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Social Research Assignment: A Book Review On Indigenous Relations


Task: Read the book:
Joseph, B. (2019). Indigenous relations: Insights, tips & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality. Indigenous Relations Press. Your social research assignment should have the following content:
1.) Introduction – just a brief overview of what the reader is about to read
2.) Summary – including (but doesn’t have to be limited to): what was the book about What was the author’s goal(s) in writing it How was it laid out/presented
3.) Analysis and Evaluation - Is the author’s writing style effective, engaging
Was it easy to understand
Did the author achieve the goal(s) noted in #2
What are the book’s weak points What are its strengths
Do the author’s suggestions seem practical, or difficult to implement Explain why Would you recommend this book to others Only certain groups No one Why or why not
4.) What are two tips and/or suggestions from this book you feel you could implement in your own life/community starting right now if you chose to do so If you don’t recognize two, what makes the implementation so difficult
5.) Has this book increased your confidence in your ability to engage with Indigenous communities If so, how If not, what is the barrier


Bob Joseph, a writer whose work is reviewed in this social research assignment, is a hereditary chief and leader of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations. He is best known for his work with the business community to develop trustworthy and respectful relationships between Indigenous cultures and Canada's mainstream business community. In the book "Indigenous relations" he presents a guide to communicating appropriately with the Indigenous communities living in Canada. Acknowledging the complexity of the indigenous community as a whole, this book focuses on aspects of reconciliation and practicing positive business practices with the indigenous community. It uses education as a focal point to consider the critical differences between development agencies that seek to assist indigenous communities and those that seek to assist broader Australian society.

The book “Indigenous relations” is a concise guide for anyone who wants to communicate with indigenous people. The book is a comprehensive, business-oriented guide on how to talk, bargain, and make deals with indigenous people in ways that strengthen your mutual relationships. It covers the context within which negotiations with Indigenous Peoples take place and the main tools of negotiation from indigenous communities' point of view. The factor of reconciliation with the indigenous people of Canada is a crucial element that the author reiterates throughout his book. He reminds readers to always go above and beyond in their dealings with the indigenous population of Canada. One of the main things to remember is that they have been severely wronged in the past by colonialists, but this does not lessen our obligation to treat them correctly now. Indigenous approaches to communication and business practice can be very different from those of mainstream society. How do indigenous people communicate What do they expect from the business interactions in their communities How does one make sense of these differences and adjust communication and business practices accordingly The book is an insightful guide that answers these questions.

There are many Indigenous communities throughout the world, but they share a similar history of being oppressed and marginalized by immigrants from Europe and elsewhere. To get over history so painful, reconciliation is essential. Since Indigenous cultures do not share the same values as mainstream Canadian society, an outside observer might conclude there is no common ground between Indigenous and European ways of doing things. When it comes to business, however, the opposite applies. The only way for a corporate manager to succeed is to understand the cultural differences and how they affect communications with Indigenous people (Joseph & Joseph, 2018). It is one of the many ideas discussed in the book which gives us an understanding of the approach one should take while reaching out to Indigenous communities. It shows the vital cultural differences in an elaborate manner. In hereditary systems, leaders are chosen from among the members of a specific family or clan. In our Canadian system of government, they are selected from among the citizens of a particular geographic area. It is also possible for leaders to be chosen from among either a segment of society or particular families in the Indigenous system. The difference is that in an elected system, all parts of society - minorities and majorities - have an equal chance of participating in decisions about leadership—for example, men and women, old and young, bi-lingual and unilingual people. The book analyses how to have a successful relationship with others. In politics, the families of hereditary chiefs had more opportunities for leadership than the families of elected chiefs. In addition, governance was more stable over hereditary lines. Since family members cannot be removed from their positions except by being unfaithful to customary rules, there's no chance for a power struggle. Given the current context of reconciliation, this book was most relevant for the work/business setting. There is a lot of great resources available concerning the residential school system and the impacts on Indigenous communities that many of us know very little about (Todd, 2021). The first chapter of the book was an argument for why reconciliation is something all Canadians should embrace. The second chapter was an argument for why businesses should adopt reconciliation as a policy. The third chapter was about why organizations can't use the categories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to understand the challenges faced by individuals, businesses, communities, and governments. The book is well written and clear enough to read it in a sitting but detailed enough to refer to it often as a resource. The appendix alone is a fount of knowledge, with definitions and reasoning to use others. The book is well balanced and could be a good resource for showing why good communication and relationships lead to better business outcomes.

Suggestions that I can Implement
The book was very insightful and helped me a lot in getting a broader perspective. One of the important tips that I got was how to build positive business relations with the indigenous communities. The best way to have a positive impact is to collaborate with people in the community. Here the author proposes to build positive business relations with the indigenous communities. Doing this can be very good for business because one will be able to develop working relationships that will last for years. The policy is better than just giving things away to people or forcing them into helping because this not only goes against their culture but ends up costing more money in the long run. Another thing in the book that can be appreciated greatly is the presence of clear and well-written passages. The appendix alone is like a huge cave of knowledge that helps the reader with definitions of the word and makes them understand the appropriateness of certain words. The appendix is a mine of information or rather a significant effort on the author's part to make the reader understand what the words are. It comes with its advantage, which is it can be referred back to whenever required. It helped me in communicating with the indigenous people in a better way.

Increasing Confidence
Expressing my opinion is worth nothing, but not exercising it is wrong. Tolerance and understanding for others is a virtue, except when it is done blindly. This book opened my eyes to the colonial legacy in expressing our opinions and interpreting others. I found some of the sites and podcasts suggested in the back of the book very educational and affirming. The author provides the reader with a concise way to evaluate what colonial assumptions may be at play and frames those as questions that can be asked as an orienting guide as you progress through the book. This way of asking allows the reader to focus on the content and experience of learning about the subject rather than locating themselves within a linear intellectual development. He begins by naming the opposites, rigid conflict, and complete reconciliation. He then shows how national reconciliation can be used to move from stiff competition to a softer but still distant range of harmony. The book has undoubtedly instilled confidence in me to engage with indigenous communities better and more appropriately.

The book "Indigenous relations" is a sincere and respectful gesture – the author sincerely wants to change how we relate to Indigenous people. The book focuses on encouraging positive interactions and relationships between non-indigenous and indigenous Canadians. It provides the knowledge and tools that will help create a more peaceful and equal society.

Joseph, R. P., & Joseph, C. F. (2019). Indigenous relations: Insights, tips & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality. Indigenous Relations Press.

Todd, R. (2021). 21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph. Social research assignment British Journal of Canadian Studies, 33(1), 136-136.


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