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Taiaiake Alfred

Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom

Date Recorded: Dec 7th, 2005
Recorded At: Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC
Recorded By: Necessary Voices Society
Duration: 59:30  

Topic Background

Taiaiake Alfred is a Kanien’kehaka scholar and orator who has dedicated himself to indigenous struggles for dignity, unity, and strength. He believes that words have the power to transform, the truth is a powerful weapon, and that it is time to act.

Taiaiake boldly proposes new strategies for the new warriors of cultural and spiritual resurgence. He speaks and writes passionately about Canadian colonialism, the need for substantive restitution rather than mere recognition of ‘Aboriginal rights’, for autonomy rather than dependent forms of ‘self-government’, and for peaceful coexistence between and among indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. In his recent book, Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom, he rejects Aboriginalism as a legalistic, integrating ideology that destroys individuals and communities, and argues instead for an anarcho-indigenist perspective that is non-capitalist, non-statist, pro-feminist, and based on a sustainable relation to nature.

Speaker Biography

Taiaiake was born in Montreal, and raised in the community of Kahnawake, in the Mohawk Nation. He is a scholar and an award-winning journalist known for his passionate and incisive commentary on politics and culture. He is a respected orator, and a trusted advisor to many First Nations governments and community organisations. He earned degrees in history and political science from Concordia University and holds a PhD. from Cornell University. He is currently a professor at the University of Victoria in its Indigenous Governance programs. In addition to his most recent book, Wasase, Taiaiake is the author of two previous books, Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors, on Native Nationalism, and Peace, Power, Righteousness, an essay on Indigenous ethics.

For more information about Taiaiake Alfred visit www.taiaiake.com

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