Western Canadian Native Destiny: Complex Questions on the Cultural Maze

2008 John W Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen
Detselig Enterprises Ltd.

ISBN: 978-1550593556
The First Nations of Canada have survived many cultural onslaughts since European contact. However, they still face a myriad of socioeconomic, educational, and legal challenges if they are to experience socioeconomic success in the twenty-first century. Western Canadian Native Destiny: Complex Questions on the Cultural Maze examines a series of watershed issues that remain on the order paper for Canada’s Aboriginal people. It is important for all Canadians, Aboriginal and nonAboriginal, to understand these issues if they are to lend support to the First People’s quest for justice and equality in this prosperous nation. The authors elaborate the perspective that objective assessments of the Indigenous situation, while imperative, are not readily available. In this volume, they synthesize information on the Native position and needs from varied and diverse sources, therefore allowing readers to judge for themselves. As the discussion initially points out, it is important to be apraise of the evolution of the Aboriginal position and status in Canada. Headlining the list of unresolved matters is the public’s lack of understanding of Indigenous knowledge and spirituality, which form the basis of First Nations needs and demands. this discussion is followed by examining Ntive urban migrations, health, education and welfare needs, residential school aftermath, cultural identity and First Nations self-image, language maintenance, role of women, status of Aboriginal art, function of Aboriginal leadership, land claims, economic development, the challenge of Aboriginal self-government, and the quest for social justice. Undoubtedly, the First Nations of Canada face urgent and complex challenges that must be addressed in this century. It is important that their fellow Canadians understand this and lend their support toward a successful resolution. This book provides essential data to begin that task.  
John Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen, have once again put their unique talents together to compile what I’d have to say is perhaps their most comprehensive and compelling book yet. Western Canadian Native Destiny is a great book and a must-read for every Canadian citizen, but in particular for teachers, students, community leaders, business administrators, and companies and industries who not only seek to learn more about Aboriginal culture and tradition, but who want to truly understand just how and why cultural diversity is an important and integral part of who we are–both as Canadians and human beings.

–John Copley, Alberta Native News, October 2008
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