Reviews

“Original and very profound, this book is distinguished by both an engaged and critical point of view and a highly successful style and approach. In counterpoint to a touching personal story relating the author’s gradual initiation into the central components of Dene culture, the book explores the deep misunderstanding that undermines negotiations between First Nations and Canadian public authorities. The methodology is flawless and the reasoning – even though it sometimes makes the reader despair – is absolutely coherent. In a field that has now given us so many books, the publication of a work of such depth and scope should still be widely hailed. Finding Dahshaa may one day be recognized as a classic of political anthropology.”

— Jury Remarks, 2010 Donald Smiley Prize

Finding Dahshaa provides a nuanced critique of Aboriginal self-government negotiations in Canada, examining their colonial underpinnings while also providing a cautiously optimistic tale of the potential empowerment of a people to gain more control of their communal lives. This is a must-read for people involved in or contemplating self-government negotiations, those interested in Aboriginal-state relations, and those who strive for a postcolonial world. Finding Dahshaa can also be read as a manual for how to carry out respectful and appropriate research with Indigenous peoples. Its clear, narrative style makes this a compelling and enjoyable read.

— Shalene Jobin Vandervelde, American Indian Quarterly – Volume 35, Number 1, Winter 2011, pp. 140-142

“The thoughtful and extensive consideration of the aboriginal perspective is the hallmark of this work. The author’s experience as a non-aboriginal living and working alongside First Nations people has given her a deep understanding of the values held by aboriginals which enables her to uniquely construe the issues affecting First Nations. Through revealing use of aboriginal experiences of suffering, paired with the governmental negotiation effects of silencing such suffering, the defects of the current system are exposed.”

– Kelly Bray, Saskatchewan Law Review, 2010, Vol. 73, pp. 157-158.

“The author offers an alternative model for native negotiation to attain rights to a decent standard of living and she sets out a novel study of self-government negotiations. This carefully research book by a hands-on highly qualified professional will be a must-have reference text for those striving to bring justice to First Peoples.”

– Ronald F. MacIsaac, The Barrister, September 2009, p. 20.

“This is a how-to text. The author tells us how the non-working, or at least unreasonably slow, land claims negotiations can be handled effectively and swiftly. She has set out a workable model for negotiations and her considerable experience working among the Dene, Métis and Inuvialuit peoples of Canada make her well qualified to design the same. In my view, the First Nations peoples of the Arctic and other areas of Canada would be well served if their governments adopted her program.”

– Ronald F. MacIsaac, The Verdict, Fall 2009, p. 54.