Separate but Unequal

Separate but Unequal

How Parallelist Ideology Conceals Indigenous Dependency

By Frances Widdowson

312 Pages · 9x6 · November 5 2019

Paper ISBN: 9780776628547

Availability: Out of stock

Product Name Price
39.95 $ CA


This book is published in English.

Separate but Unequal provides an in-depth critique of the ideology of parallelism—the prevailing view that Indigenous cultures and the wider Canadian society should exist separately from one another in a “nation-to-nation” relationship.

Using the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as an example, this historical and material analysis shows how the single-minded pursuit of parallelism will not result in a more balanced relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. On the contrary, it merely restores archaic economic, political, and ideological forms that will continue to isolate the Indigenous population.

This book provides an alternative framework for examining Indigenous dependency. This new perspective—the political economy of neotribal rentierism—shows that Indigenous Peoples’ circumstances have been inextricably linked to the development of capitalism in Canada. While Indigenous Peoples were integral participants in the fur trade, the transition from mercantilism to industrial capitalism led to their marginalization.


This new book by Professor Widdowson must be read by anyone who wants to understand and improve the lives of Indigenous People.

Professor Emeritus Rodney A. Clifton

A fearless book, Separate but Unequal needs to be read for its rigorous critique of conventional wisdom—on the right and the left—about the history, the current conditions, and the best ways forward for Indigenous [P]eoples in Canada. It makes a unique contribution to our most important public policy debate.

Leslie Pal