From the award-winning author of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call and The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy comes an inspiring memoir of poverty, hard work, and incredible business success.
In the opening to his memoir, Grand Chief Ron Derrickson says his “story is not a litany of complaints but a list of battles” that he has fought. And he promises he will not be overly pious in his telling of them. “As a businessman,” he writes, “I like to give the straight goods.”
In Fight or Submit, Derrickson delivers on his promise and it turns out he has a hell of a story to tell. Born and raised in a tarpaper shack, he went on to become one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in Canada. As a political leader, he served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation for a dozen years and was made a Grand Chief by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
He has been the target of a full Royal Commission and an assassination attempt by a hitman hired by local whites. As Chief, he increased his community’s revenues by 3500% and led his people into a war in the forest over logging rights. This is the determined and direct story of an Indigenous entrepreneur who, in the face of hatred and violence, always lifted his community up and had fun along the way.
Grand Chief Derrickson is one of the most successful Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada and used his business experience to lift his community out of poverty, making it one of the wealthiest bands in the country. He tells of how he’s always tried to do the right thing in the face of hatred and violence.
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“Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson has captured a vivid and arresting account of the challenges he confronted and surmounted as an Indigenous leader in a society dominated by racism. Providing insightful commentary on Indigenous politics and the various communal and interpersonal conflicts that he encountered as Chief of West Bank First Nation, Grand Chief Derrickson’s tenacity, resourcefulness, and inner drive for justice shines through.” — Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs
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