Blockades or Breakthroughs?: Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State

Blockades or Breakthroughs?: Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State


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Blockades have become a common response to Canada's failure to address and resolve the legitimate claims of First Nations. Blockades or Breakthroughs? debates the importance and effectiveness of blockades and occupations as political and diplomatic tools for Aboriginal people. The adoption of direct action tactics like blockades and occupations is predicated on the idea that something drastic is needed for Aboriginal groups to break an unfavourable status quo, overcome structural barriers, and achieve their goals. But are blockades actually "breakthroughs"? What are the objectives of Aboriginal people and communities who adopt this approach? How can the success of these methods be measured? This collection offers an in-depth survey of occupations, blockades, and their legacies, from 1968 to the present. Individual case studies situate specific blockades and conflicts in historical context, examine each group’s reasons for occupation, and analyze the media labels and frames applied to both Aboriginal and state responses. Direct action tactics remain a powerful political tool for First Nations in Canada. The authors of Blockades or Breakthroughs? Argue that blockades and occupations are instrumental, symbolic, and complex events that demand equally multifaceted responses. Contributors include Yale D. Belanger, Tom Flanagan, Sarah King, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, David Rossiter, John Sandlos, Nick Shrubsole, and Timothy Winegard.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773543904
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Pages: 488
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dr. Yale Belanger is an associate professor, Political Science, and adjunct associate professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge. P. Whitney Lackenbauer is associate professor and chair of history at St Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Maps ix

Introduction Yale D. Belanger P. Whitney Lackenbauer 3

1 Point Pelee's Summer of Discontent John Sandlos 51

2 The Nature of a Blockade: Environmental Politics and the Haida Action on Lyell Island, British Columbia David A. Rossiter 70

3 Lubicon Lake: The Success and Failure of Radical Activism Tom Flanagan 90

4 "The War Will Be Won When the Last Low-Level Flying Happens Here in Our Home": Innu Opposition to Low-Level Flying in Labrador P. Whitney Lackenbauer 119

5 A Bridge Too Far? The Oka Crisis P. Whitney Lackenbauer 116

6 The Oldman River Dam and the Lonefighters' Response to Environmental Incursion Yale D. Belanger 222

7 The Tragedy of Ipperwash P. Whitney Lackenbauer Victor Gulewitsch 253

8 The Gustafsen Lake Standoff Nick Shrubsole P. Whitney Lackenbauer 314

9 Seeking Relief: The Dispute in Burnt Church (Esgenoôpetitj) Sarah J. King 356

30 Blockades, Occupations, and the Bay of Quinte Mohawks' Fight for Sovereignty Yale D. Belanger 383

11 Your Home on Native Land? Conflict and Controversy at Caledonia and the Six Nations of the Grand River Timothy C. Winegard 411

Contributors 445

Select Bibliography 449

Index 459

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