In The Secret Struggles of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Leaders, Anny Morissette examines Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg actors’ political resistance to the Canadian government amidst threats to the tribe’s traditional political structures. Morissette traces the Anishinabeg political identity through the preservation of traditional, spiritual, and symbolic influences, which have endured despite colonial disruptions. Morissette highlights daily forms of resistance, Indigenous narratives, and tactics of political power from the margins, demonstrating how Anishinabeg actors continue to defy political oppression.
Anny Morissette is assistant professor in the School of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University.
Chapter 1: The Variability and Flexibility of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Leadership
Chapter 2: Creating and Training Band Chiefs: The Euro-Canadian Vision of First Nation Leadership
Chapter 3: "Bottom-up" Governance: The Implications of the Overlap of the First Nation and Euro-Canadian Political Universes on the Role of Chief
Chapter 4: At the Interstice of Power or How to Regain Lost Power: Re-engaging and Empowering Anishinabeg Women
This book offers an innovative analysis of Anishinabeg leadership as seen ‘from the inside’ and shows the challenges faced by contemporary First Nations leaders. Morissette offers a sympathetic yet insightful analysis of the pressures and contradictions of politics in a fundamentally egalitarian society, reminding us that ‘Native’ societies are not necessarily homogenous nor what we expect them to be.
Thanks to privileged access to political actors and to internal documentation, Morissette here offers an original perspective on Indigenous ‘bottom up’ governance. Afar from institutions, negotiations, and discourses on self-governance, this book reveals with much accuracy the peculiarities and dynamics of everyday political life among the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. This is where an interstitial leadership takes shape through the cracks in the formal and traditional systems of governance, with all the imaginable ambiguities, contradictions, and paradoxes—where women play an active and empowering role, and where an entire community unfolds its resistance. This book is a welcome addition to the growing and much-needed literature on the Anishinabeg nations in Quebec.
Morissette demolishes assumptions surrounding the inadaptability and rigidity of Indigenous leadership in response to colonialism. In this work, the Kitigan Zibi leaders and community demonstrate an incredible amount of flexibility and adaptability while existing in the gaps or interstitial space created by colonialism. This book will form the basis of future exploration of Indigenous political culture, from Indigenous perspectives, to understand how Indigenous peoples have continued to govern and generate leadership from within. This book is a must-read for scholars in political science, anthropology, history, sociology, and Indigenous studies.