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Chief Clarence Louie ~ Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada's and America's Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Sunday, March 27, 2022
10:30am to 11:30am

Live Webinar


At the age of twenty-four, in 1984, Clarence Louie was elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, in the Okanagan Valley. Nineteen elections later, Chief Louie has led his community for nearly four decades. The story of how the Osoyoos Indian Band—"The Miracle in the Desert"—transformed a Native community that once struggled with poverty into an economic powerhouse is well known. Rez Rules describes the fascinating life and legacy of a remarkable leader. It offers leadership lessons for on and off the Rez in a common sense blueprint for the future.

In Rez Rules, Clarence Louie writes about his youth in Osoyoos, his first involvement in activism, and the path he embarked on when he was elected. Direct and passionate, he writes about life on the Rez, including Rez language and humour; per capita payments on reservations; elections and the role of elected and hereditary chiefs; the devastating impact of residential schools; the need for First Nations to look to culture and ceremony for governance and guidance; the use by professional sports teams of First Nations names and logos; his love for motorcycle "honour" rides; and what makes a good leader. Throughout, Chief Louie takes aim at systemic racism and examines the relationship between First Nations and colonial Canada and the U.S., and sounds a call to action for First Nations.

“We all want to see reconciliation. Chief Louie wants it too; here’s his plan.” ~ Peter Mansbridge

“A must-read.” ~ Jody Wilson-Raybould

Clarence Louie has been chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, in the south Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, for over thirty-six years. In 2013, Maclean's named him one of the “Top 50 Canadians to Watch.” In 2003, Louie was chosen by the U.S. Department of State as one of six First Nations leaders to review economic development in American Indian communities. In 2008, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia and Queen's University. In 2019 he was the first First Nations person ever inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.