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Indian Country (in the city)

Volume 43, Number 1: January/February 2009

A sacred fire of Indigenous Canadian activism, education, art, and politics burns bright in the latest special double issue of Canadian Dimension. Featuring a cover by world renowned Indigenous artist Rebecca Belmore, the latest issue of Canadian Dimension looks at the achievements and challenges facing Canada’s urban and rural Indigenous communities. The rural to urban shift is “directly connected to the harsh socio-economic realities our people face if they choose to stay in one of the more than 630 apartheid style Indian reserves,” says Indigenous activist and Dimension collective member Clayton Thomas-Muller.

We’ve drawn from Canada’s top indigenous artists for this issue, including a personal Q/A with Rebecca Belmore. “Whether it is about Aboriginal issues or women’s issues, I try to make the work open enough so that it is bigger than the issue at hand,” she says. Bear Clan Mother and Indigenous Liberation activist Leslie Spillett takes us back to the haunting past of residential schools and today’s struggle to reclaim education for Indigenous children. Stefanie Gude breaks the silence on the OPP cover-up at Tyendinaga and the future for justice and sovereignty in this community.

While indigenous activists wrestle with the legacy of colonialism, the world wrestles with the ravages of neo-liberal capitalism. The Dimension collective looks at Canada’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the prospects for putting forward a new anti-capitalist politics in 2009. Ellen Gould breaks down the financial jargon surrounding the crisis in her article Gambling as Economic Policy.

Lesley Hughes is back with her usual astute reflections on the state of media and politics, and we’ve got author William Deveral guiding us through the seamy alleys of Canadian crime fiction.

Table of Contents


  • The Corvin Russell Paragraph
  • Tinkering While Canada Burns
  • The Labour Report
  • One Native Life
  • On the Edge

Opening Arguments

  • Free Speech As Long As It Doesn’t Offend Anyone
  • Gambling As Economic Policy
  • Shut Down the Tar Sands
  • The Great OPP Cover-Up at Tyendinaga
  • Gathering of Defenders of the Land

Indian Country (in the city)

  • Introduction: Indian Country in the City
  • Rebecca Belmore: Fiercely Political, Politically Fierce
  • Building Resistance: Aboriginal Organizations in Winnipeg’s Inner City
  • Supporting Aboriginal Sex Workers’ Struggles
  • “I Want to Get Rid of the White Problem.” The Struggle to Reclaim Indigenous Education for Indigenous Children
  • The Wellbeing of Our Children:  The History and Future of Aboriginal Control of Child and Family Services in Manitoba
  • Digging Up Indigenous History in Toronto’s Cityscape

All That’s Left

  • Honouring our Activists: Regina Celebrates Canadian Dimension
  • Canadian Crime Fiction
  • North Winnipeg’s Seal of Identity

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