Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal is a collection of elegant, thoughtful, and powerful reflections about Indigenous Peoples’ complicated, and often frustrating, relationship with Canada, and how–even 150 years after Confederation–the fight for recognition of their treaty and Aboriginal rights continues.
Published to coincide with celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, this insightful compendium of largely Indigenous voices challenges all Canadians to improve relations with and conditions for the continents First Nations Peoples. Poems, essays, interviews, song lyrics, and illustrations bring razor-sharp clarity to historic and contemporary issues, including the shameful history of residential schools, current reconciliation efforts, conflicts over resource development, and how best to confront legacies of racism and colonialism. The editors’ aim to provide an accessible educational tool is well-served by coverage of diverse topics, including over-representation of Indigenious people in prison, land dispossession, and how social amnesia prevents progress. Equally impressive is the recovery of repressed histories, such as First Nation women’s suffrage struggles, how the city of Winnipeg was built with stolen water, and the critical battle to preserve language rights. Contributors including the late actor Chief Dan George, singer-songwriter Buffy Saint-Marie, and a number of writers and activists, such as Erica Violet Lee and Helen Knott share feelings of anger and disappointment at past and ongoing injustices, as well as an incredible hope that insistent resilience that has marked Indigenous exsistence in Canada will help spark a new awakening for all Canadians. – Publishers Weekly