Wrestling with Colonialism on Steroids

Quebec Inuit Fight for Their Homeland

Reviewed by Jessica Knapp 

Posted September 18, 2019

In his memoir, entitled Wrestling with Colonialism on Steroids, writer and broadcaster Zebedee Nungak shares with readers both a history of Nunavik (the Arctic region of Quebec) and his first-hand experience of the James Bay hydroelectric project in the early 1970s. Nungak helped to negotiate the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and is a signatory.

The major themes of his book are the relationships among the Cree, the Inuit, the province of Quebec, and the government of Canada; the fight for recognition and the development of representation for Inuit in northern Quebec; and the roles of and relationships to language, environment, and policy.

In what seems to be a conversation with the reader, Nungak brings this episode in Canadian history to life through his metaphors, humour, and matter-of-fact tone. The pocket-sized book includes photos of Nungak and of other people featured in his story.

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Jessica Knapp is a public history consultant based in Montreal, Quebec. 

This article originally appeared in the October-November 2019 issue of Canada’s History.

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