Bucking Conservatism

Alternative Stories of Alberta from the 1960s and 1970s

Edited by Leon Crane Bear, Larry Hannant, and Karissa Robyn Patton
Categories: History, Political Science, Education, Indigenous Education, Indigenous Studies, Religious Studies, Social Sciences, Social Movements & Activism, Canadian History
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771992589, 364 pages, November 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771992596, 364 pages, November 2021
Ebook (Kindle) : 9781771992602, 404 pages, June 2019

Table of contents



by Larry Hannant

Indigenous Activism and Resistance

by Leon Crane Bear

1. Indian Status as the Foundation of Justice
by Leon Crane Bear

2. Teaching It Our Way: Blue Quills and the Demand for Indigenous Educational Autonomy
by Tarisa Dawn Little

3. “We are on the outside looking in [. . .]. But we are still Indians”: Alberta Indigenous Women Fighting for Status Rights, 1968–85
by Corinne George

Defying Heteropatriarchy

by Karissa Robyn Patton

4. Fed Up with the Status Quo: Alberta Women’s Groups Challenge Maternalist Ideology and Secure Provincial Funding for Daycare, 1964–71
by Tom Langford

5. Gay Liberation in Conservative Calgary
by Nevena Ivanović, Kevin Allen, and Larry Hannant

6. Contraception, Community, and Controversy: The Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre, 1972–78
by Karissa Robyn Patton

7. “Ultra Activists” in a “Very Closeted Place”: The Early Years of Edmonton’s Gay Alliance Toward Equality, 1972–77
by Erin Gallagher-Cohoon

Doing Politics in a New Way

by Larry Hannant

8. Daring to Be Left in Social Credit Alberta: Recollections of a Young New Democratic Party Activist in the 1960s
by Ken Novakowski

9. Socialist Survival: The Woodsworth-Irvine Socialist Fellowship and the Preservation of Radical Thought in Alberta
by Mack Penner

10. Learning Marxism from Tom Flanagan: Left-Wing Activism at the University of Calgary in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s
by Larry Hannant

11. Drop In, Hang Out, and Crash: Outreach Programs for Transient Youth and War Resisters in Edmonton
by Baldwin Reichwein and PearlAnn Reichwein

12. Solidarity on the Cricket Pitch: Confronting South African Apartheid in Edmonton
by Larry Hannant

Countercultural and Environmental Radicalism

by Larry Hannant

13. From Nuclear Disarmament to Raging Granny: A Recollection of Peace Activism and Environmental Advocacy in the 1960s and 1970s
by Louise Swift

14. The Mill Creek Park Movement and Citizen Activism in Edmonton, 1964–75
by PearlAnn Reichwein and Jan Olson

15. “A Lot of Heifer-Dust”: Alberta Maverick Marion Nicoll and Abstract Art
by Jennifer E. Salahub

16. Land and Love in the Rockies: The Poetic Politics of Sid Marty and Headwaters
by PearlAnn Reichwein

17. Death of a Delta
by Tom Radford


Conclusion: Bucking Conservatism, Then and Now
by Karissa Robyn Patton and Mack Penner

List of Contributors

With chapters by both scholars and activists, Bucking Conservatism highlights the lasting influence of Alberta’s nonconformists.


With lively, informative contributions by both scholars and activists, Bucking Conservatism highlights the individuals and groups who challenged Alberta’s conservative status quo in the 1960s and 70s. Drawing on archival records, newspaper articles, police reports, and interviews, the contributors examine Alberta’s history through the eyes of Indigenous activists protesting discriminatory legislation and unfulfilled treaty obligations, women and lesbian and gay persons standing up to the heteropatriarchy, student activists seeking to forge a new democracy, and anti-capitalist environmentalists demanding social change. This book uncovers the lasting influence of Alberta’s noncomformists---those who recognized the need for dissent in a province defined by wealth and right-wing politics---and poses thought-provoking questions for contemporary activists.