Front cover image for Wall of words : the betrayal of the urban Indian

Wall of words : the betrayal of the urban Indian

Joan Ryan
"In May 1976, Nelson Small Legs, Jr. dressed in full Indian regalia and shot himself through the heart. His suicide note stunned many Canadians: ?I give my life in protest to the present conditions concerning the Indian people of southern Alberta,? he wrote. ?I also give my life in the hopes of a full-scale investigation into the dept. of Indian Affairs.? Newsmen and journalists, sociologists and psychologists converged on Brocket, Alberta in an attempt to uncover the {u2018}real{u2019} reasons behind the suicide. Nearly all went away still mystified by this act of self-inflicted political violence so foreign to its time and place. In Wall of Words, John Ryan, a friend and co-worker, traces the inside story of the events leading up to Nelson{u2019}s death. In doing so she supplies a case study of the kind of relations that have characterized interaction between Indians and the government since the Indian Act was signed, revealing the paternalism, unresponsiveness and mistrust of the Department of Indian Affairs in the face of efforts by Indians to determine their own destiny. It is also a warning that unless changes are made, a frustrated people, so poor and powerless they have little to lose, will move inevitable toward increasingly violent solutions to their problems."--Page 4 of cover
Print Book, English, c1978
PMA Books, Toronto, c1978