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Social Science Native American Studies


Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom

by (author) Taiaiake Alfred

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2005
Native American Studies, Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, Cultural
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2005
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2005
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: 6013306-193802


The word Wasáse is the Kanienkeha (Mohawk) word for the ancient war dance ceremony of unity, strength, and commitment to action. The author notes, "This book traces the journey of those Indigenous people who have found a way to transcend the colonial identities which are the legacy of our history and live as Onkwehonwe, original people. It is dialogue and reflection on the process of transcending colonialism in a personal and collective sense: making meaningful change in our lives and transforming society by recreating our personalities, regenerating our cultures, and surging against forces that keep us bound to our colonial past."

About the author

Taiaiake Alfred is from Kahnaw?ke in the Mohawk Nation. He is a scholar and journalist known for his passionate and incisive views on politics, a respected orator, and a trusted advisor to many First Nations governments and community organizations. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and is a Professor in the University of Victoria's Indigenous Governance Programs. Taiaiake is the author of two previous books, Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors and Peace, Power, Righteousness.

Taiaiake Alfred's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom

Alfred speaks emotionally of the restitution of Aboriginal rights rather than reconciliation goals. He promotes autonomy rather than dependent forms of self-governing. The book discusses making consequential change in Aboriginal lives both personally and collectively. Dialogues are made about north and south indigenous people working together drawing two continents into mutual understanding, assisting and caring about each other. The recurring theme is breaking away from the colonial past that has bound indigenous people for centuries and creating a future with a regenerated culture. This insightful, academic book includes a glossary and extensive chapter notes.

Alfred is Professor of Indigenous Governance Programs at the University of Victoria and author of Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2007-2008.

Other titles by Taiaiake Alfred