Published on February 25, 2013 by Amy
Gerald Taiaiake Alfred is an author, educator and activist, born in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) in 1964. Alfred is an internationally recognized Kanien’kehaka professor at the University of Victoria (UVic).
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Alfred grew up in Kahnawake and received a B.A. in History from Concordia University, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He served in the US Marine Corps in the 1980s.
Alfred is the current director of the Indigenous Governance Program and was awarded a Canada Research Chair 2003-2007, in addition to a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in education.
In 2012, Alfred drew attention when he referred to columnist John Ibbitson as a “white supremacist,” and columnist John Ivison as an “ignorant immigrant” after each wrote columns suggesting that Shawn Atleo was a better choice than Pam Palmater (whom Alfred supported) as the new leader of the Assembly of First Nations. Alfred later defended his comments, stating that “Anyone who denies our right to exist as nations under our own law on our homelands is a white supremacist in my mind.” In early 2013, Ivison wrote that Alfred had recently referred to him as “racist p—k” who had “threatened to kick my ‘immigrant ass’ back to Scotland.”