CBU Press to launch Living Treaties Book on National Aboriginal Day

CBU Press says this could be the most important book you read this year.

Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations, edited by respected educator and scholar Marie Battiste, will have its public launch on National Aboriginal Day (June 21) at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Living Treaties is a collection of articles focusing on contemporary perspectives of Mi’kmaq, and their non-Mi’kmaw allies, who have worked with, experienced and lived the Mi’kmaw treaties at various times over the last fifty years.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit lands and resources are still tied to treaties and other documents, though their relevance seems forever in dispute. Mi’kmaw treaties were negotiated in good faith with the objective of shared benefits to all parties and members. It is important to know about them, to read them, to hear them and to comprehend their significance in order to recognize them as part of contemporary life.

“These authors have had experiences contesting the Crown’s version of the treaty story,” says Dr. Marie Battiste, a native of Potlotek First Nation and education professor at University of Saskatchewan.

“They have all been involved in rebuilding the Mi’kmaq and their nation with the strength of their understandings of Mi’kmaw history,” she writes. “They share how they came to know about treaties, about the key family members and events that shaped their thinking, their activism and their life’s work.”

Passionate activists and allies, sixteen contributing authors—Elders, activists and lawyers, including Daniel N. Paul, Pamela Palmater, Naiomi Metallic, Joe B. Marshall and Douglas E. Brown—uncover the treaties and their contemporary meanings.

These are the voices of a new generation of indigenous lawyers and academics,” says CBU Press editor-in-Chief Mike Hunter, “who, credentials solidly in hand, pursue social and cognitive justice for their families and their people.”

“This is a game-changing read for everyone living in Mi’kma’ki,” says Hunter. “It drags the treaties out of the caverns of the public archives, and brings them to life and to justice; it reaffirms Mi’kmaw identity, consciousness, knowledges and heritages, as well as their connections and rightful resources to the land and ecologies.”

Living Treaties will be making its way into bookstores the week of June 6, and will be available for e-readers shortly thereafter.

A public launch and celebration—sponsored by CBU Press, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, Treaty Education Nova Scotia and the NS Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage—is planned for Tuesday June 21, 6-9 p.m., at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax.