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Dene Nation, the colony within by Mel…
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Dene Nation, the colony within (1977)

by Mel Watkins

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We the Dene of the Northwest Territories insist on the right to be regarded by ourselves and the world as a nation.
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This collection of papers by some twenty contributors has been selected in the main from presentations made to the Berger Inquiry, and reflects the efforts of the Dene people to block the construction of a pipeline throught the Mackenzie Valley lands they claim as their own. The issue is broader than a pipeline or even a land claim, and the presentations go well beyond showing the adverse effects of a pipeline, serious though these may be. Rather they reflect the Dene nation's fundamental perception that their struggle is for the most universal of human rights, the right to be a self-determining people, living with their land as they have always done. Should no pipeline ever materialize up the Mackenzie Valley, the Dene nation will continue to assert this right and continue to strive for decolonization in matters of economics, politics, law and culture. The papers, some of them written by Dene and others by specialists in a variety of fields, reveal the profound issues of human rights from which pipeline protest ultimately derives. This book is essential reading for all concerned with Canada's future as a compassionate democracy.
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