Unsettling Canada, a Canadian best seller, is built on a unique collaboration between two First Nations leaders, Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ron Derrickson.
Both men have served as chiefs of their bands in the B.C. interior and both have gone on to establish important national and international reputations. But the differences between them are in many ways even more interesting. Arthur Manuel is one of the most forceful advocates for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada and comes from the activist wing of the movement. Grand Chief Ron Derrickson is one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in the country.
Together the Secwepemc activist intellectual and the Syilx (Okanagan) businessman bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to Canada’s most glaring piece of unfinished business: the place of Indigenous peoples within the country’s political and economic space. The story is told through Arthur’s voice but he traces both of their individual struggles against the colonialist and often racist structures that have been erected to keep Indigenous peoples in their place in Canada.
In the final chapters and in the Grand Chief’s afterword, they not only set out a plan for a new sustainable indigenous economy, but lay out a roadmap for getting there.
“Full of insights into how indigenous political organizing works on the ground, and how it scales up to different levels of political action. In the end, the book makes the potent claim that the strength of communities lies not only in their narratives, but in the land they control.” (Jan Dutkiewicz, Quill & Quire)
“These are words of wisdom and of experience and something of a template for dealing with the Canadian government. Now more than ever Unsettling Canada is a must-read book. It chronicles a remarkable journey of activism while damning the racism of our government.” (Meg Borthwick, rabble.ca)
“Anyone interested in gaining an informed understanding of various First Nation-Canadian flash points in our collective history will learn something from Unsettling Canada. As the reader progresses through the book, the details of various protests, demonstrations and key events in history are presented as though Manuel was telling stories at the kitchen table.” (Pamela D. Palmater, Literary Review of Canada)