It is one of the most pressing questions facing Canada today: How can Indigenous peoples move forward effectively after suffering through successive generations of racist government policies and denial of treaty rights?
Trying to answer this question is well-known lawyer, activist and academic Pamela Palmater in her latest book, Indigenous Nationhood.
The just released publication is a selection of blog posts by Palmater who offers critical legal and political commentary and analysis on legislation, Aboriginal rights, Canadian politics, First Nations politics and social issues such as murdered and missing Indigenous women, poverty, economics, identity and culture.
“Palmater’s blogs provide a glimpse of the deep complexities we face as Indigenous peoples living in a colonial Canada,” says Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. “Her words are the articulation of this generation’s frustration with Canadian colonial policy.”
Palmater’s writing tackles head-on various myths and stereotypes about Indigenous peoples. She discusses Indigenous nationhood and nation building, examines treaty rights and provides an accessible, critical analysis of laws and government policies being imposed on Indigenous peoples.
“Through Palmater’s relentless pursuit for justice and improved quality of life, she will undoubtedly set a new era for positive change for this country,” comments Chief Deborah Robinson of Acadia First Nation.
“Pamela Palmater is one of the strong voices of a new generation of Native activists and intellectuals,” says Thomas King, author of An Inconvenient Indian. “Her essays on Indigenous Nationhood are intelligent, thoughtful, and well informed. And they take no prisoners.”
Palmater’s book has been called fiercely anti-racist and anti-colonial, and is intended to help rebuild the connections between Indigenous citizens and their home communities, local governments and Indigenous Nations for the benefit of future generations.
“This work is vital in terms of ‘de-entrenching’ a Canadian problem affecting an entire country — a colonial experiment gone bad,” says Chief Isadore Day (Wiindawtegowinini) of Serpent River First Nation. “Pam’s insights are important and reliable.”
Recently, Pam Palmater launched Indigenous Nationhood, at Neechi Foods, which co-sponsored the event.
Along with signing some of her books, Palmater spoke to a large audience about many of the issues she raises in her writing, and how Aboriginal communities can deal with the latest government policies harming Indigenous populations. Here is the audio of her presentation, in two parts:
Recorded by CKUW 95.9 FM