In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

336 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 typical workings of instructional method in planning and design studios. What they don=t provide is confrontation with the real world processes of real estate development and political decision-making. Nor is it possible to view any evidence of what would occur in the lives of residents were these planning solutions actually to be implemented. A concluding chapter brings the strands together, almost resembling a bridge to and from Keyhole. It is rewarding intellectually to find Avi Friedman=s seminal thinking arise in the distinct applications of these two books: flexibility and changeability in housing; integrating housing, non-residential land uses, and transportation considerations at the community and suburban scales. His thoughts are worth serious attention. (WILLIAM MICHELSON) Laurie Meijer Drees. The Indian Association of Alberta: A History of Political Action University of British Columbia Press. xxiv, 248. $85.00, $29.95 Laurie Meijer Drees has written a thorough and sophisticated account of the emergence of the Indian Association of Alberta (IAA) from 1939 through to the end of the 1960s. As she notes in her introduction, historians have not analysed how the nature and diversity of Aboriginal political thought have informed Aboriginal political action. In The Indian Association of Alberta, Meijer Drees takes on this task in the context of a detailed historical account of a single aboriginal political organization, and her results are illuminating. The IAA came into existence in 1939 largely as a result of the efforts of several bands in Alberta concerned about social and economic conditions in their communities and the impact of the federal Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs on reserve life. The Indian Act at the time prohibited bands from hiring lawyers to initiate claims against the government, so band leaders forged alliances with off-reserve Aboriginal political organizations, such as the Métis Association of Alberta, and, intriguingly, non-Aboriginal political organizations, such as the United Farmers of Alberta. Many Aboriginal people in reserve communities were farmers and shared a community of interest with farmers living in remote areas of the province. One such Aboriginal farmer was Johnny Calihoo, a band councillor living on the Michel reserve. Calihoo=s political vision was local and practical in focus; he was interested in addressing specific community problems within the existing political and legal framework of the province. From the outset, Calihoo B and the IAA=s other major founder, a Métis leader named Malcolm Norris B sought to provide a stable organizational forum for the various reserve based political organizations in the province to voice local concerns. Meijer Drees reveals the complexity of the IAA=s history by examining the subsequent influence of John Laurie, a non-Aboriginal Calgary high school humanities 337 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 teacher concerned about the plight of Aboriginal people in the province. Laurie served as the secretary to the IAA, in the 1940s and 1950s, and assiduously worked to cultivate and deepen alliances between the IAA and non-Aboriginal citizen groups. Laurie saw the IAA as an organization that encouraged engagement between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state. Meijer Drees notes astutely that the coexistence of the sometimes competing visions of Laurie and many IAA members, who sought to affirm their treaty rights and a measure of political autonomy within Canada, produced a creative tension within the IAA and affected its historical trajectory as a political organization. This tension came to a head with the publication of the federal government=s White Paper in 1969. In response, the IAA published a document that has become known as the >Red Paper= (produced with assistance from Preston and Ernest Manning=s consulting firm!) and launched Aboriginal politics firmly on a path towards autonomy. Towards the end of The Indian Association of Alberta, Meijer Drees compares the political thought of Calihoo and John Tootoosis, Calihoo=s counterpart and arch-rival in neighbouring Saskatchewan. It is in this chapter where Meijer Drees=s overall historical method becomes clear. The disagreements between Calihoo and Tootoosis are extensive and complex, but Meijer Drees identifies the differing political...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 336-337
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.