Saturday, February 20, 2010

Howard Adams: Reflections on rebuilding the left

Howard Adams (September 8, 1921 – September 8, 2001) was an influential twentieth century Metis academic and activist. He was born in St. Louis, Saskatchewan, Canada, on September 8, 1921, the son of a French Metis mother and an English Metis (Anglo-Metis) father. In his youth he briefly joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Adams became the first Metis in Canada to gain his PhD after studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 1966.

He returned to Canada and became a prominent Metis activist in Saskatchewan, often creating controversy by propagating his Marxist and Metis Nationalist views in reference to contemporary and historical events. Adams was often critical not only of Canadian society but of Aboriginal leadership for what he saw as its co-option, and cultivation of dependency by receiving government funding.

Adams' intellectual influences include Malcolm X whom he saw lecture at Berkeley, and the general radical environment of that institution during the 1960s. He was the maternal great grandson of Louis Riel's lieutenant Maxime Lepine who fought in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

Major works include Prison of Grass: Canada from a Native Point of View (1975), The Education of Canadians 1800-1867: The Roots of Separatism (1968), and Tortured People: The Politics of Colonization (1995).
Howard Adams audio presentation below is from the Rebuilding the Left conference held in Toronto in 2000.
Listen to Howard Adams here.

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