CBC Books 100 nonfiction

The Inconvenient Indian

Thomas King

The Inconvenient Indian

Craig Kielburger championed The Inconvenient Indian for Canada Reads 2015.

Neither a traditional nor all-encompassing history of First Nations people in North America, The Inconvenient Indian is a personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian." King explores the relationship between Natives and non-Natives since the fifteenth century and examines the way that popular culture has shaped our notion of indigenous identity, while also reflecting on his own complicated relationship with activism.


What do Indians want?

Great question. The problem is, it's the wrong question to ask. While there are certainly Indians in North America, the Indians of this particular question don't exist. The Indians of this question are "the Indian" that Canada and the United States have created for themselves. And as long as the question is asked in that way, there will never be the possibility of an answer. Better to ask what the Lubicon Cree of Alberta want or the Brantford Mohawk of Ontario or the Zuni of New Mexico or the Hupa of northern California or the Tlingit of Alaska.

From: The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King Copyright © 2013. Published by Doubleday Canada.