Wasáse Redux: Rethinking Indigenous Resurgence

It has been more than a decade since the formation of Resurgence as an intellectual paradigm and its rise as a framework for political and cultural movement among Indigenous people. In this time, Indigenous Resurgence has manifested in many diverse actions of decolonization, self-determination and re-rootedness, and has emerged as the ideological driving force behind critiques of reconciliation in Canada and other countries. In this lecture, Taiaiake will reflect on the impacts of Indigenous Resurgence thus far, and explore the deeper meaning and radical possibility of Indigenous Resurgence through a critical re-examination of his 2005 book, Wasáse: Indigenous pathways of action and freedom.


An award-winning educator, writer and activist, Taiaiake Alfred is the author of Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors, Peace, Power, Righteousness and Wasáse and a globally-renowned Indigenous philosopher. He founded the academic discipline of Indigenous Governance, and originated the concept of Indigenous Resurgence, which has recently emerged as North America and Oceania’s most influential intellectual paradigm and social-cultural movement for decolonization. Taiaiake is Kanien’kehaka, and he was born in Montréal and raised in the Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Territory. In his youth he served as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, and completed his BA in History at Concordia and his Ph.D. at Cornell University. He has been a professor at Concordia University and the University of Victoria and is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair, the award for best column writing by the Native American Journalists Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s award for one of the decade’s most influential books, and a National Aboriginal Achievement/IndSpire Award. His speaking and writing is based on 30 years of direct experience working with First Nation governments, organizations and movements. He lives in the territory of the Wsanec Nation and is the father of three sons, who are all members of the Laksilyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.