Fight or Submit: Standing Tall in Two Worlds
Date: October 2020
Duration: 9 hours 22 minutes
In the opening to his memoir, Grand Chief Ron Derrickson says his 'story is not a litany of complaints but a list of battles' that he has fought. And he promises he will not be overly pious in his telling of them. 'As a businessman,' he writes, 'I like to give the straight goods.'
In Fight or Submit, Derrickson delivers on his promise and it turns out he has a hell of a story to tell. Born and raised in a tarpaper shack, he went on to become one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in Canada. As a political leader, he served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation for a dozen years and was made a Grand Chief by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Along the way, he has been the target of a full Royal Commission and an assassination attempt by a hitman hired by local whites. As Chief, he increased his community's revenues by 3500% and led his people into a war in the forest over logging rights. In 2015, he became an award-winning author when Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call, a book he coauthored with Arthur Manuel, won the Canadian History Association Literary Award. His second book coauthored with Manuel, Reconciliation Manifesto, won the BC Book Prize for nonfiction.