Pam Palmater's Reconciliation Book Club

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MegB
Pam Palmater's Reconciliation Book Club

Hey Folks,

Pam Palmater, a frequent contributer to rabble, has a new initiative - a book club featuring mostly Indigenous writers writing about reconciliation. Here's the link to her YouTube channel where she will be reviewing books about reconciliation and addressing Indigenous rights and the importance of self-education and allyship. Inspired by the work of the late Arthur Manuel ( review of Unsettling Canada here) and carried on by his daughter Kanahus Manuel, it's an explortion of what colonialization looks like and how it can be dismantled. I'd like to urge babblers to pick up her first book pick - Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization, available for free download. It's a compelling series of essays on ongoing colonialist structures and, most importantly, what can be done by orginary people to decolonize and be effective allies to Indigenous peoples. 

We at rabble are super excited to support Pam's initiative and I think the babble book lounge is the perfect venue to get the conversation going.  It's a slim volume and a quick and informative read that is by turns instructive and inspiring. I'm looking forward to reading people's thoughts on this and future reviews in the series. Enjoy!

 

Issues Pages: 
Unionist

Thanks for this, Meg. Just recalling that on your initiative, several of us read and started discussing Unsettling Canada two years ago, though it wasn't done on the usual book lounge methodology (suggest book, wait till everyone has acquired/read, set a date for the conversation). 

I'm game to participate in this new project - excited, in fact! Now off to get the free download...

UPDATE:

Here's the epub version (suitable for any e-reader).

And here's the PDF version.

 

MegB

Thanks for finding and posting the link Unionist. 

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

I'm looking forward to seeing how Pam manages YouTube on Saturday. Just finished the book - challenging, compelling, accessbile. 

Unionist

I'm somewhat overwhelmed by this handbook. Where do we go next?

EDITED TO ADD: By the way, the epub version to which I linked above simply doesn't work - not on my e-reader anyway. I had to use the PDF version and read it on my iPad. If anyone has better luck, please let us all know!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I have read both Unsettling Canada and The Reconciliation Manifesto by Manuel so I should check this discussion out. IMO It is all about the land. There can be no reconciliation without a land base.  When the treaty process started in BC in the mid-nineties I served on the Lower Mainland RAC, which was a settler Regional Advisory Committees designed to help instruct the governments negotiators. Being the Lower Mainland group we got all the reps from the provincial right wing organizations like the BC Chamber of Commerce etc. I eventually just quit in disgust because it was clear that all the business community and their lawyers and consultants wanted was extinquishment of land titles in unceded territories. Of course it was not phrased that way instead the constant refrain was getting "certainty" over land title. None of the proposals included the idea of indigenous sovereign control over unceded territories.

NDPP

Arthur Manuel Memorial

https://twitter.com/KanahusFreedom/status/1159628575202582529

"We are having my Dad's Memorial on Friday, August 23 at Neskonlith (50 km east of Kamloops). Camping is available. Live music in the evening. Symposium: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy next day August 24, Adams Lake Conference Center..."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NDPP wrote:

Arthur Manuel Memorial

https://twitter.com/KanahusFreedom/status/1159628575202582529

"We are having my Dad's Memorial on Friday, August 23 at Neskonlith (50 km east of Kamloops). Camping is available. Live music in the evening. Symposium: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy next day August 24, Adams Lake Conference Center..."

Thanks for posting that. I think it means a road trip in ten days.

NDPP

Glad to hear it. Beautiful country and good stand-up people. Enjoy...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NDPP wrote:

Glad to hear it. Beautiful country and good stand-up people. Enjoy...

Yes indeed my wife and I stopped in Blue River for a couple of hours last summer and had a great chat with Kanahus and others in the camp across from Trans Mountain's yards, on unceded territory.

Unionist

Unionist wrote:

I'm somewhat overwhelmed by this handbook. Where do we go next?

EDITED TO ADD: By the way, the epub version to which I linked above simply doesn't work - not on my e-reader anyway. I had to use the PDF version and read it on my iPad. If anyone has better luck, please let us all know!

Ok - I notified them, and they fixed the epub version.

Now - how should the discussion proceed?

MegB

Unionist wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I'm somewhat overwhelmed by this handbook. Where do we go next?

EDITED TO ADD: By the way, the epub version to which I linked above simply doesn't work - not on my e-reader anyway. I had to use the PDF version and read it on my iPad. If anyone has better luck, please let us all know!

Ok - I notified them, and they fixed the epub version.

Now - how should the discussion proceed?

For those who haven't seen Pam's review of the book on her YouTube channel, here is the link.  I think the combination of us settlers having read the book and seeing her review would be a good place to move the discussion forward.

Maybe we could start by discussing how we came to our current understanding of Indigenous issues and culture. For myself there was zero Indigenous content growing up in the public school system. It wasn't until I read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown and The Last Temptation of Big Bear by Rudy Wiebe that I really started to get a grasp on the genocidal scope of colonization. In the decades since then I've made it my responsibility to educate myself, something Pam strongly encourages both Indigenous peoples and their allies to do. Self-education is key.

I'm really interested in others' experience in the ongoing process of their personal and political decolonization.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

My schools never taught me anything about Indigenous people I am ashamed to say.The closest memory I have to anything resembling "Canadian history" in grade school was learning about the heroic adventure of Father Brebouef. How pathetic is that. Grade 10 Canadian History was all about the start of the 20th century and Canada's role in the two world wars. To use the expression, I wasn't truly "woke" until I moved to Winnipeg nearly 20 years ago.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I grew up in the fifties when the anti-Indian racism was overt in Northern Ontario. I went to Catholic elementary school and the only thing we were taught was that the Huron and Jesuits got massacred by the heathen Iroquois. We even got a road trip to Midland to show us what good Indians were like, to bad the good ones were all dead, seemed to the take away.

 Wounded Knee was my awakening as I followed the events closely on the news. In the '80's I went to a theater presentation the Nishga traveled BC with to explain their land claims. In law school in the '90's I did an upper level course in aboriginal law and wrote a 40 page paper on the BC Court of Appeal decision in Delgamuukw, arguing it was wrongly decided, before the SCC overturned it.

I have come to the conclusion that reconciliation in BC, without a significant land base, is just a continuation of the slow genocidal process. I am also certain that our white settler governments will never grant the indigenous peoples, with unceded rights, the ability to actually enforce and rely on those rights. I had hopes for the BC NDP but after their disrespect of indigenous rights by their actions over Site C and fracked gas pipelines I don't even think I can vote for them next time. Buffy says it all and our Canadian governments have the same cozy relationship with the energy companies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnwUbJoheo

 

NDPP

Thanks Krop. Wounded Knee was my awakening too. And I haven't forgotten Leonard Peltier or the fact that it was Canada that handed him over...

Freedom For Leonard Peltier After 43 Years of Unjust Imprisonment

https://www.pressenza.com/2019/02/freedom-for-leonard-peltier-after-43-y...