"Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call" by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson


Until October 14th, the Toronto Public Library is offering unlimited e-borrows of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson.* I have just finished the first few chapters and wanted to post this quickly, in case there are any readers out there looking for something to dig into this long weekend. 

The first few chapters of this book offer a comprehensive look at historical relations between Indigenous peoples on the west coast of what is now Canada, and the successive waves of Settlers to the area. The story weaves together historical details and the memories of the late Arthur Manuel, who followed in his father George Manuel's community-focused footsteps, and carved his own path asan important grassroots organizer for his people.

The result is a compelling story, which I found hard to put down. The information is particular to Manuel's life and the West Coast, but places the events in the wider Canadian, and even North American context. 

If you are looking for an introductory text for yourself or for your intermediate/senior students this is a great place to start. Specifically, it can be used as a text to examine the progression of colonization from first contact on the West Coast to resistance movements today, and as an Indigenous counter point to texts that echo the mainstream Canadian perspective on land rights, the Calder Case, the White Paper and many more!

If you do pick up a copy, I would love to hear what you or your students think!  

*Thanks to my good friend and editor Gerri Lutaaya for the heads up!