Merging Fires

Grassroots Peacebuilding Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples

By Rick Wallace  

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The past two decades have witnessed the emerging role of grassroots social movements and community-based peacebuilding as key sites of transformative political and cultural engagement. Merging Fires offers case studies of grassroots alliance building between non-Indigenous activists and three Indigenous communities: the Chippewa of Nawash, the Grassy Narrows First Nation and the Anishinaabe Grand Council of Treaty #3. These Canadian examples offer insights into the challenges, limitations and complexities of transformative, community-based alliance building and raise critical questions about power, knowledge and pedagogy at the grassroots level.

While this analysis is uniquely Canadian in scope, Merging Fires is of great political relevance in light of the Idle No More movement as well as similar decolonizing initiatives occurring globally. Rick Wallace’s research methodologies and ethics of solidarity are starkly different from many mainstream academic approaches, and his documentation of on-the-ground efforts at peacebuilding fills an important gap in the field.

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  • Introduction
  • Indigenous-Canadian Relations: Neo-Colonialism and Decolonization
  • Cape Crocker: Fishing Rights, Anti-Racism and Community Activism
  • Grassy Narrows: Clearcutting and the Politics of Trust
  • Kenora: Anishnabe Leadership and Renewing Treaties
  • Emancipatory Relationship-building and Its Challenges
  • Redefining Peacebuilding and the Grassroots Knowledges
  • Bibliography


  • Rick Wallace

    Rick Wallace is a grassroots social justice activist, peacebuilding practitioner, researcher and national/international consultant on community-based peacebuilding.

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