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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Assembling Unity

Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Assembling Unity

Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Established narratives portray Indigenous unity as emerging solely in response to the political agenda of the settler state. But unity has long shaped the modern Indigenous political movement. With Indigenous perspectives in the foreground, Assembling Unity explores the relationship between global political ideologies and pan-Indigenous politics in British Columbia through a detailed history of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. Sarah Nickel demonstrates that the articulation of unity was heavily negotiated between UBCIC members, grassroots constituents, and Indigenous women’s organizations. This incisive work unsettles dominant political narratives that cast Indigenous men as reactive and Indigenous women as apolitical.

236 pages


Table of Contents

Beginnings

Part 1: Pan-Indigenous Unity

1 Unity: “United we stand, divided we perish”

2 Authority: “Ordinary Indians” and “the private club”

3 Money: “A blessing and a golden noose”

Part 2: A Philosophical Revolution and Competing Nationalisms

4 Refusal: “Empty words and empty promises”

5 Protest: Direct Action through “Militant May”

6 Sovereignty: “If you really believe that you have the right, take it!”

Reflections

Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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