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The Reconciliation Manifesto
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The Reconciliation Manifesto

Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy

By Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, Preface by Naomi Klein

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In this book, leading Indigenous rights activist Arthur Manuel offers a radical challenge to Canada and Canadians. He questions virtually everything non-Indigenous Canadians believe about their relationship with Indigenous peoples.

The Reconciliation Manifesto documents how governments are attempting to reconcile with Indigenous peoples without touching the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship. Manuel reviews the current state of land claims, tackles the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions, decries the role of government-funded organizations like the Assembly of First Nations, and highlights the federal government's disregard for the substance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples while claiming to implement it. Together, these circumstances amount to a false reconciliation between Indigenous people and Canada.

Manuel sets out the steps that are needed to place this relationship on a healthy and honourable setting. As he explains, recovering the land and rebuilding the economy are key.

Completed just months before Manuel's death in January 2017, this book offers an illuminating vision of what is needed for true reconciliation. Expressed with quiet but firm resolve, humour, and piercing intellect, The Reconciliation Manifesto is for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who are willing to look at the real problems and find real solutions.



Speech at the Funeral of Arthur Manuel
Naomi Klein

Our Struggle
Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson


Chapter 1     The Second Coming
Chapter 2     Beginning at the Beginning
Chapter 3     White Supremacy — The Law of the Land
Chapter 4     From Dispossession to Dependency
Chapter 5     From Dependency to Oppression


Chapter 6     The Race Question
Chapter 7     Reserves as Holding Pens


Chapter 8     We Stole it Fair and Square
Chapter 9     Attempted Genocide: Political Battles with Pierre Trudeau
Chapter 10     Changing Legal and Policy Landscape — 1984–2014
Chapter 11     Tsilhqot’in Case and Crown Title
Chapter 12     British Columbia Commission Treaty Process
Chapter 13     Rightful Title Holders
Chapter 14     Risk and Uncertainty
Chapter 15     Revenge of the Balance Sheet


Chapter 16     Neocolonialism, or Selling Our Birthright
Chapter 17     Where Have the Leaders Gone?
Chapter 18     Around the Mulberry Bush
Chapter 19     The Grassroots Struggle: Defenders of the Land and Idle No More
Chapter 20     Unity Around a Strong Position


Chapter 21     The International Stage
Chapter 22     Constitutional Deadlock and the International Option
Chapter 23     What the UN says about Self-Determination
Chapter 24     Canada’s Human Rights Treaties
Chapter 25     CERD: Early Warning and Urgent Action
Chapter 26     International Recognition of Our Proprietary Rights
Chapter 27     UNDRIP and the Trudeau Betrayal


Chapter 28     The Reconciliation SWAT Team
Chapter 29     Reconciliation Framework Agreements


Chapter 30     Defending Our Land
Chapter 31     The Legal Billy Club
Chapter 32     Blockading a Mine
Chapter 33     Criminalization of Protest
Chapter 34     Non-violence, but not Passive Acceptance
Chapter 35     Resisting the Carbon Bomb
Chapter 36     Defending Mother Earth
Chapter 37     The Long-Term Approach
Chapter 38     Declaring Sovereignty on the Ground
Chapter 39     Standing with Standing Rock
Chapter 40     Death of a Warrior


Chapter 41     Our Inalienable Rights
Chapter 42     Back to the Future
Chapter 43     The Six-Step Program to Decolonization


  1. Open Letter to Pope Francis
  2. Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
  3. Open Letter to the Queen of Canada
  4. Open Letter to the Chief Justice of Canada
  5. Open Letter to the Defenders of the Land

Settling with Canada: A Debt Coming Due
Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson

Appendix: “Are you a Canadian?”
About the Authors


Winner - Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize - 2018

Winner - The Globe 100: Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books - 2017

"I am so privileged to have been friends with Arthur for two decades. During that time, he changed the way I see this country and the world... He helped to lead our movements, and protect the land and water, until his final breath."

- Naomi Klein, on death of Arthur Manuel

"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."

- Julie McGonegal UC Observer

"Effectively 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."

- Hayden King, Beausoleil First Nation, Director of the Centre of Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University

"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."

- Robert Everett-Green The Globe and Mail

"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."

- Tom Sandborn Vancouver Sun

"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."

- J.R. Miller BC Booklook

"One 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."

- Carleigh Baker The Globe and Mail

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.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 312 pages
Publication Date: 6th October 2017
ISBN: 9781459409613
Format: 9in x 6in

Binding: Electronic book text, 312 pages
Publication Date: 6th October 2017
ISBN: 9781459409668
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  HIS006000, HIS028000, POL056000, SOC021000, SOC062000
Imprint: Lorimer


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