Life against States of Emergency: Revitalizing Treaty Relations from Attawapiskat (Paperback)

Life against States of Emergency: Revitalizing Treaty Relations from Attawapiskat By Sarah Marie Wiebe, Lindsay Keegitah Borrows (Foreword by) Cover Image

Life against States of Emergency: Revitalizing Treaty Relations from Attawapiskat (Paperback)


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Responding to the activism of former Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, this book explores what it means to be in a treaty relationship today.

For six weeks in 2012 and 2013, Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence undertook a high-profile ceremonial fast to advocate for improved Canadian-Indigenous relations. Framed by the media as a hunger strike, her fast was both a call to action and a gesture of corporeal sovereignty.

Life against States of Emergency responds to the central question she asked the Canadian public to consider: What does it mean to be in a treaty relationship today? Arguing that treaties are critical and vital matters of environmental justice, Sarah Marie Wiebe offers a nuanced discussion of the political environment that caused treaty relations in Attawapiskat to break down amid a history of repeated state-of-emergency declarations.

This incisive work draws on community-engaged research, lived experiences, critical discourse analysis, ecofeminist and Indigenous studies scholarship, art, activism, and storytelling to advance a transformative, future-oriented approach to treaty relationships. By centering community voices, Life against States of Emergency cultivates a more deliberative, democratic dialogue.
Sarah Marie Wiebe is an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, where she teaches in the Community Development program. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, a co-founder of the Feminist Environmental Research Network, and the author of Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley.
Product Details ISBN: 9780774867887
ISBN-10: 0774867884
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Publication Date: October 6th, 2023
Pages: 312
Language: English
"Wiebe’s book is rich, thoughtful, and wise. It centres Indigenous realities and theories, allowing readers to understand how the past informs the present, why representation matters, and how to move collectively toward an environmentally just future."
— Jocelyn Thorpe, director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba