Can blockades and occupations be catalysts for positive change in Canada's Aboriginal communities?
Blockades have become a common response to Canada's failure to address and resolve the legitimate claims of First Nations. Blockades or Breakthroughs? debates the importance and effectiveness of blockades and occupations as political and diplomatic tools for Aboriginal people.
The adoption of direct action tactics like blockades and occupations is predicated on the idea that something drastic is needed for Aboriginal groups to break an unfavourable status quo, overcome structural barriers, and achieve their goals. But are blockades actually "breakthroughs"? What are the objectives of Aboriginal people and communities who adopt this approach? How can the success of these methods be measured? This collection offers an in-depth survey of occupations, blockades, and their legacies, from 1968 to the present. Individual case studies situate specific blockades and conflicts in historical context, examine each group’s reasons for occupation, and analyze the media labels and frames applied to both Aboriginal and state responses.
Direct action tactics remain a powerful political tool for First Nations in Canada. The authors of Blockades or Breakthroughs? Argue that blockades and occupations are instrumental, symbolic, and complex events that demand equally multifaceted responses.
Contributors include Yale D. Belanger, Tom Flanagan, Sarah King, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, David Rossiter, John Sandlos, Nick Shrubsole, and Timothy Winegard.