In this book Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson challenge virtually everything that non-Indigenous Canadians believe about their relationship with Indigenous Peoples and the steps that are needed to place this relationship on a healthy and honourable footing.
Manuel and Derrickson show how governments are attempting to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples without touching the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship. They review the current state of land claims. They tackle the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions. They celebrate Indigenous Rights Movements while decrying the role of government-funded organizations like the Assembly of First Nations. They document the federal government's disregard for the substance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples while claiming to implement it. These circumstances amount to what they see as a false reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Instead, Manuel and Derrickson offer an illuminating vision of what Canada and Canadians need for true reconciliation.
In this book, which Arthur Manuel and Ron Derrickson completed in the months before Manuel's death in January 2017, readers will recognize their profound understanding of the country, of its past, present, and potential future.
Expressed with quiet but firm resolve, humour, and piercing intellect The Reconciliation Manifesto will appeal to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who are open and willing to look at the real problems and find real solutions.
ARTHUR MANUEL was a widely respected Indigenous leader and activist from the Secwepemc Nation. He entered the world of Indigenous politics in the 1970s, as president of the Native Youth Association. He went on to serve as chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band near Chase, BC, and elected chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council. He was also active in the Assembly of First Nations and a spokesman for Defenders of the Land, an organization dedicated to environmental justice. Manuel is the co-author of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake Up Call, with Grand Chief Ron Derrickson. This book won the 2015 Canadian History Association Literary Award. He was known internationally, having advocated for Indigenous rights and struggles at the United Nations, The Hague, and the World Trade Organization.
GRAND CHIEF RONALD DERRICKSON served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation from 1976 to 1986 and from 1998 to 2000. He was made Grand Chief by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in 2012. Grand Chief Derrickson is one of the most successful Indigenous business owners in Canada.
The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Indigenous leaders Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, offers its non-Indigenous readers a bracing dose of truth- telling about Canada's criminal treatment of this territory's first residents... Addressing Indigenous readers, it offers a sharp critique of current federally funded Indigenous leadership and of the compromise deals so far negotiated by that leadership. They spell out the tactics they think can get them these long-delayed rights... They reassure nervous non-Indigenous readers that they and their people continue to be willing to share the Canadian space with settlers, but only in the context of a renewed and just relationship. Highly recommended."
"The late Secwepemc Nation activist's blazing final book offers an eloquent analysis of how Canada was built on a racist understanding of property and human rights. Manuel lays it all out; there's nowhere to hide. He also makes it plain that there's no reconciliation until we replace the stinking, unstable mythologies that still support the Canadian state with something more noble and true."
What makes the late Manuel a 'true visionary,' as author and activist Naomi Klein describes him in her preface to the book, is his practical vision for fighting the status quo. The only way to really change things, he says, is to exert international pressure on our country's government, taking inspiration from black South Africans during apartheid and African Americans during the civil rights movement. Only then will Indigenous self-determination be possible."
"[O]ne of the most important texts on truth and reconciliation ever written. The Reconciliation Manifesto is a cogent step-by-step look at how Canada's colonial past created our present situation, and provides decolonizing strategies for the future.
...well-seasoned with [Manuel's] sense of humour... The Reconciliation Manifesto is an extremely valuable resource for those who are fighting for decolonization. For other readers, it may simply serve to dispel myths about Canada's colonial history. Decolonizing is a massive undertaking, and, fortunately, we've got many great Indigenous minds on the job.
...The Reconciliation Manifesto offer[s] strength and solidarity to Indigenous readers, and a generous guide to ally-ship for non-Indigenous readers. For the latter, these books will unsettle, but to engage in ally-ship is to commit to being unsettled — all the time."
In the conversation about reconciliation that Canadians are having at the moment, there are many voices vying for a hearing. One of the clearest and most emphatic of these voices — sadly stilled by death before the publication of this manifesto — is that of the late Arthur Manuel."
"[E]ffectively puts the current conversation around reconciliation into the rightful context... Manuel is refreshingly pro- active, creative, and importantly, persuasive (not to mention witty)... the tone is generally hopeful... the writing is accessible. The Reconciliation Manifesto can be read as an introductory text for Canadians who have little understanding of colonialism; or, as an intervention into counter-hegemonic theorizing...this is nonetheless a tremendously important book for multiple audiences."