ISBN 10: 1-77160-136-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-77160-136-8
The people who were living here on Turtle Island (North America) before us have been pushed aside from their own land for years. Mining companies, lumber companies,railways, government, fisheries have all taken away their land and resources while dishonoring the treaties that were supposed to protect them.
This is the story of aboriginal peoples in Canada, their ruined villages, and the many diverse people of Operation Beaver, the Frontiers Foundation, and their thousands of friends across Canada and around the world who helped when they were asked.
The culmination of seven years of research, James Bacque’s new book addresses directly and unflinchingly the dangerous deprivation and shame that haunt Canada’s aboriginal reserves. He also shows how the media get it wrong: they criticize Chief Spence of Attawapiskat for demanding a meeting with Canada’s Governor-General, whereas in fact, as representative of the Crown, he has a serious role to play.
According to a recent finding of a judge of the Federal Court of Canada, James Hugessen, “In virtually all aboriginal rights cases, the honor of the Crown is at stake.” Deep and original research such as this is critically important in these discussions.
Spirit Builders is the story of Charles Catto and Frontiers Foundation, which has been building houses and educating students on reserves and Métis land across Canada for 60 years. This volunteer and cooperative movement has built over 2,000 houses, community buildings and schools as a practical way of addressing and solving many of the problems that aboriginals and Métis around the world face as they seek to create a new relationship with the colonizing societies around them.
The success of Frontiers Foundation is grounded in its requirement that the prospective owners of houses contribute work themselves, while Frontiers Foundation’s head office organizes outside volunteers, grants and machinery to help create the building materials on aboriginal land.
Over the years, the Foundation has also come to operate successful educational programs in Canada, Haiti and Bolivia.