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Dancing on Our Turtle's Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence
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Dancing on Our Turtle's Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Many promote Reconciliation as a "new" way for Canada to relate to Indigenous Peoples. In Dancing on Our Turtle's Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence activist, editor, and educator Leanne Simpson asserts reconciliation must be grounded in political resurgence and must support the regeneration of Indigenous languages, oral cultures, and ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Arbeiter Ring
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Leah Horlick
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A must-read for anyone (but especially activists) seeking to decolonize their movements; reminded me very much of the work being done on emergent strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown and the Octavia's Brood collective. Simpson's writing is so beautiful and clear while being layered and complex. Really wonderful writing by Saskatoon folks quoted in here too!
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plus je lis sur les Premières Nations & plus je deviens convaincue qu'il n'y a rien, dans notre éducation, qui nous prépare à la cohabitation avec les peuples autochtones & à la reconnaissance de leurs droits. Il y a un passage, dans Dancing on Our Turtle's Back, où Leanne Simpson explique à quoi ressemblait le partage du territoire entre deux nations, avant l'arrivée des colons : la notion de frontière qui est la nôtre, celle d'un tracé au crayon sur une carte, y est absente. Chez les Nishnaabe ...more
Lisa Faye
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This books is so, so good. It is hopeful and encouraging and a real education. I came away with some real solid ideas around actions that I can take in my life to nurture resurgence - in my family, in my community, and in myself. I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in understanding Canadian history, understanding the real effects of colonization in present day Canada, and committed to playing a role in decolonizing and resurgence.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: decolonisation
Dancing on our Turtle's Back is a beautifully, clearly written, personal, insightful, and enlightening work that addresses Anishinaabe resurgence and decolonization, through returning to the life ways of Simpson's ancestors. The book is written for and to Nishnaabeg people and should be read respectfully as such, but it is also a way for non-Indigenous people to understand how to decolonize our daily lives and our movements in harmony with such a resurgence. I look forward to reading this book a ...more
Jenn (Jenn’s Bookshelf)
Quick read, one that felt intriguing and intuitive however did go over my head in places. I also felt disconnected from the book because it really wasn’t written for someone like me. As the end chapter says, “it is a call for Indigenous Peoples to delve into their own cultures stories, philosophies, theories and concepts to align themselves with the processes and forces of regeneration, revitalization, remembering, and visioning.” Other than that, it is Informed and informative, which is always ...more
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Read it while doing my master's. Really helped me visualize possibilities for educational decolonization both in terms of my own studies and the school system.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I saw a video review on this book a few days ago, and decided to read it. Although I don't anything really about the Indigenous Peoples of Canada or their struggles with past and current colonialism, I found this book to be fascinating.
Ian Ridewood
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The act of visioning for Nishnaabeg people is a powerful act of resurgence, because these visions create Shki-kiin, new worlds. Neal McLeod writes, 'We just attempt to dream and have visions. Without dreams and idealism, we will truly be a conquered people.'"
A theory book unlike any other I've ever read. It's truly essential for imagining otherwise on Turtle Island.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
there’s a lot of interesting stuff in here — much of which isn’t particularly applicable for me specifically or my work, not being Anishinaabe, but some of which definitely is, or at least is a pointer in directions that I think will be productive.

that said, it’s poorly edited even for an academic book, which put a bit of a damper on my enjoyment of it sometimes.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub, non-fiction
Not gona lie, I really struggled to get through this book, partly because it was a pretty heavy academic text to read before bed, but more so because it was not written for me - a white woman. This book about Indigenous resurgence was written by a native woman for native people, and that takes some getting used to when you've grown accustomed to being spoon-fed whitewashed literature. Loved the concepts of Indigenous parenting as a form of decolonization and transformative justice within First N ...more
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a beautiful collections of stories/essays. to be read, over and over again.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: culture jammers, forward thinkers, open minds
A profound and compelling treatise. Excellent suggestions for living from a new/old perspective: “…our goals have been consistent throughout history: to restore balance, justice and good health to our lands and our peoples and to have good relations with settler governments and peoples based on respect for our sovereignty, independence and jurisdiction over our territories.”
“…Creating was the base of our culture. Creating was regenerative and ensured more diversity, more innovation and more life
Emily Kimball
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I needed this book. Leanne Simpson's beautiful mixture of academic theory with personal stories, and the honoring of other people's experiences as well, made the content and delivery incredibly holistic.
An interesting view of how we should tackle Indigenous/non-Indigenous issues in Canadian society, promoting resurgence and regeneration of Indigenous communities as opposed to immediately going to reconciliation.
Raquel Kay-Doubleyou
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I took my time with this one, I wanted to fully enjoy and understand it. It’s great. Really, really great.
easily the most important thing i've read in years. so grateful to have access to a basic introduction to teachings & knowledge indigenous to the land i live on & near. ...more
Jacob Wren
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kimberly Lorraine
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indigenous
I would need to read this book again to fully absorb it. There were a lot of ideas and information packed into this small volume.

Simpson isn’t interested in reconciliation. She isn’t interested so much in holding the government to account either although she recognizes the work of other indigenous people who are doing this. She is interested in a Nishaabeg resurgence movement, in re-claiming Nishaabeg language traditions and philosophy. It is only through these that sovereignty would be possib
Brenda D
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Small book, packed full of insights - particularly on resurgence of Indigenous Peoples!

The author references Haudenosaunee legal scholar Patricia Monture (another author I will have to look up) in making the argument that "self-determination and sovereignty begin at home. It begins with how we treat ourselves and our family members - how we make decision that honour the voices of all of our family members ... how we relate to human and non-human entities in a manner that embodies respect, respo
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Read this for class. A pretty enlightening read for someone who doesn't know much about current Indigenous affairs in Canada. I agreed with some if not all of the points that Simpson made. On the whole it was well-written and did a fair job of not making the text too inaccessible. Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from being bored the whole time I was reading it. ;-; sorry freya my dude
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent on so many levels.
Malou Brouwer
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great stuff and very inspiring!
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Jul 22, 2018
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Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.

Working for two decades as an independent sc

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