Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization

Whose Land is it Anyway

We are pleased to announce the publication of Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization; inspired by a 2016 speaking tour  by Arthur Manuel, less than a year before his untimely passing in January 2017. The book contains two essays from Manuel, described as the Nelson Mandela of Canada, and essays from renowned Indigenous writers Taiaiake Alfred, Glen Coulthard, Russell Diabo, Beverly Jacobs, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Kanahus Manuel, Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, Pamela Palmater, Shiri Pasternak, Nicole Schabus, Senator Murray Sinclair, and Sharon Venne. FPSE is honoured to support this publication.

Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization will be available free to the public as an e-book Thursday March 15, 2018, at 7pm PST.  Authors will be speaking at a series of events throughout BC following the book's release.


Author Biographies:

Taiaiake Alfred
Taiaiake Alfred holds a PHD from Cornell University and is an author, educator and activist from Kahnawake and internationally recognized Kanien’kehaka professor at the University of Victoria. He was the founding director of the Indigenous Governance Program and was awarded a Canada Research Chair 2003–2007, in addition to a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in education. He is the author of Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom, Peace, Power, Righteousness: an Indigenous Manifesto, and Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors.

Glen Coulthard
Glen Coulthard (PhD – University of Victoria) is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an Associate Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science. He has written and published numerous articles and chapters in the areas of Indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. His book, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (University of Minnesota Press), was released in August 2014 to critical acclaim.

Russell Diabo
Russell Diabo is one of the leading voices in the decolonial struggle in Canada. He was for many years a policy advisor at the Assembly of First Nations and now serves in that role for the Algonquin Nation Secretariat, and he is Senior Policy Advisor to the Algonquin Wolf Lake First Nation. He is also editor and publisher of an online newsletter on First Nations political and legal issues, the First Nations Strategic Bulletin. He is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, and part of the Defenders of the Land Network.

Beverly Jacobs
Beverly Jacobs, LL.B., LL.M., PhD Candidate (ABD) is a Kanien’kehaka citizen, Bear Clan, and member of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She practises law part-time at Six Nations and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. She is a former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (2004–2009) and is best known for her work on advocating for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo
Melina Laboucan-Massimo is a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation. She is currently a Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation. She worked as a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network for the past decade. Facing firsthand the impacts of the Alberta tar sands to her traditional territory, Laboucan-Massimo has been a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights for over 15 years. She has written numerous articles on the tar sands and produced short documentaries on water issues and Indigenous cultural revitalization.

Arthur Manuel
Arthur Manuel was one of the giants of the Indigenous movement within Canada and internationally. He served as chief of his Neskonlith Indian band and chairman of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council as well as co-chair of the North American and Global Indigenous Caucus at the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. He was also co-author, along with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, of the award-winning book Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call. Arthur Manuel passed away in January 2017. Lorimer Press published his second book, co-authored with Grand Chief Derrickson, in the fall of 2017.

Kanahus Manuel
Kanahus Manuel is a Secwepemc and Ktunaxa activist, birth keeper and Warrior. She appeared in a documentary film made by Doreen Manuel called Freedom Babies. She is well known for her activism against Sun Peaks Ski Resort, Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley mine spill and with the water protectors at Standing Rock. She is currently playing a leadership role in fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion through more than 500 kilometres of Secwepemc territory. As a result of her activism, she has been named in several court injunctions and has been jailed by the Canadian state.

Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour
Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour is a band member at Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc and is the elected family member to the Traditional Family Governance Council for the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation. He teaches at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. His primary course is Aboriginal Decolonizing Social Work Practice. He regularly contributes to the international two-spirit community through writing, art and other activism(s) and he will be beginning his doctoral work in winter 2018 through a cohort program and partnership between TRU and the Auckland University of Technology in Aotearoa (New Zealand) – decentering social work practice with Secwepemc land and spiritual based pedagogies.

Pamela Palmater
Pamela Palmater is from the Mi’kmaw Nation and a member of the Eel River Bar First Nation. She has been a practising lawyer for eighteen years and currently holds the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. Pam is an activist and was one of the spokespeople, organizers and educators for the Idle No More movement. She is a well-known media commentator and public speaker who is often called before parliamentary and United Nations committees as an expert witness on Indigenous rights. She has numerous publications including her books Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity and Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens.

Shiri Pasternak
Shiri Pasternak is the author of Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017, about the Algonquins’ rejection of the federal land claims policy in Canada from the perspective of Indigenous law and jurisdiction. She holds a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto and is currently an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Ryerson University, Toronto.

Nicole Schabus
Nicole Schabus is an assistant law professor at Thompson Rivers University. She has worked for Indigenous peoples in Latin America and across Canada, especially in the Interior of British Columbia. Nicole has been practising law in British Columbia in the fields of constitutional, criminal, Aboriginal and environmental law. She also reports on and analyzes international environmental negotiations, mainly under the Convention on Biological Diversity. She has assisted with the preparation of submissions to numerous UN human rights bodies for organizations with consultative status before the United Nations. She drafted amicus curiae submissions for Indigenous peoples that were accepted by with World Trade Organization and NAFTA international trade tribunals.

Senator Murray Sinclair
Senator Murray Sinclair served as Co-chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s landmark report in 2015. Previously, Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over twenty-five years. He was the first Aboriginal judge appointed in Manitoba and he was very active within his profession and his community. He has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016), and has received honorary doctorates from eight Canadian universities. Senator Sinclair was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016.

Sharon Venne
Sharon Venne is a lawyer and member of the Cree Nation who has worked on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and with First Nations communities on the implementation of their own legal systems. She has played an active role in the national and international struggles of many Indigenous peoples, including the Lubicon Cree and Dene Nation. She has a Masters of Law degree from the University of Alberta, and is presently a doctoral candidate, writing a thesis on treaty rights of Indigenous peoples and international law.

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.