Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships
272 pages, 6 x 9
10 figures, 8 b&w photos, 1 map
Release Date:01 May 2023
CA$34.95 Back Order
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Release Date:01 Feb 2023
Release Date:01 Feb 2023

Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships

Nehiyawak Narratives

UBC Press

Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships explains settler colonialism through the lens of economic exploitation, using Indigenous methodologies and critical approaches. What is the relationship between economic progress in the land now called Canada and the exploitation of Indigenous peoples? And what gifts embedded within Indigenous world views speak to miyo‐pimâtisiwin ᒥᔪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐃᐧᐣ (the good life), and specifically to good economic relations?

Shalene Wuttunee Jobin draws on the knowledge systems of the nehiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐊᐧᐠ (Cree people) – whose distinctive principles and practices shape their economic behaviour – to make two central arguments. The first is that economic exploitation was the initial and most enduring relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples. The second is that Indigenous economic relationships are constitutive: connections to the land, water, and other human and nonhuman beings form who we are as individuals and as peoples. This groundbreaking study employs Cree narratives that draw from the past and move into the present to reveal previously overlooked Indigenous economic theories and relationships, and provides contemporary examples of nehiyawak renewing these relationships in resurgent ways. In the process, Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships offers tools that enable us to reimagine how we can aspire to the good life with all our relations.

This study will interest not only scholars and students of Indigenous studies, particularly Cree studies, but also Indigenous community members involved in community and economic development, planning, and governance.

Jobin offers a ground-breaking rethinking of what economic means in the context of nehiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐊᐧᐠ (Plains Cree) culture. S. Perreault, CHOICE Connect
Beautifully written, Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships is crucially important as a comprehensive exploration of Cree economic values told through story and oral history. Glen Coulthard, author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition
Shalene Jobin’s refreshing perspective on a prairie First Nations community is a desperately needed contribution to Indigenous studies as well as history, anthropology, and Canadian studies. Priscilla Settee, professor, Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan

Shalene Wuttunee Jobin is a Cree and Métis scholar and a citizen of Red Pheasant Cree First Nation, Treaty 6. She is an associate professor of Indigenous studies and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance at the University of Alberta, the founding director of the Indigenous Governance and Partnership program, and a co-founder of the Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge. She also serves on the board of the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.


1 Grounding Methods

2 Grounding Economic Relationships

3 nehiyawak Peoplehood and Relationality

4 Canada’s Genesis Story

5 ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑯᐤ Warnings of Insatiable Greed

6 Indigenous Women’s Lands and Bodies

7 Theorizing Cree Economic and Governing Relationships

8 Colonial Dissonance

9 Principles Guiding Cree Economic Relationships

10 Renewed Relationships through Resurgent Practices

11 Upholding Relations


Glossary of Cree Terms

Notes; References; Index

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