We Still Live Here: First Nations, Alberta Oil Sands, and Surviving Globalism

Edited By: Michael Hankard, PhD & John E. Charlton, DMin


Dr.’s Hankard and Charlton have put together a critically informed work that seeks to explore the range of challenges associated with living downstream from Fort McMurray Oil Sands mining operations.The authors contributing to this book include Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors, First Nation knowledge keepers, Elders and knowledgeable academics. The book is unique because three of the authors (Michael Hankard, Jennifer Dockstater and Kevin Fitzmaurice) have invested substantial portions of their lives (collectively, about 60 years) learning and practicing traditional teachings carried by another of the authors (Elder/Dr. Michael Thrasher). Another author (Isaac Murdoch) has followed traditional teachings essentially his entire life. The effect of traditional teachings on our own lives and its influence on our writing, thinking and doing remains significant.

  • ISBN: 978-1-926476-12-4
    Price: $33.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2016
    Rights: World
    Pages: 266
    Size: 6” x 9”

  • Table of Contents

    Dedication and Acknowledgements
    Table of Contents

    By: Michael Hankard, PhD & John E. Charlton, DMin

    1. The Journey of the Two-Legged into Black Gold
    By: Issac Murdoch

    2. The Alberta Tar Sands – gwatanziwag wii-di-goshi-nowaad – manno – The Choices That We Make

    By: Kevin FitzMaurice, PhD

    3. “Take Care of ‘the Land’ and ‘the Land’ will Take Care of You:” Relationship-Building through an Introduction to Indigenous Holistic Thought

    By: Jennifer S. Dockstator, PhD & Michael D. Thrasher, LLD

    4. In the Way of Progress: First Nations, Oil Sands and Traditional Healers

    By: Michael Hankard, PhD

    5. Borderlines: Gender and Indigenous Resistance to the Tar Sands
    By: Laura Hall

    6. Reflecting on Indigenous Teachings: Ecological Perspectives, Oil Sands Development and the IdleNoMore Movement

    Terry Wotherspoon, PhD & John G. Hansen, PhD

    7. The Sacred, the Peopled Land, and Climate Change
    By: Thomas Heyd, PhD

    8. Walk Alongside Us: Tar Sands Development, First Nations Communities, and Consent
    By: Clement Loo, PhD

    9. Holistic Social Justice: Listening to Indigenous Voices and Telling Lessons of Our Traditions, Our Ancestors and Our Futures
    By: Doreen E. Martinez, PhD

    10. Alberta Oil Sands and Zimbabwean Mining and Commercial Farming: A Comparative Cross Cultural Perspective on their Impact on the Natural Environment and Indigenous People’s Spirituality
    By: Collis G. Machoko, DPhil

    About the Authors

  • Michael Hankard, PhD & John E. Charlton, DMin

     Michael Hankard, PhD is Abenaki/Métis, and Assistant Professor and Chair of the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Sudbury.

     John E. Charlton, DMin is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and academic with significant experience working with First Nation individuals and knowledge systems.

  • We Still Live Here: First Nations, Alberta Oil Sands, and Surviving Globalism offers an insightful, challenging, and compelling read for anyone interested in Indigenous perspectives on the environmental threats posed by resource extraction. While the particular focus is on Oil Sands development, the issues raised have national and global implications. The authors emphasize the connections between human health and the environment, critique the capitalist and neo-liberal belief that natural resources are nothing but commodities, and point to Indigenous Knowledge as both a viable alternative perspective and an antidote to the ways of thinking which have generated the environmental problems we must now face. While Indigenous people living downstream from Oil Sands production who are connected to the land may be more aware than most of the environmental and health costs of such developments, this book offers a timely reminder to all of us: we all “still live here” on planet earth, and if we destroy the soil, water, plants, animals, and air which sustain us, we have nowhere else to go.

    Rachel Haliburton, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Dept. of Philosophy
    University of Sudbury

    This book offers a timely addition to the dialogue of the nature and scope of finite resource developments, in this case, the development of the tar sands and our intertwined environments. Clearly, a change in perspective on our nurturing land and waters is needed. At first contact, the growth of market ideologies and social relations dictated by forces outside of Indigenous societies became the standard in Canada. The impacts of globalization and the accommodating of transnational interests should be the concern of all Canadians. What is unique about this book is the comprehensive consideration of key areas, usually, not considered as part of this discourse: what Indigenous peoples bring to the discussion based on long familiarity of the effects of catastrophic developments on the land; of hegemonic relational ratification processes; and of what these developments bring to peoples and communities. Most Indigenous knowledge(s) offer understanding of human beings needing the waters, the animals, the plants, and the earth for life. In this broad view, responsibilities and obligations exist for life to continue. In Canada, an epoch of change in our historical relationships stands before us, the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the ruling of the Human Rights Tribunal on Aboriginal Child Welfare, the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and other planned legislative changes point the way to a future, we can all thrive in. This book offers an envisioning of how Indigenous knowledge(s) of the land contributes multilayered textures to this discussion that we as human beings on this earth must have about our collective future and our future ancestors.

    Patricia D. McGuire, (Kishebabaykwe), PhD

    Assistant Professor

    School of Social Work
Carleton University