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'Unsettling Canada': Must-read book is a national wake-up call

Image: Modified from book cover -- Between the Lines Press

"We are looking for a partnership with Canada, while Canada is trying to hold on to a harmful and outdated colonial relationship." -- the late Arthur Manuel, from the book Unsettling Canada.

Today's program is an interview with Meg Borthwick, the moderator of babble. As you have probably noticed, books are important at rabble. Meg is relaunching the babble book lounge by inviting readers to discuss an important book with each other. 

Unsettling Canada was written in 2015 by the late Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson.  

The book is part history, part memoir and part blueprint for the future of Indigenous peoples in their relationships with Canada's governments. It is a call to action for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. Immensely readable, it covers nearly 50 years of Indigenous activism and examines successful strategies and tactics while acknowledging mistakes made. It is also a deeply personal story with Manuel recalling his upbringing on reserve in British Columbia's interior, his politicization, and his growing leadership and organizing skills. It is a story about his father, George Manuel, whose community leadership impressed upon the younger activist a vision of what was possible for Indigenous peoples and their relations with a succession of Canadian governments mired in the colonial mindset.

Looking down the path to future negotiations with the government, Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson writes in his afterword, "we have to take our future seriously, get rid of the opportunists in our ranks, and, when we deal with the government, be as tough with them as they have always been with us." 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.

In this interview, babble moderator Meg Borthwick talks about why she chose the book and how you can get involved in the discussion. 

Image: Modified from book cover -- Between the Lines Press

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