In House with ARP Books for Indigenous History Month
June 23, 2021
Our celebration of Indigenous-authored books and the people behind them continues today in recognizing ARP Books. As a Canadian independent publisher, ARP amplifies some of the most exciting writings on Indigenous issues—an integral part of its mandate to publish an innovative mix of books with an emphasis on progressive political analysis. Learn more about ARP Books and check out a sampling of books published by the press.
ARP Book'smandate has always been to publish a dynamic combination of cultural, fiction, and non-fiction titles with an emphasis on progressive political analysis of contemporary issues, while encouraging innovative new writing. ARP has been fortunate enough to serve as an amplifier for some of the most exciting writings on Indigenous issues, with books like Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence and Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg: This Is Our Territory by Gidigaa Migizi (Doug Williams), and This is an Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Blockades, a collection of writings exploring the impact of the 1990 resistance at Kanehsatà:ke. We also gathered a multitude of voices together for The Winter We Danced, a wide-ranging and powerful collection of writing and imagery from the Idle No More movement.
Most recently, we released a twenty-five year research and community based book by Theresa Turmel;Mnidoo Bemaasing Bemaadiziwin brings forward Indigenous thought, history, and acts of resistance as viewed through the survivors of residential school. Lastly, Storying Violence by Gina Starblanket andDallas Hunt,uses just one instance of Indigenous peoples' presence being seen as a threat to settler colonial security, then used to sanction the exclusion, violent treatment, and death of Indigenous peoples and communities.
Simpson explores philosophies and pathways of regeneration, resurgence, and a new emergence through the Nishnaabeg language, Creation Stories, walks with Elders and children, celebrations and protests, and meditations on these experiences. She stresses the importance of illuminating Indigenous intellectual traditions to transform their relationship to the Canadian state.
In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation.
In this deeply engaging oral history, Doug Williams, Anishinaabe elder, teacher and mentor to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, recounts the history of the Michi Saagiig Nisnaabeg, tracing through personal and historical events, and presenting what manifests as a crucial historical document that confronts entrenched institutional narratives of the history of the region.
Mnidoo bemaasing bemaadiziwin manifests within all of our relations: land, animals, plants, ancestors, and other people, and cannot be extinguished but can be severely dampened as was evident in the attempt to assimilate residential school students. From their accounts, we learn that students found ways to nurture their life force energy through relationships and acts of resistance.
Using colonial and socio-political narratives that underlie white rural settler life, the authors position the death of Boushie and trial of Stanley in relation to Indigenous histories and experiences in Saskatchewan.
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Thanks to Bret at ARP Books for sharing the history of the press with us, and for this roundup of fantastic books!
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