A World You Do Not Know explains how the willful ignorance of indigenous peoples was a major dynamic in the European colonization of North America. Using the Innu of Labrador-Quebec as one powerful contemporary example, Colin Samson shows how the processes of displacement, land-grabbing, and assimilation today are in their intentions and effects no different from U.S. and Canadian policies of the 19th century. While nation building, capitalism, and industrialization are shown to have undermined indigenous peoples’ social stability, health, and wellbeing, Samson describes how the values that guide many indigenous societies are very much alive.
The book concludes by showcasing how land-based activities of indigenous groups in Canada and the United States are being maintained and recast. Samson argues that by continuing to hunt, fish, and live from what is left of their lands, indigenous peoples are talking back to the ignorance that transformed them and holding out the promise for more positive futures.