Kanahus Manuel

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Kanahus Manuel
NationalitySecwepemc, Ktunaxa
Other namesKanahus Freedom
OccupationIndigenous Activist, Traditional Birthkeeper
Known forFreedom Babies
Orlando Watley
(m. 2018)

Kanahus Manuel, or Kanahus Freedom, is an indigenous activist, birth keeper, and a member of the activist group Tiny House Warriors. Manuel is a Secwepemc and Ktunaxa mother of four Freedom Babies, children raised in the spirit of decolonization and free from the regulations of the Canadian federal and provincial governments.[1][2] Manuel decided to do this as an indigenous woman to raise questions about the inherent rights of indigenous peoples of Canada.

Family life[edit]

Manuel is a member of the Neskonlith band of the Secwepemc community in British Columbia. Manuel is the daughter of Beverly Manuel and well known Indigenous activist Arthur Manuel. Her grandfather is National Indian Brotherhood chief George Manuel.[3] Her twin sister is Mayuk Manuel and her aunt is filmmaker Doreen Manuel.[4]

In 2018, Manuel married Orlando Watley, a Chickasaw man, in California.[5] Watley is currently incarcerated after being arrested at 19 by the Riverside County Police Department.

Manuel has four children, all of whom were born outside a hospital and none of whom have birth certificates.


Manuel is well known for her activism against corporate development projects in British Columbia, Canada. She has been involved in activist movements against Sun Peaks Resort, Imperial Metals, and the Mount Polley mine spill.[6] As a result of her activism and community organizing, Manuel was named in a court injunction to stop blockades by Imperial Metals as a defendant.[7] Beginning in 2017, Manuel was part of the Tiny House Warriors movement to construct ten tiny houses to be placed in the path of the Trans Mountain pipeline. This action was a way of asserting control over the traditional Secwepemc territory on which the pipeline was proposed.[8] On July 15, 2018 Manuel was arrested by the RCMP for her participation in the Tiny House Warrior resistance.[9]

Manuel is the radio host and producer of the "Creating A Culture of Resistance" radio show which interviews activists from different cultures.[10][citation needed]

She appeared in Freedom Babies, a documentary film made by Doreen Manuel; the film documents Manuel's decision not to register the children with provincial or federal Canadian governments.[11] Manuel was also featured in Cody Lucich's film Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, which focuses on pipeline protests.[12]

In October 2019 , Manuel was arrested by the RCMP as part of a Tiny House Warrior protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline.[13]


  • Kanahus, Manuel. 2017. "Decolonization: The frontline struggle" in Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization. Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC.


  1. ^ "An indigenous mom explains why she doesnt register her kids with the government". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  2. ^ "Indigenous activist arrested after Trans Mountain protest in B.C." www.theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  3. ^ "Front Line Freedom". briarpatchmagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  4. ^ "B.C. aboriginal leader Arthur Manuel fought tirelessly for rights". www.theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  5. ^ www.vice.com https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/59ky3b/what-its-like-to-get-married-in-maximum-security-prison. Retrieved 2020-09-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp Stands Up to Imperial Metals". www.mediacoop.ca. November 13, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp Stands Up to Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley Mine Disaster". ckutnews.wordpress.com. CKUT FM News. November 13, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  8. ^ "Activists in B.C. gear up for 'the next Standing Rock' with tiny house protest". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  9. ^ "Indigenous activist Kanahus Manuel arrested after Trans Mountain protest in B.C." National Observer. 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  10. ^ "Kanahus Manuel". Wolf Paw Radio. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Moving Images Distribution: Freedom Babies". movingimages.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. ^ "This Is More Than A Renaissance. It's A Revolution (Blog)". HuffPost Canada. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  13. ^ "Kanahus Manuel arrested, injured during pipeline protest say Tiny House Warriors - APTN NewsAPTN News". aptnnews.ca. Retrieved 2019-10-22.