angus
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Children of the Broken Treaty exposes a system of apartheid in Canada that led to the largest youth-driven human rights movement in the country’s history. The movement was inspired by Shannen Koostachin, a young Cree woman whom George Stroumboulopoulos named as one of “five teenage girls who kicked ass in history.”

All Shannen wanted was a decent education. She found an ally in Charlie Angus, who had no idea she was going to change his life and inspire others to change the country.

Based on extensive documentation assembled from Freedom of Information requests, Angus establishes a dark, unbroken line that extends from the policies of John A. Macdonald to the government of today. He provides chilling insight into how Canada--through breaches of treaties, broken promises, and callous neglect--deliberately denied First Nations children their basic human rights.

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Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado
Authors:
Daniel Marshall
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

This trailblazing history of early British Columbia focuses on a single year, 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush - the third great mass-migration of gold seekers after the Californian and Australian rushes in search of a new El Dorado. Marshall's history becomes an adventure, prospecting the rich pay streaks of British Columbia's "founding" event and the gold fever that gripped populations all along the Pacific Slope. Marshall unsettles many of our most taken-for-granted assumptions: he shows how foreign miner-militias crossed the 49th parallel, taking the law into their own hands, and conducting extermination campaigns against Indigenous peoples while forcibly claiming the land. Drawing on new evidence, Marshall explores the three principal cultures of the goldfields - those of the fur trade (both Native and the Hudson's Bay Company), Californian, and British world views. The year 1858 was a year of chaos unlike any other in British Columbia and American Pacific Northwest history. It produced not only violence but the formal inauguration of colonialism, Native reserves and, ultimately, the expansion of Canada to the Pacific Slope. Among the haunting legacies of this rush are the cryptic place names that remain - such as American Creek, Texas Bar, Boston Bar, and New York Bar - while the unresolved question of Indigenous sovereignty continues to claim the land.

Additional Information
6.00" x 9.00" | Bibliography | 30 black & white photos

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Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life
Authors:
James Daschuk
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

In arresting, but harrowing, prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics--the politics of ethnocide--played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of aboriginal people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s "National Dream."

It was a dream that came at great expense: the present disparity in health and economic well-being between First Nations and non-Native populations, and the lingering racism and misunderstanding that permeates the national consciousness to this day.

"Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest." -Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana

"Required reading for all Canadians." -Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood

"Clearly written, deeply researched, and properly contextualized history...Essential reading for everyone interested in the history of indigenous North America." -J.R. McNeill, author of Mosquito Empires

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Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam
Editors:
Wendy Holm
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Since the 1970s, the Site C Dam in northeastern British Columbia's Peace River Valley has been touted by B.C. Hydro and successive governments as necessary to meet the province's increasing energy needs. With its enormous $10 billion price tag, the dam would be the largest public works project in BC history. It would be the third dam on the Peace River, and destroy traditional unceded territory belonging to Treaty 8 First Nations.

Following the last provincial election, the newly appointed NDP government called for a review of the project, but work on the dam continues. This comes after protests by aboriginal groups and landowners, several lawsuits against the government, and federal government intervention to let the dam go ahead. More recently, there has been a call from a United Nations panel to review how the dam will affect Indigenous land.

This book presents the independent voices of citizen experts describing every important impact of the dam, including:

  • Sustainable energy expert Guy Dauncey on future energy demand, and whether there is likely to be a need for the dam's electricity
  • An interview with aboriginal activist Helen Knott on the dam's assault on traditional lands and culture, in particular Indigenous women
  • Agrologist Wendy Holm on the farm land impact — prime horticulture land important to food security and nutrition
  • Family physician Warren Bell on the effect that loss of traditional way of life and connection to the land has had on the health of aboriginal people
  • Wildlife biologist Brian Churchill with forty years' experience of studying its land and wildlife
  • Former environmental minister Joan Sawicki on government cover-ups and smoking guns
  • Energy industry watchdog Andrew Nikiforuk on the links between dams, fracking and earthquakes
  • Award-winning broadcaster Rafe Mair on how party politics corrupts political leadership, and the role of activism and civil disobedience in shaping government decision-making
  • David Schindler, one of the world's foremost water ecologists, explains the role dams like Site C will play in Canada's climate change strategy
  • Joyce Nelson connects the dots between the Site C dam and continental water sharing plans

Reviews
"Wendy Holm brings another perspective to the case against Site C, that of the production of crops." — Nelson Star, January 2018

"A massive, $10 billion hydroelectric dam project on British Columbia’s Peace River could threaten the First Nations peoples who live nearby. This volume dives deep into the potential impacts and decades of governmental cover-ups related to this long-planned project."— John R. Platt, The Revelator, April 2018

"This book provides an organized and rigorous “how to” guide on the intellectual and fact-based opposition to Site C, and in doing this becomes a great model for a book on any long-term protest. Its ambition is to inform on the subject from every possible angle, keeping the Peace River, the region and its people in mind, rather than the expediency of the business and government angle, which is usually given at least equal weight by the mainstream media." — Cathryn Atkinson, Rabble, June 2018

"There is an "elephant in the room" — not the huge white elephant that you see at No-Site C rallies. This elephant is dark and invisible. The government does not talk about it ... No. This elephant is rather more sinister. Wendy Holm confronts it and exposes it. It's about exporting water."— John Gellard, The Ormsby Review, August 2018

"Damming the Peace is an accessible, thoughtful and informative collection of essays that reveal the grave environmental, human and economic costs if the Site C dam is built."— Tim Pelzer, People's Voice, October 2018

Educator Information
Includes Indigenous content/perspectives and an Interview with Indigenous activist Helen Knott.

Additional Information
272 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$22.95

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Dancing With A Ghost
Authors:
Rupert Ross
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Rupert Ross, as a crown attorney, attempts to give some definition to the cultural gap that bedevils the relationships and distorts the communication between Native peoples and the dominant white Canadian society to encourage others to begin their own respectful cross-cultural explorations. As Ross discovered, traditional perspectives have a great deal to offer modern-day Canada.

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$24.00

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Elder Brother and the Law of the People: Contemporary Kinship and Cowessess First Nation
Format: Paperback

In the pre-reserve era, Aboriginal bands in the northern plains were relatively small multicultural communities that actively maintained fluid and inclusive membership through traditional kinship practices. These practices were governed by the Law of the People as described in the traditional stories of Wîsashkêcâhk, or Elder Brother, that outlined social interaction, marriage, adoption, and kinship roles and responsibilities.

In Elder Brother and the Law of the People, Robert Innes offers a detailed analysis of the role of Elder Brother stories in historical and contemporary kinship practices in Cowessess First Nation, located in southeastern Saskatchewan. He reveals how these tradition-inspired practices act to undermine legal and scholarly definitions of “Indian” and counter the perception that First Nations people have internalized such classifications. He presents Cowessess’s successful negotiation of the 1996 Treaty Land Agreement and their high inclusion rate of new “Bill-C31s” as evidence of the persistence of historical kinship values and their continuing role as the central unifying factor for band membership.

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$27.95

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