Monday, 18 May 2015

Unsettling Canada

Unsettling Canada 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.

·         Thu, May 21st, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Edmonton, AB
·        May 21st, 2015, 2:00pm–4:00pm
·         Athabasca Hall, Room 227 University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada (map)
·         Thu, May 28th, 6:30pm–8:00pm
Vancouver, BC
·         May 28th, 2015, 6:30pm–8:00pm
·         Vancouver Public Library - Central Location (350 West Georgia Street), Unceded Coast Salish territories, Vancouver, BC, Canada (map)

  • Paperback / softback, 320 pages
  • ISBN 9781771131766
  • Published April 2015
Unsettling Canada is a breathtakingly beautiful story of Indigenous resistance, strength, and movement building. Unsettling Canada echoes the power of George Manuel’s The Fourth World, centering the heart of the narrative deep inside a kind of Indigenous intelligence rarely shared outside our communities. This is the critical conversation that Canada and Indigenous peoples must have because it is centred on land, and, therefore, it is one of the most important books on Indigenous politics I’ve ever read.”
– Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back

“This is the back story of both grassroots and backroom struggles that created the context in which we find ourselves today, one in which a new generation of First Nations leaders is demanding sovereignty and self-determination, and more and more non-Indigenous Canadians finally understand that huge swaths of this country we call Canada is not ours—or our government’s—to sell.”
– Naomi Klein, from the Foreword
“Pragmatic and helpful, this is a timely book for our fraught and political moment”
– Quill & Quire
“For me, Unsettling Canada is the most recent addition to a relatively short list of resurgent, grassroots contributions to Indigenous decolonization. Written by one of our most respected and incisive leaders and thinkers, this is a must-read for anyone serious about radically transforming the colonial relationship between Indigenous nations and the Canadian state.”
– Glen Coulthard, University of British Columbia, author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

Sunday, 10 May 2015

mother's day in canada: in thanks for your bouquet


A knife, an axe, a rope, a fist, and harsh words
These are the things that my child has reported

finding along the river
and in the gardens of the neighbourhood
at dances
at bus stops

so many Friday nights have passed
she dresses fine and then decides
to stay in the safety of an apartment that has
only family in it

So many years I bade her:
rise and shine,

10 May 2015



Transgender rights bill gutted by 'transphobic' Senate...

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2015

Advocates for Canadian transgender rights legislation were set back and frustrated with what they say is a "transphobic" Senate committee amendment that limits the effectiveness of the bill.
NDP MP Randall Garrison's private member's bill, C-279, seeks to fight hate crimes against transgender individuals by adding gender identity provisions to both the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act.  
NDP MP Randall Garrison
Randall Garrison, the LGBT critic for the NDP, introduced private member's legislation to strengthen anti-discrimination protections against the transgender community. (

"We still want to support the bill, because it's important for the trans community, but if it's going to have the amendment in it that restricts our use of washrooms and public facilities... no," said Amanda Ryan from the advocacy group Gender Mosaic.
"It's a bad bill with that amendment in it. We want to fight as hard as we can to have that removed," she told CBC News Network's Power & Politics on Thursday.
The bill passed in the House of Commons almost two years ago, thanks to 18 votes from a divided Conservative caucus. Even cabinet ministers were split on the issue.
On Wednesday at the Senate committee finally tasked with reviewing the legislation, Conservative Senator Don Plett introduced three amendments. 
Garrison told reporters he didn't have a problem with two of them:
  • One is a tactical amendment to make it correspond to other legislation, like C-13, the Tories' cyberbullying legislation.
  • The other removes a definition for gender identity not included in his original bill, but added by Commons Conservatives to clarify its application before passage. 
The third amendment, however, exempts places like prisons, crisis centres, and public washrooms and change rooms from the bill's provisions. That, Garrison says, is "transphobic."
"That particular amendment is deeply troubling to transgendered people," said Independent Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, who had sponsored the bill in the Senate and led senators from his party in voting against the change. 
"I want to acknowledge here, on the record, the deep pain that it causes ...