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Unsettling Canada

By Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson

Foreword by Naomi Klein

As the son of George Manuel, who served as president of the National Indian Brotherhood and founded the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in the 1970’s, Arthur Manuel was born into the struggle. From his unique and personal perspective, as a Secwepemc leader and an Indigenous activist who has played a prominent role on the international stage, Arthur Manuel describes the victories and failures, the hopes and the fears of a generation of activists fighting for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada. Unsettling Canada chronicles the modern struggle for Indigenous rights covering fifty years of struggle over a wide range of historical, national, and recent international breakthroughs.

Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson

Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson

Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson has been elected chief of his Westbank First Nation six times and is one of the most successful First Nations business people in Canada. He is also co-author with Arthur Manuel of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call (Between the Lines, Toronto) published in May, 2015.

Grand Chief Derrickson was first elected Westbank band chief in 1976 and over the next ten years he led his band in a period of rapid economic development, taking it from one of the poorest in British Columbia to one of the wealthiest. He returned to band leadership in 1988 and broke new ground by leading his people on a logging venture on their Aboriginal title lands with a Indigenous rather than a provincial permit. His forthright style has at times made him a victim of attacks from both the local elites and the government. In 1982, he was subject of an assassination attempt by local white businessmen and in 1985, the government held an inquiry into his activities that eventually cleared him of wrong-doing.

As a young man he worked as a fruit picker and a welder and rancher before launching a series of businesses in the 1960’s that grew into large diversified Canadian and international holdings that are part of the RMD Group of Companies.

He was made a Grand Chief by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs in 2012 in recognition of his lifetime of political and economic leadership.

Arthur Manuel

Arthur Manuel is an Indigenous political leader and co-author, with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call (Between the lines, Toronto, May 2015.) The son of George Manuel, who served as president of the National Indian Brotherhood and of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, Arthur was born into the struggle along with other activist family members. In the 1970s, he served as president of the national Native Youth Association. He was four times elected chief (1995–2003) and three times elected chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (1997–2003). During this period, he served as spokesperson of the Interior Alliance of B.C. indigenous nations and he was at the forefront of the indigenous logging initiative.

On the international stage, Manuel has served as chair of the Global indigenous caucus and co-chair of the Forum’s North American caucus. Since 2003, he has served as spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) and working through INET, he succeeded in having the struggle for Aboriginal title and treaty rights injected into international financial institutions. Manuel is also a member of the board of directors of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development and a spokesperson for the Defenders of the Land, an activist network aligned with the Idle No More movement.