Why Cash Back?

In Canada, the economy can’t be understood outside of the problem of land. This report is focused on cash and the different roles it has played in this colonial country.

It is the companion-analysis to Land Back and perhaps a less told story, though every bit as critical. In many ways, money has become the language of colonization itself.

Cash Back exposes how dispossession, debt, and discrimination has been constructed, created, and justified over the past 150 years.

From Land Back to Cash Back


How Canada Got its Economy:
A History of Economic Dispossession


Colonialism as Fiscal Policy:
Following the Money


How to Get That Cash Back:
Redress, Compensation,
and Restitution

Mia Ohki Illustration - #176 - Connected 2

Building Economies of Life


Corporate Colonialism

How corporations were set up to build intergenerational wealth and profit off of Indigenous land theft.

The Indian Trust Fund

Revealing the history of the Indian Trust Fund, and debunking myths and misconceptions about the fund. 

An Oral History of First Nation Education Funding

A look at how education funding is 'socially engineered' and how this policy could evolve.

Fishing Economies

A short analysis of Mi'kmaw fishing economies through the lens of Cash Back. 

Community Resources
and Tools

Find all of the Cash Back-related accessible factsheets, comics, videos and more. 


Key terms and definitions used in
Cash Back

"...the more we live as Indigenous People, the more that we have, the more freedom that we have, the more we can envision the hope and the realization of our liberation as Indigenous People. And that is what is such a threat to the state, that is what is such a threat to the economy."

- Molly Wickham (Sleydo’): Cas-Yikh (Grizzly) house, Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, Ransom Economy Webinar
Mia Ohki Illustration #478 Music of Lig

Yellowhead Institute Red Papers aim to follow a tradition of agenda-making reports by Indigenous people — like the 1970 original — that contribute to important conversations within and outside our communities.

Check out Land Back, our first Red Paper, here.