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Dear rabble readers,

I’m a lawyer, professor, activist, and advocate for Indigenous self-determination. That means my job often involves making a lot of people uncomfortable, pushing them to talk about facts.

The fact I feel we need to talk about most is that we’re in crisis. Canada is killing First Nations people, destroying the land and robbing us of our voices.

There is hope though. The best prospect we have to halt growing inequality and wanton environmental destruction is through Indigenous self-determination. 

What stands in our way is that too few people recognize the problem. We don’t see the crisis because of the noise. So much of what is printed and shown on television and in the media about Indigenous peoples is dismissive, hurtful, dangerously false, or worse completely silent. Sometimes a news panel “expert” will mock us about a millionaire chief or a story about a corporate culprit that contaminates our land is ignored. This is the noise that keeps you from seeing the crisis.

If I go in to a coffee shop someone is bound to ask me “Hey, are you Pam Palmater? Are you the woman who defends all those crooked chiefs?” I’ll usually respond with a question like “sorry, why do you think they’re crooked?” And they’ll say, “because they all make millions of dollars!”

Well, let’s have a factual conversation about that, shall we? Some municipal librarians make six figure salaries and they manage books. The average chief and councillor makes less than $36,000 and they manage people’ lives.

What we need in Canada is an independent media system that is tuned to the activism that fights for a more just, wise, and equal world. That’s what rabble is. rabble is our great forum for debate and real information. With strong independent media sites like rabble, we can free ourselves from disinformation and have the conversations and share the stories that will fuel us on our path to common purpose.

In the early days of the Idle No More movement, rabble was a key resource for people to learn about, share, and discuss the movement. That’s still true to this day. And rabble has been a strong supporter of my work for years and helped share the work of many other Indigenous activists. 

My latest book, Indigenous Nationhood, is a collection of my writings over the years that collectively challenge myths and propose a path towards self-determination. Now, I want to share that with you. Anyone who donates to rabble during the winter fundraiser receives a copy of Indigenous Nationhood for free.


Pam Palmater
Author, Indigenous Nationhood