Spirit Builders

Charles Catto, Frontiers Foundation and the Struggle to End Indigenous Poverty


Spirit Builders

The inspiring story of how one organization has tried to alleviate the struggles faced by First Nations peoples in Canada by building houses and developing livable communities for those in desperate need.

The people who were living here on Turtle Island (North America) before us have been pushed aside from their own land for decades. Mining companies, lumber companies, railways, governments and fisheries have all taken away First Nations land and resources while dishonouring the treaties that were supposed to protect them.

Spirit Builders is the story of First Nations communities in Canada, their ruined villages and the broken promises that have led to tragic circumstances for many thousands of people. It is also the story of Charles Catto and the Frontiers Foundation, a volunteer and co-operative movement that has built over 2,000 houses, community buildings and schools as a practical way of addressing and solving many of the problems that First Nations and Métis in Canada face as they seek to create a new relationship with the colonizing societies around them.

The culmination of seven years of research, James Bacque’s new book addresses directly and unflinchingly the dangerous deprivation and shame that haunt Canada’s indigenous reserves.