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Brotherhood to Nationhood: George Manuel and the Making of the Modern Indian

George Manuel was a leader of Canada’s modern Indian movement and an internationally acclaimed spokesman for Native rights. His story is not just of one individual but of the rise of Native power in Canada and throughout the world.rnrnRaised by his grandfather, a Shuswap elder, on a reserve in interior B.C., Manuel became a civil rights activist during the 1950s. He soon moved on to address the question of collective rights for his people, sounding a call for nation-to-nation negotiations with white society. By the mid 1960s Manuel was working within the federal Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) – the “den of thieves” as he put it – and laying the groundwork for the first nationwide organization of status Indians, the National Indian Brotherhood. He went from there to become founding president of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, as a man deeply committed to ideas of self-reliance and leadership by example.

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