Tsawalk: A Review

A couple months ago, a journal out of the University of British Columbia, BC Studies, asked me to review Richard Atleo’s book, The Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis.  Here’s a little bit of what I came up with:

… The Principles of Tsawalk is both timely and timeless. It is timely in the sense that its underpinning principles can be used at this moment to rethink how settler governments are, for example, ramming the Enbridge oil pipeline down the throats of Indigenous nations on the British Columbia coast. …

The book is timeless not only because the principles of Tsawalk are part of a Nuu-chah-nulth way of being, but also because settler disrespect for Indigenous constitutional orders has only deepened since the early nineteenth century. In challenging the basis of the colonizer-colonized relationship, Umeek’s protocols of Hahuulism would have had analytical application 200 years ago; they apply with equal traction today (the federal government has, as recently as January 2012, re-committed itself to upholding the Indian Act); and they will apply for the next 200 years (the Alberta Oil Sands demonstrate that colonialism in Canada will not end overnight). …

I thank the folks at BC Studies for the opportunity.

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